Developers buy long-stalled Globe mall in Fremont for industrial

Pair paid a combined $64M, plans to redevelop unfinished shopping center with tech focus

Scannell Properties' Robert Scannell and 40517-40525 Albrae Street (Scannell Properties, Google Maps)
Scannell Properties' Robert Scannell and 40517-40525 Albrae Street (Scannell Properties, Google Maps)

A pair of developers have paid a combined $63.6 million for a long-stalled Fremont shopping center they aim to turn into an industrial complex.

Scannell Properties and a group of Milpitas-based investors bought separate parcels of The Globe mall at the corner of Albrae Street and Stevenson Boulevard in the lower East Bay city, the Mercury News reported. The seller was American Pacific International Capital.

The Asian-themed shopping center project – which once promised nearly 560,000 square feet of shops and restaurants along with a 12-story hotel that would have been the tallest building in Fremont – cratered during the Great Recession of 2008. Less than 6 percent of its retail space was built.

The new buyers plan to raze two commercial buildings to make way for new construction. What city officials dubbed an “urban, blighted commercial site” would be redeveloped into a tech-driven industrial center, generating up to 650 jobs and sales tax revenue for Fremont.

An affiliate of Scannell Properties, based in Indianapolis, paid $52.5 million to buy four of the six parcels at the site in an all-cash deal. The developer wants to build nearly 400,000 square feet of industrial space on 22.4 acres at 40517-40525 Albrae St.

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Its plans include two buildings containing 190,503 square feet, and 157,783 square feet for logistics and manufacturing. A third 46,839-square-foot building would house research and development, or advanced manufacturing. The project was approved March 15.

Scannell Properties responded to community concerns by agreeing to add solar to the project, route truck traffic away from neighborhoods and hire union subcontractors and apprentices. It also promised to limit last-mile delivery operations, while pledging $500,000 to fight homelessness in Fremont.

“This site will bring a blighted property to life through redevelopment,” said Bob Staedler, principal executive with Silicon Valley Synergy, a land-use consultancy. “It’s great to see Fremont turn the page on this site’s future.”

The group of Milpitas-based buyers led by John Wynn Nguyen and Tuyet Minh Le paid $11.1 million for the remaining 2.5 acres, which contain I Shanghai Delight restaurant, according to state and county public documents. The seller, APIC The Globe, provided a $7.8 million loan to help finance the deal.

[San Jose Mercury News] – Dana Bartholomew

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