By Kristi Myllenbeck – Cupertino Courier, October 21, 2015
Two community meetings remain for residents to hear more and ask questions about Sand Hill Property Company’s big plans for the proposed The Hills at Vallco project.
The meetings, hosted by Sand Hill, will be held on Oct. 24 from 3 to 5 p.m. and Oct. 29 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the former Macy’s located at Vallco Shopping Mall, 10333 N. Wolfe Road.
Two prior meetings were held Oct. 18 and 21.
The Sunday morning meeting on Oct. 18 saw more than 100 community members show up to hear firsthand what is in the works. Most residents seemed eager to learn more and were especially curious about Sand Hill’s plan to install a green roof with trails atop commercial and residential buildings at a reimagined Vallco.
The meetings include brief walking tours in groups of five to 10 people to several stations in the former Macy’s building, with posters explaining the various facets of the project, including traffic and transportation, architecture, and of course, the green roof, among many other highlights.
Each group was led by a Sand Hill representative who explained in detail the project and showed off blueprints and overhead views of the Vallco site in its current state and what it could look like in the future.
In addition, detailed renderings of the project were included in the tour as well as examples of other notable green roof projects around the world, some of which were designed by the same architect chosen to do Vallco’s green roof.
Residents in attendance from nearby neighborhoods were mostly concerned with traffic, privacy, light pollution and open space.
The purpose of the meetings is to engage the community in the plans and get feedback from residents about questions or concerns regarding the project.
“We spent the first eight months of the year engaging with the community, and we are excited to reconnect with our neighbors, introduce them to The Hills at Vallco and hear their thoughts and suggestions,” said Sand Hill Property managing director Reed Moulds in a press statement. “We invite all those interested in The Hills at Vallco to attend an open house event, and we look forward to continuing to partner with the Cupertino community to make these plans a reality.”
Last month, Sand Hill officially submitted an application to the city outlining its estimated $3 billion plan to transform Vallco Shopping Mall into a downtown city center with a mix of housing, retail, office, entertainment and open space. Cupertino city staff estimated that The Hills at Vallco project will go through a 12- to 18-month public approval process leading to a vote by the city council.
Sand Hill’s plans as of now are to demolish the approximately 1.2 million-square-foot shopping mall and parking area. In its place the company will build 625,000 square feet of commercial and civic areas, 800 residential units–including 680 market rate units, 80 below market rate units, 40 senior age-restricted units–and 2 million square feet of office space.
This is the first time the mall and its anchor tenant spaces have been under a single ownership in its nearly 40-year history. All four Vallco parcels were purchased by Sand Hill in pieces for approximately $316 million late last year. The purchases included $32.6 million for the Macy’s site, $65.3 million for the J.C. Penney site, $102.5 million for the Sears site and $116 million for the interior mall, Moulds told this publication in March.
Macy’s closed in March and Sears closed on Oct. 4, leaving the 1.2-million-square-foot site with a tenant occupancy that is a little less than 50 percent.
For more information visit thehillsatvallco.com. To RSVP for the community meeting, click on the “get involved” tab located in the menu section of the website.