As retailers exit Mountain View mall, mayor eyes short-term community benefits

Property lost three anchor tenants last year, leaving local residents concerned that it will be redeveloped into offices or housing

San Francisco /
Jan.January 20, 2022 12:23 PM
Charleston Plaza at 2398 E. Charleston Road with Mountain View Mayor Lucas Ramirez (Facebook via Charleston Plaza, MountainView.gov)

A Mountain View shopping center that lost three anchor tenants last year could be repurposed for Covid testing or used for community services.

Bed Bath & Beyond, REI and Best Buy all closed stores at Charleston Plaza over the past year, leaving many local residents concerned that the center will be redeveloped into offices or housing, the Mercury News reported. Mountain View Mayor Lucas Ramirez told the newspaper redevelopment isn’t likely.

“That area wasn’t identified as a ‘change area’ in the general plan, so the City Council doesn’t have any existing plans to explore rezoning there to allow housing,” Ramirez said. The plaza’s owner, New York financial services company TIAA, hasn’t filed plans with the city proposing changes to its existing mix of shops and restaurants, he said.

The empty storefronts could be reused as Covid-19 clinics or for other community services in the interim, and Ramirez is talking with the city and Santa Clara County about bringing those resources to the mall, he said. “That’s exactly the kind of short-term use that would be consistent with the need the city has,” he told the Mercury News.

Bed Bath & Beyond was the first anchor tenant to depart Charleston Plaza last year. The company said last January that it would close 200 locations by year’s end, including that one, the Mountain View Voice reported last month.

Months after Bed Bath & Beyond’s exit, REI said it would relocate its outpost to a new, larger location in Sunnyvale, and Best Buy compounded the center’s woes after saying it would close its store there by the end of October, the Mountain View Voice and Mercury News said. None of the storefronts that the trio of businesses vacated have been backfilled yet.

[The Mercury News] — Matthew Niksa





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