Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Mall Memories - Sunnyvale Town Center
Here's a scan of a mall directory for Sunnyvale Town Center. It's from sometime in the late Eighties or early Nineties. Sometime before JC Penney joined the mall.
The history of Sunnyvale Town Center is full of drama and intrigue. Intended to revitalize a languishing downtown, Sunnyvale city leaders approved the demolition of historic buildings and cleared the way for a new mall. Opened in 1979, Sunnyvale Town Center was popular for a number of years. It originally was anchored by Macy's and Montgomery Wards. The mall's greatest feature was an outdoor courtyard, encircled by the mall, that preserved six giant redwood trees planted in the 1920s.
Eventually, the mall began to fall out of favor. It was too distant from freeways and obscured by a large parking garage. Some area residents would "forget" that a mall was there (out-of-sight, out-of-mind, so to speak). The final nail in Sunnyvale Town Center's coffin was the changing habits of local shoppers. Newer, larger malls, like Valley Fair, would soon be the biggest retail draw in the region.
A fantastic redevelopment was planned. The mall would be de-malled by tearing off the roof and plowing a street through the middle. Sunnyvale's own version of Santana Row would materialize and make downtown Sunnyvale a shinning success!
In preparation of the redevelopment, leases weren't renewed and the interior of Sunnyvale Town Center closed in 2005. The current anchors, Macy's and Target, are still open and are part of the redevelopment plan. BUT... redevelopment plans have floundered. Mostly attributed to financial woes, the mall hasn't been demolished nor redevelopment begun. Although the monstrous parking garage hiding the center was knocked down this year, that's all that has happened. The future of the center remains muddled.
Visit the current Website.
View a live Web cam of the area.
See the aerial view.
Read an interesting article on the mall.