Thursday, October 02, 2008

Lost Malls - Union Square Mall - Union City

The elusive Union Square Mall in Union City, CA. This little enclosed mall lived for just over a decade. It opened in late 1974, went up, then down, down, down. The near-empty mall was demolished in the late 80s (or early 90s, anyone know for sure?)
Anchor tenants were Safeway and Kelly-Moore Home Improvement Center.
The attached article from the Fremont Argus is dated Dec. 2, 1977. Mall merchants are complaining about businesses departing the mall and gave their theories why the mall wasn't succeeding.
The article goes on to report the owners were planning on added "50 flags to brighten the interior." Hmmm.
It appears as if the mall was originally supposed to have a department store, but the owners revealed the center wasn't a "regional center," which inhibits department stores from joining. Deceptive?
I visited this mall only once in the 80s. It was dark, had aggregate concrete floors, and a single store (a barber shop, if I recall correctly). I believe the mall was laid out in a plus (+) design. Photos of this center would certainly be exciting (anyone?).
The original Safeway still stands at 1790 Decoto Road. A new strip shopping center was built in its place and appears to be doing just fine.
Current aerial:

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Eastridge Mall - A New Era in Shopping

A beautiful new way to shop...
Here's an advertisement from the Fremont Argus, dated May 17, 1971, announcing the grand opening of Eastridge Mall in San Jose.

Because the ad is grainy, this is what it says:
"a beautiful new way to shop"
"Eastridge is now open, and it's all yours to enjoy... the most enjoyable shopping you've ever known! It's a whole new way to shop... in a beautiful new atmosphere. Bold new design - smart new shops - 'climate control' malls - 3 levels - expansive courts and lounge areas - colorful landscaping - striking sculpture. Come and see for yourself, but we warn you... it will spoil you for any other shopping!"
"Largest in the West! Now Open! Penney's and many fine shops"
"Coming soon! 3 more Department Stores"
"Liberty House - Macy's - Sears - More Fine Shops and Services."

When Eastridge first opened, the City of Fremont sponsored bus trips to the mall, which created quite a controversy (funneling tax dollars out of Fremont, you know).

Enjoy this little gem!