MILPITAS (KPIX 5) — A $100 million shopping mall targeting the Bay Area’s large Asian-American population could soon be coming to the South Bay. Instead of large stores, developers said the mall would consist of hundreds of small shops.
The project, known as the Pacific Mall, would be built on the site of the McCarthy Ranch Marketplace shopping center near the Interstate 880 and Highway 237 interchange in Milpitas. As it stands today, the shopping center is pretty empty, with 50 percent of the stores vacant.
“We’re looking at a redevelopment of a big box retail center that hasn’t been doing great in the past few years,” Sheldon Ah Sing, Milpitas City Planner told KPIX 5.
Recently, a developer bought the land with hopes to turn it into a mall, with underground parking and a hotel.
The Pacific Mall will try to play to the area’s Asian demographic. Success can be seen down the street at the Milpitas Square strip mall, which draws quite a crowd with Asian stores and restaurants.
“This is one spot to come to if you feel like Asian cuisine or want to come to an Asian spot,” said Phil Sudaria of Milpitas. “You don’t have to make that drive to San Francisco to kind of get that environment.”
Around the Bay Area, there are plenty of Asian-themed strip malls such as Milpitas Square, but the Pacific Mall would be the only indoor Asian-themed mall in the United States. The only other mall of its kind in North America is north of the border in Toronto.
Developers said the mall would have between 200 to 300 small shops. “It’s not your typical mall where you have a large anchor such as a Sears or Penneys,” Ah Sing said.