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February 18, 2014 > Pacific Mall targets opening in 2017

Pacific Mall targets opening in 2017

Submitted By Frank Addiego

Milpitas will soon greet the arrival of a new mall funded by the Tonga Group, famous for the Pacific Mall in the greater Toronto area. Pacific Mall Silicon Valley will take shape at the McCarthy Ranch and focus primarily on independent shops as opposed to franchise stores, with a theme of modern pacific culture.

Unlike a traditional American mall, Pacific Mall will not feature any anchor storesÑlarger stores with their own entrancesÑand tenant spaces within the mall will be owned by the businesses who use them, rather than rented. Philip Duchen, Chief Operating Officer of applicant TMS McCarthy, Inc. described this as system as a Òcommercial condominiumÓ at a public hearing on February 4, 2014.

The Pacific Mall Silicon Valley will also be home to a 240-room hotel, an arcade and two stages for live entertainment. ÒWe believe that this opportunity encourages the creation of entrepreneurial ventures,Ó said Duchen. ÒMuch of the merchandise that will be sold in this mall will be unique and not generally found in mainstream malls.Ó

Also distinguishing the mall from its competition will be dˇcor that is influenced by the urban culture of Hong Kong and Japan. ÒI had a chance to tour the Toronto facilityÉ their current facility has quite a bit of art in it,Ó said Ernie Yamane of Steinberg Architects, Òthere [are] actually the stone warriors, the actual statues brought over and theyÕre actually in a place where everybody passes by.Ó

MilpitasÕ natural surroundings also served as an inspiration for the design of the building. ÒWe drew from the hills around here, which are actually very beautiful,Ó said Yamane. ÒIn the [presentation], you kind of see the stepping from kind-of mimicking the hillside, but it also allows us to bring in natural light.Ó

Mayor Josˇ Esteves expressed concern over the title Pacific Mall Silicon Valley failing to identify the shopping center as a Milpitas business. A sentiment echoed by Liz Ainsworth who said, ÒWe have several hotels in Milpitas that are San Josˇ hotels and they have that in their titles. IÕd like to see Milpitas recognized more and more.Ó Yamane talked about signage with the cityÕs name on it.

Citizens weighed in on the project with enthusiasm, with one citizen saying, ÒNot only will it create over a thousand jobs, but it will bring revenues to the city.Ó Ainsworth said, ÒI welcome this project as my role of the Chamber of Commerce President of the Board because this is bringing industry to our city and we need this.Ó Other citizens expressed concerns about traffic and the carbon footprint of the building.

Building the new Pacific Mall involves tearing down the building that previously housed a Borders bookstore. The San Josˇ Mercury News reported that the mall may begin construction as soon as next year with a possible opening in 2017. ÒI canÕt explain it, I witnessed it,Ó said Duchen regarding the appeal of the mall, Òwhen you see it, and you experience it, youÕll understand that thereÕs a community spirit in that mall.Ó

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