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March 21, 2006 > Multicultural mall in Fremont wins zoning OK

Multicultural mall in Fremont wins zoning OK

Construction on a giant multicultural shopping center resembling Walt Disney World's Epcot theme park was allowed to go forward after the City Council agreed to rezone the 47-acre plot for retail use.

Designs for the internationally themed shopping mall include clusters of stores representing countries from Southeast Asia to Europe to North America and architecture specific to each region, said developer John Wynn.

Shoppers will be able to dine in a Vietnamese restaurant, stroll past Japanese-style koi ponds and a Spanish fountain and buy Indian saris or the latest fashions from France or Italy, Wynn said.

The 460,000-square-foot mall, called the Globe, is expected to be completed by the end of 2007, Wynn said.

Wynn, a Vietnamese-born emigre formerly named Nguyen who built a successful shopping center redevelopment business, bought the lot for $68 million last summer and plans to spend about $130 million more on the project. All the funding will come from his Milpitas firm, Imperial Investment & Development.

The City Council voted last week to rezone the lot from industrial use to high-volume retail.

"This country helped me," Wynn said. "It takes in anybody. I want to send a message to the world that we are all one."

 
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