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Re-Envisioning Eastridge Shopping Mall, San Jose: An Urban Design Approach

Re-Envisioning Eastridge Shopping Mall, San Jose: An Urban Design Approach

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  • RE-ENVISIONING EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL, SAN JOSE An Urban Design Approach
  • RE-ENVISIONING EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL, SAN JOSE: An Urban Design Approach A Planning Report Presented to The Faculty of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning San José State University In Partial Fulfillment Of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Urban Planning By Aastha Vashist May 2013
  • TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter 1. INTRODUCTION: Integrating San Jose’s Eastridge Shopping Mall with the Adjacent Urban Village Site............................................. 9 1.1. Shopping Malls in American Suburbs..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................10 1.2. Definitions and Terminology...........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................10 1.3. Why Retrofit Eastridge Shopping Mall? ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................11 1.4. Who is the Intended Audience?......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................12 1.5. Vision for the Study Area...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................12 1.6. Methods Overview..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................13 1.7. Report Organization...........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................14 Chapter 2. SHOPPING MALLS: An Opportunity for Reinvigorating Suburbs ..........................................................................................................15 2.1. History of Shopping Malls in the United States........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................16 2.2. Role of Shopping Malls in American Life.....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................17 2.3. Urban Design Strategies for Rethinking Suburban Shopping Malls.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................18 2.4. Challenges to Retrofitting Shopping Malls................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................20 2.5. Conclusion..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................22 Chapter 3. EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL: Existing Conditions, Urban Context, Constraints and Opportunities ................................................23 3.1. Setting of Eastridge Shopping Mall..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................24 3.2. Site Analysis ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................25 3.3. Urban Design Analysis.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................27 3.4. Constraints and Opportunities.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................34 Chapter 4. CASE STUDIES: Lessons from Retrofitted Shopping Malls .....................................................................................................................38 4.1. Methodology and Selection Criteria............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................39 4.2. Case Study: The Crossings at Mountain View, California.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................39 4.3. Case Study: Broadway Plaza at Walnut Creek, California.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................44 4.4. Key Lessons Learned from Case Studies......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................49 Chapter 5. URBAN DESIGN PROPOSAL: Re-envisioning Eastridge Shopping Mall..................................................................................................53 5.1. Urban Design Strategies...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................54 5.2. Master Plan ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................63
  • Chapter 6. CONCLUSION: Research Findings And Next Steps...................................................................................................................................67 6.1. Key Findings .........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................68 6.2. Methodology Limitations and Next Steps..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................69 APPENDIX A: Interview Questions...............................................................................................................................................................................70 APPENDIX B: Urban Design Analysis...........................................................................................................................................................................71 APPENDIX C: Behavioral Observation Study...............................................................................................................................................................75 APPENDIX D: Case Study Selection Criteria ................................................................................................................................................................76 APPENDIX E: Demographics Analysis .........................................................................................................................................................................77 BIBLIOGRAPHY ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................80
  • TABLE OF FIGURES FIGURE 1. Context Map for Eastridge Shopping Mall, San Jose. FIGURE 2. Overview Map for the study area. FIGURE 3. Reid-Hillview Airport Safety Zones. FIGURE 4. Map showing existing land uses for the study area. FIGURE 5. Map showing proposed land uses for the study area. FIGURE 6. View of Eastridge Transit Center from East Capitol Expressway. FIGURE 7. Figure Ground Map, Building Footprint Map and Street Map for the study area. FIGURE 8. View of a typical single-family residence in the study area. FIGURE 9. View of an aging strip mall along the periphery of Eastridge Shopping Mall at Tully Road and Quimby Road intersection. FIGURE 10. View of a seemingly recent built strip mall at the intersection of Quimby Road and East Capitol Expressway in the study area. FIGURE 11. View of East Capitol Expressway and Thompson Creek. FIGURE 12. Vehicular access point to Eastridge Shopping Mall site from Quimby Road. FIGURE 13. Vehicular access point to Eastridge Shopping Mall site from Quimby Road. FIGURE 14. Analysis of connectivity around Eastridge Shopping Mall. FIGURE 15. Analysis of legibility for the study area. FIGURE 16. View of Thompson Creek from East Capitol Expressway. FIGURE 17. Backdrop of Diablo Hill Range along East Capitol Expressway. FIGURE 18. Inactive street edges of East Capitol Expressway created by street facing large surface parking lots and inward facing developments. FIGURE 19. Main pedestrian route between Eastridge Transit Center and Eastridge Mall. FIGURE 20. View of outdoor streetscape along the Eastridge Shopping Mall’s southern entrance. FIGURE 21. View of Eastridge Shopping Mall Transit Center. FIGURE 22. Analysis of diversity for areas surrounding Eastridge Shopping Mall. FIGURE 23. Aerial image of residential development within the study area. FIGURE 24. View of Eastridge Shopping Mall from Tully Road. FIGURE 25. View of East Capitol Expressway. FIGURE 26. Areas of constraints within the study area, based on urban design analysis. FIGURE 27. View of a strip mall along Tully Road. FIGURE 28. View of Eastridge Shopping Mall from Quimby Road. FIGURE 29. View of surface parking lot within the Eastridge Shopping Mall site. FIGURE 30. View of Quimby Road. FIGURE 31. View of retail along Tully Road. FIGURE 32. Areas of opportunities in the study area, based on urban design analysis. FIGURE 33. View of Eastridge Transit Center looking towards East Capitol Expressway. FIGURE 34. View of Thompson Creek running along East Capitol Expressway. FIGURE 35. View of Diablo Hill Range from Meadowfair Park looking towards the eastern side. FIGURE 36. View of streetscape along Eastridge Shopping Mall’s southern building facade. FIGURE 37. View of proposed urban village site from Quimby Road. FIGURE 38. View of Evergreen Dialysis Center near Eastridge Transit Center. FIGURE 39. View of AMC theater from Quimby Road. FIGURE 40. Context map for the Crossings at Mountain View, California. FIGURE 41. View of previous Old Mill Shopping Center in Mountain View. FIGURE 42. Overview map for The Crossings at Mountain View, California. FIGURE 43. View of Central Expressway along San Antonio Caltrain Station.
  • TABLE OF FIGURES FIGURE 44. View of townhomes with cottage style architecture and preserved redwood trees within The Crossings at Mountain View. FIGURE 45. View of Pacchetti Way connecting residential development. FIGURE 46. View of an existing strip mall at the periphery of the Crossings at Mountain View. FIGURE 47. View of residential stoops along Pacchetti Way that help to clearly delineate private space from public space. FIGURE 48. View of corner building along Pacchetti Way and view of building facade facing San Antonio Caltrain station. FIGURE 49. View of central roundabout with preserved redwood trees along Pacchetti Way. FIGURE 50. View of park adjoining residential units. FIGURE 51. View of people biking along Shower Drive, located towards the northern edge of The Crossings at Mountain View. FIGURE 52. View of residential development at The Crossings in Mountain View. FIGURE 53. Context Map for Broadway Plaza at Walnut Creek, California. FIGURE 54. Historic aerial image of former Broadway Shopping Center. FIGURE 55. View of Broadway Plaza Street. FIGURE 56. View of a pedestrian street at Broadway Plaza. FIGURE 57. View of South Main Street with Broadway Plaza towards the left and downtown towards the east. FIGURE 58. View of a pedestrian street connecting the plaza with the downtown’s main street. FIGURE 59. View of parking lots and parking structure along South Broadway Plaza towards the rear side of the plaza. FIGURE 60. Area adjacent to bus stop along Broadway Plaza Street. FIGURE 61. View of Broadway Plaza Street. FIGURE 62. View of South Market Street immediately adjacent to Broadway Plaza. FIGURE 63. View of the development along the intersection of Mount Diablo Boulevard and South Broadway Street. FIGURE 64. View of a landscaped open space along Broadway Plaza Street. FIGURE 65. View of a small public place at the intersection of Mount Diablo Boulevard and South Broadway Plaza. FIGURE 66. View of proposed retrofitted Eastridge Shopping Mall development. FIGURE 67. Section of East Capitol Expressway. FIGURE 68. Typical street section for proposed retrofitted Eastridge Shopping Mall development.
  • Table of Tables TABLE 1. 2010 Population by race for area within one mile of Eastridge Shopping Mall and San Jose. TABLE 2. Case study characteristics. TABLE 3. Summary of key findings based on urban design analysis and behavioral observation study. TABLE 4. Interview questions. TABLE 5. Evaluation of Principle 1: CHARACTER. TABLE 6. Evaluation of Principle 2: CONNECTIVITY. TABLE 7. Evaluation of Principle 3: LEGIBILITY. TABLE 8. Evaluation of Principle 4: DIVERSITY. TABLE 9. Data intake sheet for behavioral observation study. TABLE 10. Evaluation of retrofitted shopping malls within San Francisco Bay Area based on selection criteria for identifying case studies. TABLE 11. Demographic data for San Jose and Eastridge Shopping Mall neighborhood for year 2000 and 2010. TABLE 12. Social characteristics for area within one mile of Eastridge Shopping Mall and San Jose for year 2010. TABLE 13. Retail Market Potential for San Jose and Eastridge Shopping Mall neighborhood area for year 2011. TABLE 14. Retail goods and services expenditure for San Jose and Eastridge Shopping Mall neighborhood area for year 2011.
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT This thesis would not have been possible without the untiring encouragement and effort of my husband Nitin and parents who endured this long process with me, always offering their support and love. I cannot find words to express my gratitude towards Professor Richard Kos, my thesis advisor, whose patience, motivation, enthusiasm, and immense knowledge helped me in all the time of research and writing of this thesis. I could not have imagined having a better advisor and mentor for my thesis project. Special thanks to Professor Dayana Salazar and Benjamin Grant for their insightful comments and feedback that were instrumental in development of ideas for the project. My sincere thanks also goes to Ms. Laurel Prevetti, Mr. R. John Anderson and Mr. Ian Ross for sharing their insights and experiences that guided the development of the project. Last but not the least, I would like to thank my son Ronav for cooperating every time I had to spend time working on the project.
  • INTRODUCTION 1 1.1. Shopping Malls in American Suburbs 1.2. Definitions and Terminology 1.3. Why Retrofit Eastridge Shopping Mall? 1.4. Who is the Intended Audience? 1.5. Vision for the Study Area Integrating San Jose’s Eastridge Shopping Mall with the Adjacent Urban Village Site 1.6. Methods Overview 1.7. Report Organization T his paper endeavors to examine the urban design strategies that could be applied for redesigning San Jose’s Eastridge Shopping Mall site with objectives of reducing automobile dependency, creating a distinct sense of place, and improving connectivity with surrounding areas, particularly with the adjacent urban village as listed in “Envision 2040,” the City of San Jose’s recently adopted general plan. The topic has widespread implications both for the neighboring communities and the city, and is particularly relevant to the social and economic changes currently faced by suburbs across the nation.
  • 10 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST 1.1. Shopping Malls in American Suburbs Shopping malls have been a ubiquitous feature of the American suburban landscape for the past six decades. The advent of this retail format in the 1950s completely redrew the facade of American retail, withdrawing people from traditional main streets and becoming a prototype for the retail market.1 According to a 1989 study, shopping malls accounted for a majority of non automotive sales in the United States.2 A by-product of suburbs, shopping malls offered convenience to automobile-dependent suburban residents; they were often located in the vicinity of highways and major arterials, and accommodated cars by providing ample, convenient parking areas.3 However, six decades after their birth, shopping malls across the nation are encountering hard times and struggling to remain afloat. American suburbs are currently dotted by aging, mid-century shopping malls surrounded by large expanses of under utilized surface parking lots. Statistical data further confirms the dwindling popularity of conventional suburban shopping malls. A study conducted by the Congress of New Urbanism (CNU) in 2001 classified 7 percent of America’s total shopping malls as “dead” and another 11 percent as “threatened.”4 The global recession in 2008 further exacerbated the situation as a large number of prominent anchor retail chains (e.g., Circuit City, Borders, and Blockbuster) filed for bankruptcy, and several others closed a number of their outlets.5 Between 2007 and 2009, 400 of the 2,000 largest shopping malls across the nation closed.6 According to an International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) study, only one third of the existing 1,100 enclosed regional shopping malls in the United States are currently viable.7 The unprecedented low vacancy rate of 9 percent in the first quarter of 2012 further provides evidence of the ongoing decline of the American shopping malls.8 1. Lisa Scharoun, “Utopia lost? The Significance of the Shopping Mall in American Culture and the Effects of its Decline on the American Public,” Australasian Journal of Popular Culture 1, no. 2 [2012]: 227-45. 2. Ibid. 3. Alexa Bach, Michael D. Beyard, Mary Beth Corrigan, Anita Kramer, and Michael Pawlukiewicz, Ten Principles for Rethinking the Mall [Washington, DC: ULI-Urban Land Institute, 2006]. 4. Congress for New Urbanism, and Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Greyfield Regional Mall Study [January 2001]. 5. Stephanie Clifford, “How About Gardening or Golfing at Mall,” The New York Times [February 5, 2012]. 6. The Week, “The Vanishing Shopping Mall,” The Week [March 26, 2009]. 7. Lisa Scharoun, “Utopia Lost? The Significance of the Shopping Mall in American Culture and the Effects of its Decline on the American Public,” Australasian Journal of Popular Culture 1, no. 2 [2012]: 227-45. 8. Bill Rose, “Record-Low Interest Rates are Certain to Beat Hot Topic at ICSC Recon 2012,” Rebusiness Online (May 21, 2012), http://www.rebusinessonline.com/main.cfm?id=23791 [accessed July 2, 2012]. Nevertheless, the decline in shopping malls provides fertile opportunities for their revitalization into what today’s communities need. Given the potential of such sites to serve as a community asset considering their locational and functional advantages, such as the existing infrastructure, large size parcel, and easy accessibility, the rethinking of existing shopping malls may be of interest to urban designers and planners. In this paper, the author proposes a comprehensive urban design plan for San Jose’s Eastridge Shopping Mall, which is envisaged to serve as a basis for developing such projects in the future. 1.2. Definitions and Terminology Common terms that are used throughout this paper include shopping malls, super-regional malls, lifestyle centers, walkability, suburb or suburban, and suburban retrofit. Although there are many variations of shopping malls, the term in this paper generally refers to enclosed, inwardly oriented stores connected with common walkways and surrounded by surface parking lots.9 More specifically, super-regional malls, the category to which the Eastridge Shopping Mall belongs, are defined by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) as shopping malls with a minimum built area of 800,000 square feet on a 60 to 120 acre site.10 On the other hand, lifestyle centers, first introduced in 1997, refer to a retail format that combines elements of traditional main street and shopping malls.11 These are typically open-air shopping centers that incorporate physical features commonly associated with traditional main streets, such as pedestrian friendly sidewalks, landscaping, and articulated building facades. Such centers often function similar to shopping malls by offering people a controlled and safe environment to shop with a primary emphasis on economic consumption.12 Walkability, a term which is often arbitrarily used in literature, is the extent to which the built environment is friendly to the presence of people walking, living, shopping, visiting, enjoying, or spending time in an area.13 Although the maturation of suburbs has increasingly blurred the line between cities and their surrounding suburbs, this paper largely uses the terms suburbs or suburban in terms of their conventional physical form that is characterized by single use, stand-alone, low density, automobile dependent, and disconnected built environments.14 In response to the under performing car-oriented suburban developments that no longer meet the changing community needs, suburban retrofitting, the term coined by Ellen Dunham Jones, refers to the process of revamping outdated suburban developments by making systematic, long-lasting, and transformative changes.15 9. International Council of Shopping Centers, “ICSC Shopping Centers Definitions,” International Council of Shopping Centers, http://www.icsc.org /srch/lib/SCDefinitions99.pdf [accessed November 25, 2012]. 10. Ibid. 11. Ibid. 12. Barrett S. Lane, “Destination Shopping: Defining “Destination” Retail in the New American Suburbs” [University of Pennsylvania, 2010]; Nancy E. Cohen, America’s Marketplace: The History of Shopping Centers [Connecticut: Greenwich Publishing Group, 2002]; and Micheal Southworth,“Reinventing Main Streets: From Mall to Townscape Mall,” Journal of Urban Design 10, no.2 [June 2005]. 13. City of Sault Ste. Marie, “Walkability Sault Ste. Marie September 2008 ,”prepared by Dan Burden, http://www.sault-sainte-marie.mi.us/docs/walkabilityaudit.pdf [accessed December 5, 2012]. 14. Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson, Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburb [New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2011]. 15. Ibid.
  • 11 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST 1.3. Why Retrofit Eastridge Shopping Mall? Built on a sprawling 105-acre16 site with a gross leasable space of 1.4 million square feet and 7,500 on-site parking spaces,17 San Jose’s Eastridge Shopping Mall is a poster child for Victor Gruen’s manifesto — an enclosed shopping mall — that profoundly changed the face of America, the country that first pioneered this retail format.18 Opened in 197119 during the cusp of the shopping mall’s popularity across the country, the super-regional shopping mall was once the largest on the west coast of America. In order to reposition itself as an entertainment venue for the burgeoning population in the region and remain competitive, the mall underwent a major renovation in 2005 that included incorporating a new cinema, restaurants, and a food court.20 Nonetheless, the Eastridge Shopping Mall area represents a microcosm of challenges that are commonly associated with the automobile-dependent and land-devouring suburbs that mushroomed throughout the nation post-World War II. The large site — remarkably disproportionate in scale compared to the surrounding urban fabric — makes the development impermeable to its surrounding street network, hindering the mobility of both cars and pedestrians through the site. The behemoth parking area surrounding the inwardly-focused main building further impedes its connectivity with the surrounding neighborhood, making it virtually inaccessible for anybody travelling without a car. The surrounding highly trafficked arterial roads further create a hostile environment for both pedestrians and bicyclists. Over the past decade, the area surrounding the Eastridge Shopping Mall has been the subject of various planning studies. A 2003 study conducted by the University of Miami identified a lack of gathering place and poor inter-connectivity among the key problems faced by the neighborhood.21 The Evergreen-East Hills Vision Strategy, developed by the city in 2003 and updated in 2007, further stressed the lack of connectivity and an automobile-oriented, built environment as some of the leading problems that confront the neighborhood.22 Likewise, 16. Big Mall Rat, ”Guide to Eastridge Shopping Mall,” Big Mall Rat, http://www.bigmallrat.com/san-josemalls/eastridge-mall.html [accessed November 20, 2012]. 17. Ibid. 18. Nancy E. Cohen, America’s Marketplace: The History of Shopping Centers [Connecticut: Greenwich Publishing Group, 2002]. 19. Big Mall Rat, ”Guide to Eastridge Shopping Mall,” Big Mall Rat, http://www.bigmallrat.com/san-josemalls/eastridge-mall.html [accessed November 20, 2012]. 20. Ibid. 21. University of Miami, Evergreen-Eastridge Plan, November 2003. 22. Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, Eastridge Transit Center Improvement and Access Plan, February 2010, prepared by Community Design + Architecture, Inc. and Circle Point, http://www.vta.org/ studies /eastridge_transit_center_improvement_study /eastridge_final_report_2_26_10.pdf [accessed December 1, 2012]. Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority’s Eastridge Transit Center Improvement and Access 2010 Study identified the limited accessibility between the mall and surrounding areas among the leading weaknesses of the area.23 However, the constraints offer unparalleled opportunities for tapping the potential of the mall and repositioning it as an asset for the surrounding communities. The shopping mall has the advantage of existing infrastructure, a large size site, a prime location with access to major arterial roads, and public transportation in the midst of a largely residential and commercial area. Unlike conventional redevelopment projects that are often constrained by the political and financial complexities associated with assembling small parcels with multiple owners, the single ownership and large parcel size of the mall offers tremendous redevelopment potential. Moreover, the proximity to the Eastridge Transit Center — the second busiest transfer point in the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) system served by eleven bus routes24 — located right off East Capitol Expressway toward the eastern side of the mall, and a proposed light rail station, offer fertile opportunities to maximize pedestrian activity in the area by capitalizing upon the public transit infrastructure. Although a constraint, the vast sea of parking surrounding the mall’s main building also offers a clean slate for re-inventing and re-integrating the site with the existing urban fabric. the objective of concentrating new developments in areas with the potential of being developed into walkable, transit-oriented, interconnected neighborhoods.27 The presence of an urban village designated site toward the southeastern edge of the mall provides an extraordinary opportunity for furthering the city and community’s vision by seamlessly integrating the two developments, unlocking their untapped potential, fostering a pedestrian friendly environment, and offering the neighborhood a place to congregate. Given that civic leadership is crucial for execution of such a large scale redevelopment and given that the City of San Jose is committed to addressing the challenges presented by suburban developments, the city seemingly offers a favorable environment for retrofitting suburban developments. In summary, the Eastridge Shopping Mall, together with the proposed urban village site, offers a plethora of opportunities that can enable the realization of the long-term perspective of the city, as well as respond to the needs of local communities. The reinvigoration of the mall also provides the possibility of repositioning the mall from an isolated development to an integral part of the community. Besides the locational advantages, the time is probably suitable for retrofitting under-utilized suburban developments in San Jose. The City of San Jose, in its newly adopted general plan — Envision 2040 — has acknowledged effects of mid-century aging suburban development among the biggest challenges faced by the city.25 In response, the general plan seeks an interconnected city26 — an area where activities of daily life are in proximity and easily accessible by walking, bicycling, and public transportation — among one of its overarching community values. In order to materialize the vision, the city has identified 70 growth areas, termed as “urban villages,” with 23. Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, Eastridge Transit Center Improvement and Access Plan, February 2010, prepared by Community Design + Architecture, Inc. and Circle Point, http://www.vta.org/ studies /eastridge_transit_center_improvement_study /eastridge_final_report_2_26_10.pdf [accessed December 1, 2012]. 24. Ibid. 25. City of San Jose, Envision San Jose 2040 [San Jose, 2011]. 26. Ibid. 27. City of San Jose, Envision San Jose 2040 [San Jose, 2011].
  • 12 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST 1.4. Who is the Intended Audience? This report is targeted to planners, urban designers, and developers who are interested in restructuring conventional suburban shopping malls with the intention of addressing the changing preferences and needs of neighboring communities. The report further endeavors to serve as a guide for similar future projects by recommending urban design strategies for reinvigorating Eastridge Shopping Mall and providing an understanding of the lessons learned from case studies of two successful mall redevelopment projects in the San Francisco Bay Area. 1.5. Vision for the Study Area As mentioned previously, the study seeks to identify the urban design interventions that can effectively deal with the complexities and deficiencies of San Jose’s Eastridge Shopping Mall. More specifically, the study attempts to answer the following research question: What urban design strategies could be applied for the purpose of redesigning San Jose’s Eastridge Shopping Mall in order to reduce automobile dependency, create a distinct sense of place, and improve connectivity with the surrounding areas, particularly the adjacent urban village as listed in the 2040 General Plan for the City of San Jose? With the objective of addressing the research question, the author identified four guiding principles that will serve as a reference upon which to base the proposed urban design solutions for the study area. In addition to the author’s own perceptions and intuitions in response to the limitations of the study area stated in the research question — automobile dependency, lack of a distinct sense of place, and poor connectivity with the surrounding areas — the design principles were informed by the current best practices and guidance related to urban design. The evaluation of the existing urban design for the study area and case study sites is evaluated against the following principles: A. CHARACTER Character refers to unique elements of a place that define its identity.28 Designing in context by providing enough visual linkages between existing and proposed buildings can strengthen the characteristics of a place and contribute to a cohesive overall effect.29 The vision is to respond to and enhance the existing setting of the Eastridge Shopping Mall area, while still having a distinctive identity of its own. It should further be ensured that the new development complements the surrounding land uses, natural features, and built form. 28. Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, By Design: Urban design in the planning system: towards better practice [Great Britain: Crown, 2000]. 29. Richard Hedman, Fundamentals of Urban Design [Washington, DC: Planners Press, 1984]. B. CONNECTIVITY Connectivity is commonly understood to be a central tenet of good urban design, something that is inherently missing in conventional suburban neighborhoods that are often characterized by cul-de-sac street patterns, low-intensity developments, and large expanses of parking lots. The term refers to the directness of links and the density of connections in a transport network.30 Although connectivity also refers to the ease of movement by cars, the term in this paper particularly refers to pedestrian connectivity. The vision is to seamlessly integrate the proposed development with the existing urban fabric, while accommodating all modes of transportation, particularly non-automobile users. The development should further encourage alternative modes of transportation by offering a safe, comfortable, and convenient pedestrian environment at the street level. C. LEGIBILITY In his classic 1960 book The Image of the City, Kevin Lynch recognized legibility, or as he termed it, “imageability,” among the central tenets of good urban design practices.31 Legibility refers to the clear and understandable image of an urban place that enables users to orient themselves and find their way around.32 Creating recognizable routes, intersections, and destinations further contributes to a positive, safe, and pleasant pedestrian environment. Since Lynch’s original work, legibility has been frequently adopted by urban designers and city planners as a guiding principle for the development of places that have distinctive images and are easy to interpret. The vision is to establish the Eastridge Shopping Mall area as a place that has a distinctive identity and is easy to understand, use, and move through. 30. Healthy Spaces and Places, “Connectivity and Permeability,” Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, http://www.healthyplaces.org.au/userfiles/file /Connectivity%20June09.pdf [accessed December 10, 2012]. 31. Kevin Lynch, The Image of the City [Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1960]. 32. Richard Hedman, Fundamentals of Urban Design [Washington, DC: Planners Press, 1984].
  • 13 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST 1.6. Methods Overview D. DIVERSITY A place with variety and choices can encourage active usage of the area, and consequently enrich the pedestrian environment. The vision is to establish the Eastridge Shopping Mall area as a place for the entire community by supporting a diverse range of social and economic activities. In order to answer the research question, the researcher employed the following general methodology: A. Background research (Literature Review and Interview) B. Analysis of existing site characteristics C. Conducting comparative case studies A. BACKGROUND RESEARCH The researcher reviewed the relevant literature and conducted in-depth interviews with urban designers and a city planner with the objective of gaining insight into the topic of retrofitting existing shopping malls. Literature Review The author searched for suitable participants by conducting an internet search of the San Jose State University’s faculty members, the Congress of New Urbanism’s Sprawl Retrofit email list, and Eastridge Shopping Mall’s official website. The background of the short-listed candidates was further explored before the most suitable participants were identified. Based on the search, a total of five urban designers, four city planners, and four management staff members from the mall were shortlisted for interview. The shortlisted candidates were then contacted by email requesting their participation in the research process and informing them about the purpose and duration of the interview. In the end, two urban designers and one city planner agreed to the interview. Despite repeated attempts, none of the contacted management staff responded to the interview requests. A review of secondary data sources including existing peer-reviewed and other journal articles, books, blogs, reports, policy proposals, magazines, and newspaper articles helped answer the research question by guiding the development of suitable design solutions for the study area through identification of the urban design strategies that have worked in the past. Next, each source of literature was categorized according to recurring central themes, findings, and arguments. The themes and debates involve discussions of findings pertaining to urban design strategies that have been employed to successfully revamp similar suburban developments, challenges to implementing suburban retrofitting techniques, and assessments of the role of shopping malls as “third places” for the communities in which they are based. Between January and March 2013, the author conducted telephone interviews of the selected candidates. The interviewees were first briefed about the duration and purpose of the interview, as well as confidentiality information. Next, the author asked semi-structured, non-directive questions that were specifically related to their experiences and backgrounds. During each interview, the author made detailed notes with the full prior knowledge and consent of the interviewee. The questions broadly explored the viability of retrofitting suburban shopping malls, challenges associated with the redevelopment of existing shopping malls, and the candidates’ experience with similar projects in the past. (Chapter 2 describes central themes and debates in the area of study). After the interview, the author re-read and transcribed the notes in a Microsoft Word document. In order to analyze the interviews, the author created a data matrix comparing the responses of all six interviewees. This enabled identification of the patterns and emergent themes. Finally, the findings of the interviews were compared and contrasted with those of the literature review. Interviews Interviews of urban designers and a planner working with the City of San Jose were conducted to obtain first-hand information about the potential constraints and opportunities associated with retrofitting shopping malls. Through the interviews, the author endeavored to seek the opinions and insights of professionals with different backgrounds, values, and experiences. (Appendix A lists the questions asked during the interviews) Together, the interviews and literature review provided a solid background to the broad topic of retrofitting shopping malls while setting the stage for the specific research topic of identifying urban design interventions for San Jose’s Eastridge Shopping Mall. (Chapter 2 describes the findings of the interviews)
  • 14 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST 1.7. Report Organization B. ANALYSIS OF EXISTING SITE CHARACTERISTICS Next, the researcher conducted urban design analysis and behavioral observation of the pedestrians in the Eastridge Shopping Mall site and the surrounding streets. The urban design principles, previously identified in the “Vision for the Study Area” section of this paper, were used as a basis for evaluating the existing urban design of the area. The data was primarily collected through three site visits between December 2012 and February 2013. Urban Design Analysis The purpose of the urban design analysis was to understand the existing urban form and character of the area and to identify the opportunities and constraints presented by the study area in terms of the physical environment. Prior to conducting site visits, the author assigned a unique number to each block in the study area in order to recode the observations on a per block basis. Field observation tables were also developed for guiding and recording the data collection during the site visits. The tables identified the evaluated urban design principle, relevant variables, questions guiding the assessment of the variables, and methods of measurement. In addition, the author used handwritten notes, base maps, annotated diagrams, and photographs for recording the observations made during the site visits. Consistent with the best practices of urban design, the researcher evaluated the legibility by assessing the quality of the approach routes, gateways, and street edges, where gateways are formal or informal designated features that signal a sense of arrival to a place. (Appendix B provides the data intake sheets used during the site visits for evaluating the physical environment of the study area. Chapter 3 provides the findings of the urban design analysis) Behavioral Observation Study Primarily focusing on identifying how people access the Eastridge Shopping Mall, the study had two main objectives: • Identify the levels of pedestrian activity, walkability, sense of safety, and quality of the study area’s physical environment. • Determine the areas of opportunity that can enhance connectivity with the surrounding area, and constraints that prevent attainment of the established vision for the project. Observations were recorded on a pre-coded checklist (see Appendix C) and were conducted on different days of the week (weekend vs. weekday) and at different times of the day. The author made note of how pedestrians and cyclists accessed the Eastridge Shopping Mall site and recorded pedestrian activities along the surrounding streets of the mall. During each site visit, the author observed the activities on each street for 15 minutes. No subjects were approached or engaged in conversation during this time. Photographs were taken at the study area in order to add to the visual quality of this report. However, in an effort to protect the privacy of the subjects, the identifying features of the subjects were blurred using Photoshop software. Once the photographs were modified, the original photographs, showing the identifying features of the subjects, were destroyed. (Chapter 3 provides the findings of the behavioral observation study) For the analysis, the author speculated about the opportunities and constraints presented by the study area’s physical environment. In order to accomplish this, the author studied the field observations, maps, and photographs taken during all three site visits to the study area. An annotated diagram was developed to graphically summarize the key findings of the analysis. (Chapter 3 describes the areas of opportunities and constraints) C. COMPARATIVE CASE STUDIES In an attempt to build upon this experience and gain real-life lessons about retrofitting traditional shopping malls, the author conducted two case studies of projects similar to the study topic. Case study selection criteria, evaluation criteria, and methodology are explained in greater detail in Chapter 4 of this paper. The remainder of the report is divided into five chapters, the details of which are provided below. Chapter 2 is based on both a literature review and the responses the planning professionals and urban designers provided during the interview stage of the research. The chapter briefly summarizes the common themes pertaining to retrofitting suburban shopping malls that were identified through the literature review and interviews. In addition, the chapter describes the historical background of shopping malls in the United States. Chapter 3 presents additional background information about the study area, including analysis of site characteristics, land uses and transportation facilities. The chapter also provides a critical look at the existing built environment of the study area, which is based on the findings of urban design analysis and the behavioral observation studies that were conducted in the area. Next, Chapter 4 describes case studies that examined Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek and The Crossings in Mountain View. In conclusion, the chapter compares and summarizes the key findings and lessons learned from the urban design analysis of the case study sites. Building upon the issues and opportunities identified from the analysis of the study area, Chapter 5 recommends urban design strategies and design schemes that can resuscitate San Jose’s Eastridge Shopping Mall. The strategies are based on lessons learned through the literature review, interviews and case studies. Finally, the concluding chapter, Chapter 6, summarizes the key findings and discusses the limitations of the studies, while also suggesting areas for future research in this topic.
  • SHOPPING MALLS 2 2.1. History of Shopping Malls in the United States 2.2. Role of Shopping Malls in American Life 2.3. Urban Design Strategies for Rethinking Suburban Shopping Malls An Opportunity for ReInvigorating Suburbs 2.4. Challenges to Retrofitting Shopping Malls 2.5. Conclusion O ver the last decade, the planning movement towards retrofitting suburban shopping malls has been widely documented. This chapter provides a review of the literature dealing with this topic and also presents the findings of the interviews with local urban designers and planners. The analysis is intended to identify and examine the strategies and issues related to reinvigorating suburban developments, particularly conventional shopping malls.
  • RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST 16 2.1. History of Shopping Malls in the United States The emergence of the shopping mall — an event that profoundly impacted how people spent their time and money — grew out of the very conditions that led to the proliferation of suburbs in United States in the first place. The wave of immigrants and unprecedented population growth in the post Second World War period exacerbated by rapid industrialization across American cities, worsened the living conditions in the cities, which were often perceived as “dirty, unhealthy, and crowded.”33 The mass production of automobiles and the availability of cheap, plentiful land beyond the cities and easy federal mortgage funding opened new possibilities for the middle class, enabling them to achieve their dream of affording a large, single-family home. The burgeoning popularity of suburbs — that later became the quintessential embodiment of American life — necessitated the development of shopping centers, which, unlike traditional main streets and “congested” downtowns, accommodated automobiles and provided a “safe, clean environment” to its users.34 The freestanding strip malls — with a number of adjacent stores and shared parking on one side of the site — fulfilled the basic needs of the suburban residents, albeit the large walking distance between stores and parking lots prevented these from becoming places where people wanted to linger once they finished shopping.35 Learning from the deficiencies of precedent retail formats, Victor Gruen, an Austria-born architect, conceptualized an inventive shopping model that would serve as a “downtown-away-from-town” for the newly established suburban communities.36 Motivated by the success of European pedestrian streets, he insisted that separating the pedestrian and vehicular traffic was pivotal for ensuring the safety and comfort of the users.37 A roof was later added, with the intention of enhancing the comfort of users by protecting them from severe weather conditions.38 Like main streets and downtowns, his model incorporated competing retail brands under the same roof, with the underlying objective of offering the users with a wider selection of goods and attracting different type of shoppers.39 Drawing inspiration 33. Nancy E. Cohen, America’s Marketplace: The History of Shopping Centers [Connecticut: Greenwich Publishing Group, 2002]. 34. Ibid. 35. Ibid. 36. Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson, Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburb [New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2011]. 37. Ibid. 38. Nancy E. Cohen, America’s Marketplace: The History of Shopping Centers [Connecticut: Greenwich Publishing Group, 2002]. 39. Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson, Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburb [New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2011]. from traditional marketplaces such as ancient Greek Agora, Italian Piazzas and modern-day town squares, Gruen proposed the addition of civic and community uses. The vision was to create a shopping place that would be more than a mere retail destination, by offering opportunities for social interaction and recreational activities, something that was largely missing from the suburbs.40 The opening of Southdale Shopping Mall in Edina, Minnesota realized Gruen’s ambitious concept and marked the birth of the enclosed shopping mall, which soon became an integral part of life for American.41 The unprecedented success of the project set the stage for hundreds of similar shopping malls around the globe. Between the 1970s and 1990s — the golden period for shopping malls — suburbs all across the nation saw a proliferation of shopping malls, which sprang from 643 to 1,170 in number.42 However, the shopping malls replaced and destroyed the very places — downtowns, main streets, and traditional public places — that originally formed the basis of their conception.43 One of the central ironies of shopping malls is that they sought to alleviate the isolation of the suburbs, but the problem was further aggravated as the mammoth, inwardly focused developments, with monolithic exterior facades and a surrounding sea of parking were completely disconnected and in disharmony with their neighboring environments. households — that often have different needs and preferences that favor a more cosmopolitan lifestyle.46 One urban designer appropriately summed up the scenario: “The shopping malls were conceived with a certain vision of the American Dream family setting, where men went out for work and women stayed at home taking care of the daily chores and children. The shattering of this dream was one of the leading causes for the decline of shopping malls.”47 Acknowledging the changing taste and preferences and cutting-edge market competition, the malls took several approaches to lure back the shoppers and maximize their hold of the market, ranging from making cosmetic architectural changes to adding entertainment uses to remodeling the exterior facade. In contrast, during the same period, there were indications of a renewal of interest in main street shopping that has catapulted the development of lifestyle centers and the redevelopment of downtown areas across the nation.48 In summary, the evolution of shopping malls over the past six decades, from their rise to decline, provides an insightful understanding about what worked and what did not work. The lessons learned from the history offer a useful guide for resuscitating declining shopping malls. The 1990s marked the beginning of the decline of suburban shopping malls.44 Once considered an iconic symbol of American retail, their decline was caused by the convergence of a multitude of factors, including an oversupply of retail and competition posed by retail formats such as big-box stores, category killers, and online commerce. In 2009, the United States had 23.1 square feet of shopping center space per person, the highest for any country.45 One more reason behind the decline in shopping malls and the redefinition of the retail landscape was the demographic shifts and changes in shopping preferences. The 2010 U.S. Census suggests that there has been an unmistakable shift from traditional to non-traditional households — senior citizens, singles, immigrants, and childless 40. Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson, Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburb [New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2011]. 41. Nancy E. Cohen, America’s Marketplace: The History of Shopping Centers [Connecticut: Greenwich Publishing Group, 2002]. 42. Ibid. 43. Ibid. 44. Ibid. 45. International Council of Shopping Centers, “Frequently Asked Questions: Statistics,” International Council of Shopping Centers, http://www.icsc.org/srch /faq_category.php?cat_type=research&cat_id=3 [accessed November 25, 2012]. 46. New American Factfinder, U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 and 2010, http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/ nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml [accessed May 25, 2012]. 47. Ian Ross, interview by author, Januray 5, 2013. 48. Lee Sobel S., Ellen Greenberg, and Steven Bodzin, Greyfields into Goldfields: Dead Malls become Living Neighborhoods [Pittsburgh: Congress for New Urbanism, 2002]; Barrett S. Lane, “Destination Shopping: Defining “Destination” Retail in the New American Suburbs,” [University of Pennsylvania, 2010]; Nancy E. Cohen, America’s Marketplace: The History of Shopping Centers [Connecticut: Greenwich Publishing Group, 2002].
  • RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST 17 2.2. Role of Shopping Malls in American Life There is considerable evidence that shopping malls are among the few “community places” for suburban residents. Providing a respite from the isolation and loneliness stemming from living in suburbs, Zepp contends that shopping malls are a staple of life for suburban residents by serving as a gathering place and offering opportunities for social interaction among the community members.49 Pointing towards the protest of the local community members against the closure of Morningside Mall in the suburbs of Toronto, Parlette and Cowen further suggest that shopping malls have become deeply enmeshed in the community life of suburban residents, for whom malls were often much more than simply a place to shop.50 In retrospect, Cohen notes that shopping malls had often played an active role in community by serving as a center stage for a wide range of community causes and events. Among the notable examples is the career development program launched by North Dartmouth Mall in Massachusetts in response to surging unemployment rates in 1990s and a memorial service held in Colorado’s Villa Italia and Southwest Plaza for the victims of the infamous Columbine High School shooting in 1999.51 In order to anticipate the impact of declining shopping malls, Scharoun explored the social and cultural significance of these places to American life.52 The findings of Scharoun’s study suggest that by providing a safe, non-threatening, and comfortable environment, shopping malls at the height of their success in the 1980s were considered a suitable place for socialization by families, and especially teenagers and senior citizens.53 The term “mall rats,” coined in the 1980s and referring to teenagers who regularly pass their time at malls, further indicates the surging popularity of shopping malls during that era.54 The perception that teenagers were turning into mall rats has been supported by statistical data. According to a 1990 poll, an average American teenager made four trips to the mall each month and spent more time at the mall than anywhere else except home and school.55 Similarly, senior citizens have been identified as frequent 49. Zepp Ira, The New Religious Image of Urban America: The Shopping Mall as Ceremonial Centre [Colorado: University of Colorado Press, 1997]. 50. Vanessa Parlette and Deborah Cowen, “Dead Malls: Suburban Activism, Local Spaces, Global Logistics,” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 35, no. 4 [July 2011]. 51. Nancy E. Cohen, America’s Marketplace: The History of Shopping Centers [Connecticut: Greenwich Publishing Group, 2002]. 52. Lisa Scharoun, “Utopia Lost? The Significance of the Shopping Mall in American Culture and the Effects of its Decline on the American Public,” Australasian Journal of Popular Culture 1, no. 2 [2012]: 227-45. 53. Ibid. 54. Ibid. 55. Ibid. mall patrons; the climate-controlled environment of malls provides them with a “safe and comfortable” place to walk all year round.56 shopping malls is specifically designed for encouraging consumption and not for addressing the needs of communities.62 Although the literature is in general agreement about the role of shopping malls in the lives of Americans but whether shopping malls are truly public places is debatable. The answer to this question is particularly valuable for the research project, both to understand whether or not retrofitted shopping malls can help address the community’s need for public space, and to identify the shortcomings that might prevent such spaces from functioning as true public spaces. Despite the criticism levied against privately owned public spaces, the studies are in general agreement that in the absence of traditional public spaces in suburbs, such places offer opportunities for social interaction and recreational activities. Describing the protest of the community against the closure of Morningside Mall in a suburb of Toronto, Palette and Cowen suggest that the way in which people perceive and use a space, referred to as “spatial practice,” goes beyond its designation as a public or private space.63 The assertion is supported by Edward’s study that states that shopping malls can serve as civic space.64 Although his study reached a different conclusion compared to other studies, this is largely caused by the interpretation of the terms “community” and “public.” A “public” place is defined as one that allows social interaction, expression, and deliberation and discussion among strangers, while “community” is based on some type of commonality among the members and imposes unstated norms on the behavior and conduct.65 A great deal of literature concentrates on the debate surrounding the private status of shopping malls. One study argues that the shopping mall fails to serve as a true public place since the authorities have a disproportionate amount of control over the type of activities and people allowed on their property.57 This leads to the exclusion of “undesirable” people and contentious activities, such as debate and discussion on political issues, which interfere with the primary motive of maximizing economic consumption.58 The claim is further established by Mattson who affirms that political deliberation is central to democracy and malls strive to provide a non-threatening and conflict-free environment within which customers can shop, such places seems to provide only a simulacrum of true public space.59 However, pointing towards the failure of traditional public places that are often infiltrated by the homeless and crime, Edward argues that people desire a sense of safety, control, and comfort that is offered by such privately owned public spaces.60 In sum, studies suggest that since the objective of shopping malls is economic consumption, they fail to create true public spaces. However, it cannot be overlooked that these places have the potential to provide “third spaces” for communities, something that is largely missing in the suburban landscape. Staeheli and Mitchell offer another critique of the shopping mall as a public space. They note that shopping malls are surrounded by a sea of asphalt and detached from the surrounding neighborhood. This aspect of the physical environment further excludes certain types of people.61 The lack of connectivity with public transit, for instance, deters people without cars. Similarly, Mattson suggests that the built environment of 56. Dorene Internicola, “These Malls are Made for Walking,” Reuters, posted January 25, 2010, http:// www.reuters.com/article/2010 /01/25/us-fitness-malls-walking-idUSTRE60O24F20100125 [accessed November 25, 2012]. 57. Lynn A. Staehel and Don Mitchell, “USA’s Destiny? Regulating Space and Creating Community in American Shopping Malls,” Urban Studies 43, no.5 [May 2006]: 977-92. 58. Ibid. 59. Kevin Mattson, “Reclaiming and Remaking Public Space: Towards Architecture for American Democracy,” National Civic Review 88, no.2 [Summer 1999]: 133-44. 60. Paul Edward, “Citizenship Inc.: Negotiating Civic Spaces in Post-urban America,” Critical Survey 18, no.3 [2006]: 19-36. 61. Lynn A. Staeheli and Don Mitchell, “USA’s Destiny? Regulating Space and Creating Community in American Shopping Malls.” Urban Studies 43, no.5 [May 2006]: 977-92. 62. Kevin Mattson, “Antidotes to Sprawl,” in Sprawl and Public Space: Redressing the Mall [Washington, DC: National Endowment for the Arts, 2002). 63. Vanessa Parlette and Deborah Cowen, “Dead Malls: Suburban Activism, Local Spaces, Global Logistics,” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 35, no. 4 [July 2011]. 64. Paul Edward, “Citizenship Inc.: Negotiating Civic Spaces in Post-urban America,” Critical Survey 18, no.3 [2006]: 19-36. 65. Ibid.
  • 18 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST 2.3. Urban Design Strategies for Rethinking Suburban Shopping Malls Reviewing the relevant literature and conducting interviews helped to identify some of the key urban design strategies that seem appropriate to the task of redeveloping a suburban shopping mall. These include redesigning parking, providing mixed land uses and integrating the suburban shopping mall with its surrounding neighborhood. This section summarizes the supporting and opposing arguments that the literature and interviewed urban designers made for the commonly adopted strategies involved with such projects. Two of the studies attempted to evaluate the effectiveness of urban design strategies on fostering the positive results anticipated by the researchers. A survey of planners conducted by Garde indicates that innovative projects — with design strategies typical of urban places — help to foster positive impacts for suburbs and enable planners to address some of the common challenges associated with suburbs, such as a lack of a sense of place and public life.66 However, a study by Rice produced mixed findings. Applying the urban design methods advocated for retrofitting suburbs, the study predicted the anticipated “sustainability” benefits generated for two suburban cities in the United Kingdom.67 Although the study suggested that the strategies are helpful in improving overall accessibility for the cities, they were found to be lower than that anticipated by the planning documents. However, the divergent results can be explained by the difference in research methodology and the limitations of the study. While the results of Garde’s study only reflected the perspective of planners who might be influenced by popular planning principles, Rice’s results were largely influenced by the defined measures of sustainability. A. IMPROVING CONNECTIVITY OF THE MALL WITH SURROUNDING AREAS The lack of connectivity with the surrounding neighborhood, a ULI report warns, will create a “stand-alone project” that in spite of offering a safe, pedestrian environment will continue to generate a large number of automobile trips.68 The moat of the parking area that typically surrounds suburban shopping malls disconnects them from the surrounding neighborhoods. However, the redevelopment 66. Ajay Garde, “City Sense and Suburban Design,” Journal of American Planning Association 74, no. 3 [Summer 2008]: 325-42. 67. Louis Rice, “Retrofitting Suburbia: Is the compact city feasible?,” Urban Design and Planning 163, no. 4 [December 2010]: 193-204. 68. Alexa Bach, Michael D. Beyard, Mary Beth Corrigan, Anita Kramer, and Michael Pawlukiewicz, Ten Principles for Rethinking the Mall [Washington, DC: ULI-Urban Land Institute, 2006]. of suburban shopping malls provides an excellent opportunity for re-integrating the site into the existing urban fabric. Similarly, an interviewed urban designer noted that the connectivity of a mall beyond its site is critical for the attainment of retrofitting goals, such as walkability and the reduction of automobile dependency.69 The research identifies three main challenges in connecting shopping malls with the surrounding neighborhood. First, suburban shopping malls are often centered on pedestrian-hostile arterial or collector streets with high-traffic volume and high speed.70 Second, the commonly embraced alternative for mall redevelopment projects — mixed-use, high-density development — is often inconsistent with the surrounding neighborhoods that are characterized by single-use, low-density developments.71 Last, shopping malls are typically located on a superblock, also referred by Scheer as “campus tissue” tracts of land that are developed with several buildings but not subdivided into distinct properties; as a result, superblocks are impermeable to the surrounding street network and limit the mobility of traffic and pedestrians through the site.72 A number of studies sought to develop strategies for addressing these challenges. Tachieva suggested that decreasing the capacity and enhancing the character of the throughways is helpful in improving pedestrian friendliness.73 The capacity of a street is the traffic volume, while surrounding buildings, setbacks, and streetscape influence the character of a street. Another study by Bach et al. suggested analyzing the synergies between proposed and existing land uses and providing a buffer between incompatible land uses.74 Similarly, the Atlanta Regional Commission’s report suggested a gradual increase in intensity of land uses, starting from the periphery of the proposed development that is adjacent to single-family homes, or other low-density land uses.75 Beyond the challenge presented by the 69. R. John Anderson, interview by author, Januray 5, 2013. 70. Congress for New Urbanism, and United States Environmental Protection Agency, Malls into Mainstreets [2005]; Galina Tachieva, Sprawl Repair Manual [Washington, DC: Island Press, 2010]; Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson, Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburb [New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2011]; and Ian Ross, interview by author, January 5, 2013. 71. Alexa Bach, Michael D. Beyard, Mary Beth Corrigan, Anita Kramer, and Michael Pawlukiewicz, Ten Principles for Rethinking the Mall [Washington, D.C.: ULI-Urban Land Institute, 2006]; Charles C. Bohl, Place Making: Developing Town Centers, Main Streets, and Urban Villages [Washington, DC: ULI-Urban Land Institute, 2002]; Galina Tachieva, Sprawl Repair Manual [Washington, DC: Island Press, 2010]; and Ian Ross, interview by author, January 5, 2013. 72. Brenda Case Scheer, “The Anatomy of Sprawl,” Places 14, no. 2 [2001]: 28-37. 73. Galina Tachieva, Sprawl Repair Manual [Washington, DC: Island Press, 2010]. 74. Alexa Bach, Michael D. Beyard, Mary Beth Corrigan, Anita Kramer, and Michael Pawlukiewicz, Ten Principles for Rethinking the Mall [Washington, DC: ULI-Urban Land Institute, 2006]. 75. Atlanta Regional Commission, Greyfield Redevelopment: Community Choices Quality Growth Toolkit, http://www.atlantaregional.com /File%20Library/ Local%20Gov%20Services /gs_cct_greyfieldtool_1109.pdf [accessed June 25, 2012]. superblock, Scheer’s spatiotemporal model suggests that the absence of “superstructure” — street network and land boundaries — makes such developments more receptive to changes compared to traditional city blocks.76 Anders suggests breaking the large superblocks into smaller block sizes that are similar in size to that of the surrounding neighborhood.77 Four other studies also recognize that block size has an influence on walkability, with a maximum recommended length of no more than 600 feet and a maximum perimeter of 1800 feet.78 Besides block size, three other studies suggest that the decision to walk is also influenced by distance, the upper limit being a walk of ten minutes, which is roughly equivalent to a quarter-to-half mile distance.79 Clearly, the research suggests that improving the connectivity of the shopping mall with the surrounding area should be a key consideration in mall redevelopment projects. Although there are a number of strategies identified for enhancing connectivity, there is a dearth of literature that evaluates their effectiveness. B. RE-CONFIGURING EXISTING PARKING This is one of the key strategies advocated for redeveloping suburban shopping malls in the reviewed literature. Research indicates that the vast sea of parking that typically surrounds shopping mall buildings presents both challenges and opportunities. Parking lots, three studies agree, disconnect shopping malls from surrounding communities and limit accessibility by pedestrians.80 Another study suggests that the over-scaled parking creates visual blight and a poor sense of place.81 However, at the same time, the reviewed literature 76. Brenda Case Scheer, “The Anatomy of Sprawl,” Places 14, no. 2 [2001]: 28-37. 77. Mark Anders, “Understanding and Balancing Mixed Use Scheme: The Key to Creating Successful Communities,” Journal of Retail and Leisure Property 3, no. 4 [January 2004]: 353-64. 78. Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson, Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburb [New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2011]; Charles C. Bohl, Place Making: Developing Town Centers, Main Streets, and Urban Villages [Washington,D.C.: ULI-Urban Land Institute, 2002]; Lee Sobel, Ellen Greenberg, and Steven Bodzin, Greyfields into Goldfields: Dead Malls become Living Neighborhoods [Pittsburgh: Congress for New Urbanism, 2002]; and Jonathan Barnett, Redesigning Cities: Principles, Practice, Implementation [Chicago: Planners Press, 2003]. 79. Jonathan Barnett, Redesigning Cities: Principles, Practice, Implementation [Chicago: Planners Press, 2003]; Micheal Southworth, “Designing the Walkable City,” Journal of Urban Planning and Development 131 [December 2005]: 246-57; and Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson, Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburb [New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2011]. 80. Alexa Bach, Michael D. Beyard, Mary Beth Corrigan, Anita Kramer, and Michael Pawlukiewicz, Ten Principles for Rethinking the Mall [Washington, DC: ULI-Urban Land Institute, 2006]; Galina Tachieva, Sprawl Repair Manual [Washington, DC: Island Press, 2010]; Atlanta Regional Commission, Greyfield Redevelopment: Community Choices Quality Growth Toolkit, http://www.atlantaregional.com /File%20Library/ Local%20 Gov%20Services /gs_cct_greyfieldtool_1109.pdf [accessed June 25, 2012]. 81. Atlanta Regional Commission, Greyfield Redevelopment: Community Choices Quality Growth Toolkit, http://www.atlantaregional.com /File%20Library/ Local%20Gov%20Services /gs_cct_greyfieldtool_1109. pdf [accessed June 25, 2012]; Congress for New Urbanism, and United States Environmental Protection Agency,Malls into Mainstreets [2005].
  • 19 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST was in agreement that the large parking lots surrounding the shopping mall offer an excellent opportunity for reinvigorating the site into a walkable, mixed-use, and high-density development. Parking needs are typically estimated based on peak demand or ratios that often cause an oversupply of parking. One of the interviewed urban designers talked about how onerous and inflexible municipal parking requirements often pose significant constraints on the development of walkable and high density projects.82 A study by Urban Land Institute (ULI) found that for a conventional suburban shopping mall, parking, and associated streets consume three times more land than that devoted for shopping.83 Despite the problems associated with the provision of parking areas, the study by Bach et al. suggests that the design, amount, and location of parking is important for retail success.84 The Congress of New Urbanism’s 2005 study elaborates the point further by arguing that residential uses, by themselves, are often not sufficient to sustain retail developments.85 Moreover, it is unrealistic to assume that creating a walkable, pedestrian-oriented development will completely prevent automobile dependency. In other words, the studies identify a need for re-configuring parking in a way that addresses the needs of all users, while creating an aesthetically pleasing, pedestrian-oriented environment. A majority of studies suggest that by allowing effective utilization of valuable land, the replacement of surface parking with structured parking is an economically viable strategy for reinvigorating shopping malls.86 However, pointing towards the exorbitant cost associated with structured parking, Bohl suggests breaking the large parking lots into smaller lots and spreading them throughout the site.87 Also recognizing the high cost of building structured parking, ULI’s report stated that structured parking is economically feasible only 82. R. John Anderson, interview by author, January 5, 2013. 83. Alexa Bach, Michael D. Beyard, Mary Beth Corrigan, Anita Kramer, and Michael Pawlukiewicz, Ten Principles for Rethinking the Mall [Washington, DC: ULI-Urban Land Institute, 2006]. 84. Alexa Bach, Michael D. Beyard, Mary Beth Corrigan, Anita Kramer, and Michael Pawlukiewicz, Ten Principles for Rethinking the Mall [Washington, DC: ULI-Urban Land Institute, 2006];and Congress for New Urbanism, and United States Environmental Protection Agency, Malls into Mainstreets [2005]. 85. Congress for New Urbanism, and United States Environmental Protection Agency, Malls into Mainstreets [2005]. 86. Atlanta Regional Commission, Greyfield Redevelopment: Community Choices Quality Growth Toolkit, http://www.atlantaregional.com /File%20Library/ Local%20Gov%20Services /gs_cct_greyfieldtool_1109.pdf [accessed June 25, 2012]; Congress for New Urbanism, and United States Environmental Protection Agency, Malls into Mainstreets [2005]; Galina Tachieva, Sprawl Repair Manual [Washington, DC: Island Press, 2010]; and Lee Sobel, Ellen Greenberg, and Steven Bodzin, Greyfields into Goldfields: Dead Malls become Living Neighborhoods [Pittsburgh: Congress for New Urbanism, 2002]. 87. Charles C. Bohl, Place Making: Developing Town Centers, Main Streets, and Urban Villages [Washington, DC: ULI-Urban Land Institute, 2002]. when the cost of the land reaches $50 to $60 per square foot.88 In addition, the study suggests developing design strategies that help to physically and visually integrate the parking structure with the rest of the development. One of the interviewed urban designers suggested that the parking requirement of a development can be judiciously met through a coherent urban design solution that coordinates parking with the surrounding neighborhood.89 In essence, the research indicates that re-configuring parking allows the creation of a pedestrian-oriented environment and intensifies the use of the suburban shopping mall site. This supports redevelopment of parking areas as an effective urban design strategy. C. MIXED-USE DEVELOPMENT AS A STRATEGY FOR REINVIGORATING SUBURBAN SHOPPING MALLS The literature and interviewed urban designers consistently mention mixed-use development as the key strategy for redeveloping suburban shopping malls. Given the economic and social benefits of providing a mixture of land uses for the surrounding communities, Bucher argues that mixed-use development is among “best practices” for the redevelopment of declining suburban shopping malls.90 Similarly, Tachieva notes that because it offers a range of housing choices and convenient access to daily needs and work, the mixed-use scheme finds its niche in the emerging demographic groups, for example baby boomers, empty nesters, and the millennial population with a preference for the urban lifestyle.91 This assertion found agreement with an interviewed urban designer, who emphasized that the reintroduction of entertainment uses, such as play areas for children, live music events, gourmet restaurants, grocery stores, farmers markets, and other public uses, should be pursued with the goal of “diversifying reasons for the people to visit these places.”92 Two studies further suggest that in addition to addressing the needs of the community, developers favor such developments as the synergies between different land uses help reduce the developers’ 88. Alexa Bach, Michael D. Beyard, Mary Beth Corrigan, Anita Kramer, and Michael Pawlukiewicz, Ten Principles for Rethinking the Mall [Washington, DC: ULI-Urban Land Institute, 2006]. 89. R. John Anderson, interview by author, January 5, 2013. 90. David C Bucher, “Case Study: Greyfields as an Emerging Smart Growth Opportunity with the Potential for Added Synergies through a Unique Mix of Uses,” Real Estate Issue 27, no.2 [2002]. 91. Galina Tachieva, Sprawl Repair Manual [Washington D.C.: Island Press, 2010]. 92. Ian Ross, interview by author, January 5, 2013. susceptibility to market risks and fluctuations.93 The convenience offered by providing retail close to housing, for instance, raises its demand, which in turn, creates a market for retail. However, the assertion was contradicted by the Congress of New Urbanism’s 2005 report, which cautioned that residential uses by themselves are not adequate to sustain and support the retail markets in such developments.94 The disagreement over the potential economic benefits of mixed-use developments indicates that there is a need to further evaluate mixed-use developments in order to determine whether the anticipated benefits are realized. In addition to the anticipated benefits generated by mixed-use developments, the influence of these developments on travel choice is commonly studied across a majority of the literature. Two studies had contradictory results regarding the relationship between walking and mixed land use. Yusak et al. found no statistically significant relationship between the amount of walking and the mix of land uses for the survey respondents in thirteen neighborhoods in the United Kingdom.95 The results suggest that walking is, in fact, influenced by demographic characteristics such as, age, household size and number of children. The study further indicates that the presence of trafficcalming features and the quality of the physical environment also affect an individual’s decision to walk.96 Similarly, in a study that focused on evaluating three mixed-use developments in the suburbs of greater Toronto area, Filion found that a majority of trips within these developments were made using automobiles.97 Across the three developments, a variation in the level of walking was also identified on the availability of parking, building coverage, block size, and building street frontage.98 The findings of these studies imply that the provision of mixed-use development alone does not ensure a reduction in automobile dependency, and suggest that improving the built environment is crucial for increasing walkability and the pedestrian friendliness of a given area. However, it should be noted 93. David C Bucher, “Case Study: Greyfields as an Emerging Smart Growth Opportunity with the Potential for Added Synergies through a Unique Mix of Uses,” Real Estate Issue 27, no.2 [2002]; Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson, Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs [New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2011]. 94. Congress for New Urbanism, and United States Environmental Protection Agency, Malls into Mainstreets [2005]. 95. Yusak O. Suslio, Katie Williams, Morag Lindsay, and Carol Dair, “ The Influence of Individual’s Environmental Attitudes and Urban Design Features on Their Travel Patterns in Sustainable Neighborhood in UK,” Transportation Research 17 [2012]: 190-200. 96. Ibid. 97. Pierre Filion, “Suburban Mixed-Use Centers and Urban Dispersion: What Difference Do They Make?” Environment and Planning A. 33, no. 1 [2001]: 141-60. 98. Ibid.
  • 20 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST 2.4. Challenges to Retrofitting Shopping Malls that culture may also have an influence on an individual’s travel choices; for instance, Europeans, in general, are believed to walk and cycle more than Americans, who are understood to rely more heavily on automobiles. Although a number of studies indicate that mixed-use development is central to current planning paradigms, a few studies also discuss the challenges associated with its execution. Grant and Perott argue that the layout cannot work at all locations since sustaining such projects requires a reasonably large population.99 The authors further indicate that developers’ limited experience with mixed-use developments in North America and the prolonged approval process due to the large amount of public interest that is typical of such projects, makes this design layout more expensive than conventional malls. Anders further argues that it is crucial to understand the location, demographics, and needs of the surrounding communities and warns against an oversimplified view of mixed-use development.100 The findings indicate that although mixed-use developments have the potential to generate the desired benefits, the same design scheme cannot be repeated everywhere. Another common pitfall of mixed-use projects involves mixing land uses together without considering the dynamic relationships among them. Filion examined the benefits of three mixed-use developments and found that the respondents conducted less than 10 percent of their non-food shopping within the development.101 The findings indicate that a multitude of factors, such as the quality of the retail, shopping choices, and individual preferences affect shopping decisions. This conclusion is supported by the findings of Yusak et al. who found that 60 percent of the respondents travelled more than one kilometer outside the studied mixed-use developments for their daily shopping needs. These findings suggest that a careful consideration is needed to provide the amount and type of retail uses the residents desire in mixed-use development. 99. Jill Grant and Katherine Perrott, “Where is the Café: The Challenge of Making Retail Uses Viable in Mixed-use Suburban Development?” Urban Studies 48, no.1 [January 2011]: 177-95. 100. Mark Anders, “Understanding and Balancing Mixed Use Scheme: The Key to Creating Successful Communities,” Journal of Retail and Leisure Property 3, no. 4 [January 2004]: 353-364. 101. Pierre Filion, “Suburban Mixed-Use Centers and Urban Dispersion: What Difference Do They Make?” Environment and Planning A. 33, no. 1[2001]: 141-60. To summarize, the research indicates that mixed-use development is a potentially useful strategy for redeveloping suburban shopping malls. However, to avoid the perils of mixed-use developments and ensure the success of such projects, a careful assessment of the neighborhood environment and the synergies between the component land uses must occur. Redeveloping an existing mammoth-scale shopping mall is by no means simple and straightforward. The process is complex and daunting and involves a wide range of stakeholders, including mall developers, community members, and city planning professionals. A multitude of factors poses more hurdles to retrofitting existing shopping malls, including challenges related with the design, site, financing, and implementation of such projects. The following section provides a brief description of the common challenges identified by the literature and the interviewed urban designers and planner. A. HURDLES IMPOSED BY THE EXISTING SITE CONDITIONS Considering the exorbitant cost and time associated with redevelopment projects, the existing site capacity is critical for determining whether redeveloping a shopping mall is feasible and is likely to generate desired outcomes. Although the assessment of feasibility depends on the individual development objectives, three features were identified in the successful redevelopment of such sites. Location of the potential retrofit sites First, because the success of retail and other commercial uses — often a cornerstone land uses for redeveloped shopping mall — requires shoppers and visitors, centrally located sites with easy accessibility to arterial roads and transit are generally considered suitable for redevelopment.102 The case of Downtown Park Forest in Illinois, a redeveloped version of the “poorly-located” declining Park Plaza Shopping Mall with no access to any main throughways, supports this assertion; even an award-winning design scheme failed to attract tenants to the area.103 A location adjacent to arterial roads and existing transit facilities holds a significant advantage, a Congress of New Urbanism 2005 report suggests, because it can accommodate additional pedestrians and vehicular traffic likely to be generated by such redeveloped projects.104 The proximity to arterial roads, the report also recognizes, poses a design challenge by creating a hostile environment for both 102. Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson, Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburb [New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2011]; Congress for New Urbanism, and United States Environmental Protection Agency, Malls into Mainstreets [2005]. 103. Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson, Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburb [New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2011]. 104. Congress for New Urbanism, and United States Environmental Protection Agency, Malls into Mainstreets [2005].
  • RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST pedestrians and bikes.105 Sites with freeway access, two studies elaborate, are disadvantageous because they lure big-box retailers which, given their commercial nature, are often strategically located on sites with high visibility.106 Although land and parking-intensive big box retailers provide an economical, low-risk alternative for declining shopping malls, the use of mall sites by such retailers might result in missed opportunities for creating a distinct sense of place, fostering a pedestrian oriented environment, and knitting the site into the fabric of the neighborhood. Likewise, one of the interviewed urban designers noted that adjoining arterials limit the scope and benefits of mall retrofits by acting as a hurdle in fostering connectivity with the existing urban fabric.107 Specific to the Eastridge Shopping Mall, the interviewed city planner asserted that one of the biggest challenges to the development is that the site is located at the end of a general aviation airport runway; as a consequence, Airport Land Use Commission (ALUC) regulations apply to the site.108 This necessitates the need for a study examining the airport’s safety zone to ensure safety and comfort of the area’s future users. Size of the potential retrofit sites Second, provision of a wide array of mixed uses, a common strategy employed for redeveloping shopping mall sites, requires a substantially-sized site.109 Common reasoning offered by the literature is that the resultant project should be financially profitable and justify the cost associated with redeveloping the site.110 However, this claim is challenged by the Congress of New Urbanism’s report. Pointing to the prosperous 12-acre City Place in Long Beach, California and the 28-acre Mizner Park in Boca Raton, Florida, it argues that suitable location and thoughtful design, not size, is pivotal for the success of 105. Congress for New Urbanism, and United States Environmental Protection Agency, Malls into Mainstreets [2005]. 106. Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson, Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburb [New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2011]; Congress for New Urbanism, and United States Environmental Protection Agency, Malls into Mainstreets [2005]. 107. Ian Ross, interview by author, January 5, 2013. 108. Laurel Prevetti, interview by author, February 5, 2013. 109. Charles C. Bohl, Place Making: Developing Town Centers, Main Streets, and Urban Villages [Washington,DC: ULI-Urban Land Institute, 2002]; Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson, Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburb [New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2011]; and Richard B. Pieser, Will Fleissig, and Martin Zogran, “From Shopping Centers to Village Centers,” in Sprawl and Public Space: Redressing the Mall [Washington, D.C.: National Endowment for the Arts, 2002], 81-84. 110. Charles C. Bohl, Place Making: Developing Town Centers, Main Streets, and Urban Villages [Washington, DC: ULI-Urban Land Institute, 2002]; Richard B. Pieser, Will Fleissig, and Martin Zogran, “From Shopping Centers to Village Centers,” in Sprawl and Public Space: Redressing the Mall [Washington, DC: National Endowment for the Arts, 2002], 81-84. mixed use developments.111 The large size of shopping malls, however, poses another design challenge. Located on superblocks, which are disproportionately larger than the surrounding city blocks, shopping malls, a majority of the studies agree, disrupt the surrounding street pattern.112 Consequently, the integration of the site with the existing urban fabric might require complete or partial demolition of buildings, a contingency that might not be an economically viable alternative for operating a shopping mall. Demographics of the potential retrofit sites’s surrounding neighborhood Last, the literature suggests that the demographics of the surrounding communities are a key factor for identifying the appropriate redevelopment approach for a shopping mall site.113 Based on the assessment of six successful shopping mall redevelopment projects across the nation, the Congress of New Urbanism’s report suggests that areas with a substantial population growth and a high proportion of adults provides a suitable setting for transforming shopping malls into mixed-use developments.114 Tachieva suggested downsizing remotely located shopping malls in communities with a declining population in the surrounding communities into agricultural villages.115 The underlying rationale behind analyzing the demographics for the surrounding population is to understand what the community needs and whether there is substantial demand and support for the proposed development.116 111. Congress for New Urbanism, and United States Environmental Protection Agency, Malls into Mainstreets [2005]. 112. Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson, Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburb [New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2011]; Congress for New Urbanism, and United States Environmental Protection Agency, Malls into Mainstreets [2005]; Alexa Bach, Michael D. Beyard, Mary Beth Corrigan, Anita Kramer, and Michael Pawlukiewicz, Ten Principles for Rethinking the Mall [Washington, DC: ULI-Urban Land Institute, 2006]; and Lee S. Sobel, Ellen Greenberg, and Steven Bodzin, Greyfields into Goldfields: Dead Malls become Living Neighborhoods [Pittsburgh: Congress for New Urbanism, 2002]. 113. Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson, Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburb [New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2011]; Congress for New Urbanism, and United States Environmental Protection Agency, Malls into Mainstreets [2005]; Alexa Bach, Michael D. Beyard, Mary Beth Corrigan, Anita Kramer, and Michael Pawlukiewicz, Ten Principles for Rethinking the Mall [Washington, DC: ULI-Urban Land Institute, 2006]; and Lee S. Sobel, Ellen Greenberg, and Steven Bodzin, Greyfields into Goldfields: Dead Malls become Living Neighborhoods [Pittsburgh: Congress for New Urbanism, 2002]. 114. Congress for New Urbanism, and United States Environmental Protection Agency, Malls into Mainstreets [2005]. 115. Galina Tachieva, Sprawl Repair Manual [Washington, D.C.: Island Press, 2010]. 116. Ibid. 21 B. HURDLES TO IMPLEMENTING REDEVELOPMENT PLANS FOR SHOPPING MALLS Although this paper largely focuses on investigating appropriate urban design strategies for redeveloping suburban shopping malls, an understanding of the common implementation barriers to successful execution of such projects provides a more complete picture necessary for such projects. The first step toward implementation of the project is to identify the suitable sites. Although shopping mall sites are often under a single-ownership, four studies indicate that any leases or deeds signed by mall tenants and requiring the owner’s approval, often function as common impediments that can delay the proposed redevelopment.117 The redevelopment plans for Plaza Pasadena in California, for example, were delayed because of contention between the mall owner and anchor stores.118 In order to prevent such situations, Falcone in his book Sprawl and Public Space: Redressing the Mall, suggests developers evaluate such encumbrances before considering any redevelopment plans.119 A majority of studies agree that the involvement of multiple stakeholders (e.g., mall owners, developers, planning professionals, local government agencies, bankers, environmental groups, NIMBY (Not in My Backyard) groups, and surrounding communities), which is typical for large-scale redevelopment projects, poses another serious challenge for the implementation of such projects.120 Dunham-Jones and Williamson further note that the apprehension of members of the local community, who are often opposed to the idea of high density and mixed use developments, makes it difficult to generate public support and funding for such projects; considering the associated high costs, this support is often imperative for the success of such projects.121 The fear of gentrification and resultant community 117. Lee S. Sobel, Ellen Greenberg, and Steven Bodzin, Greyfields into Goldfields: Dead Malls become Living Neighborhoods [Pittsburgh: Congress for New Urbanism, 2002]; and Mark Falcone, Joseph F. Reilly, Ron Sher, Donald R. Zuchelli, and Benjamin R. Barber, “Roundtable: Obstacles to Development,” in Sprawl and Public Space: Redressing the Mall [Washington, D.C.: National Endowment for the Arts, 2002], 85-97; Interview with urban designers, January 5, 2013. 118. Congress for New Urbanism, and United States Environmental Protection Agency, Malls into Mainstreets [2005]. 119. Mark Falcone, Joseph F. Reilly, Ron Sher, Donald R. Zuchelli, and Benjamin R. Barber, “Roundtable: Obstacles to Development,” in Sprawl and Public Space: Redressing the Mall [Washington, DC: National Endowment for the Arts, 2002], 85-97. 120. Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson, Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburb [New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2011]; Congress for New Urbanism, and United States Environmental Protection Agency, Malls into Mainstreets [2005]; Alexa Bach, Michael D. Beyard, Mary Beth Corrigan, Anita Kramer, and Michael Pawlukiewicz, Ten Principles for Rethinking the Mall [Washington, DC: ULI-Urban Land Institute, 2006]; and Lee S. Sobel, Ellen Greenberg, and Steven Bodzin, Greyfields into Goldfields: Dead Malls become Living Neighborhoods [Pittsburgh: Congress for New Urbanism, 2002]. 121. Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson, Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburb [New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2011].
  • RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST 2.5. Conclusion backlash, for example, temporarily stalled redevelopment plans for Winter Park Mall in Florida.122 The findings of the studies suggest that forging partnerships among the key players, who often have different and opposing motivations for a redevelopment project, is central to the project’s successful execution. This is where urban planners, four studies contend, can play a critical role by facilitating community involvement, building consensus among the stakeholders, and assisting developers with project development, approval, and financing process.123 The research suggests that mixed-use developments is central to the planning theories and practices. The studies and interviewees were in general agreement that mixed-use developments have the potential to generate social, economic and environmental benefits. They also concur that this represents a useful tool for redeveloping shopping malls. However, a few research studies also warn against the perils of treating the approach as a solution for all the problems relating to sprawling suburbs, which are typically characterized by low density, auto-oriented developments. Another major impediment, noted by both interviewed urban designers and a city planner, is the financial aspect of retrofitting malls. Considering the massive scale of typical shopping malls, redevelopment of such projects is often time and money intensive. Even when a shopping mall is in decline, one of the interviewed urban designers elaborates, they can still be economically profitable for its owners as such developments, built several decades ago, have already reaped the returns of their initial investment.124 Consequently, investing in mall retrofit is often not economically justifiable for the owners and requires strong economic reasoning for being turned into reality. The majority of the literature that is available on the topic is not based on formal, quantitative research methodology. More research in this area may have been helpful in identifying strategies that have been empirically proven to address the challenges associated with suburban shopping mall redevelopment projects. Despite the limitations, the studies and interviews identified a number of seemingly useful urban design strategies for redeveloping suburban shopping malls, the majority of which were aimed at improving the pedestrian friendliness of such developments. Thus, based on the available literature, it can be speculated that key urban design strategies for reinvigorating suburban shopping malls may include incorporating a mixture of land uses, restructuring parking areas, improving connectivity of the shopping mall with its surroundings, and providing public spaces. The research indicates that retrofits are best suited for well-located, large shopping mall sites where the surrounding neighborhoods are experiencing population growth. This suggests that San Jose’s Eastridge Shopping Mall — bordered by three arterial roads, built on a massive 105-acre site, and surrounded by neighborhood with a substantial population — may serve as a suitable site for redevelopment. However, the proximity to Reid Hillview Airport, as noted by the interviewed urban planner, might pose some limitations on the allowable uses and density for the Eastridge Mall site. 122. Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson, Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburb [New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2011]. 123. Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson, Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburb [New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2011]; Congress for New Urbanism, and United States Environmental Protection Agency, Malls into Mainstreets [2005]; Alexa Bach, Michael D. Beyard, Mary Beth Corrigan, Anita Kramer, and Michael Pawlukiewicz, Ten Principles for Rethinking the Mall [Washington, DC: ULI-Urban Land Institute, 2006]; and Lee S. Sobel, Ellen Greenberg, and Steven Bodzin, Greyfields into Goldfields: Dead Malls become Living Neighborhoods [Pittsburgh: Congress for New Urbanism, 2002]; Mark Falcone, Joseph F. Reilly, Ron Sher, Donald R. Zuchelli, and Benjamin R. Barber, “Roundtable: Obstacles to Development,” in Sprawl and Public Space: Redressing the Mall [Washington, DC: National Endowment for the Arts, 2002], 85-97. 124. R. John Anderson, interview by author, January 5, 2013. 22
  • EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL Existing Conditions,Urban Context, Constraints And Opportunities 3 3.1. Setting of Eastridge Shopping Mall 3.2. Site Analysis 3.3. Urban Design Analysis 3.4. Constraints and Opportunities T his chapter describes analysis of the existing site characteristics of Eastridge Shopping Mall, beginning with a brief description of the mall’s location and setting, followed by an analysis of the area’s existing demographics, land use, transportation facilities, and urban design. The chapter concludes with a summary of identified constraints and opportunities.
  • 24 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST 3.1. Setting of Eastridge Shopping Mall h ni g ite Rd n Cu Reid-Hillview Airport Lake Cunningham Park S . Wh am 680 101 e. Av . SANTA CLARA Mineta San Jose International Airport Welch Park 101 680 RD BY IM QU 87 CUPERTINO EASTRIDGE MALL eL idg str Ea . SOUTH SAN JOSE PY. L EX SJSU p oo eL idg str Ea PITO 880 Eastridge Transit Center A E. C l er av W EASTRIDGE MALL D. YR LL TU . ve yA BY QUIM p oo RD. S. om Th g Kin . C on ps Rd 1/2 1 2 Miles oD lett igo R Eastridge is an enclosed super-regional shopping mall situated in the far eastern part of the city of San Jose, approximately 65 miles south of San Francisco and some five miles southeast of downtown San Jose (see FIGURE 1). Serving the city’s rapidly growing Evergreen and Silver Creek neighborhoods, the shopping mall site is bounded by Tully Road to the north, Quimby Road to the west and south, and East Capitol expressway to the east (see FIGURE 2). The mall is easily approachable from Highway 101 and Interstate 280, and is serviced by eleven Valley Transit Authority bus routes that connect the area to other parts of Santa Clara County. Eastridge Transit Center is also the site for the proposed Light Rail Station as a part of the Capitol Expressway Light Rail extension project.125 Figure 2 provides an overview of the study area, which, for the purpose of this paper, is the Eastridge Shopping Mall site and its immediate surrounding streets and blocks. The area encompassing the 125. Valley Transportation Authority, “ Capitol Expressway Light Rail Project,” http://www.vta.org/projects/ capitol_rail_project/ [accessed January 12, 2013]. Proposed Urban Village Site ve. pin A Cho FIGURE 1. Context Map for Eastridge Shopping Mall, San Jose. Data Source: Google Earth. Map by author. r. Meadowfair Park ek re 0 E. CAPITOL EXPY. N Blocks within Study Area Blocks outside Study Area Open Space Building Footprint N 0 250 500 1000 Feet FIGURE 2. Overview Map for the study area. Data Source: Google Earth. Map by author. mall has considerable local, citywide, and regional significance. Reid-Hillview Airport, a county-operated general aviation airport located next to the shopping mall, offers flight and ground training (see FIGURE 2). Situated at the intersection of Tully Road and the East Capitol Expressway, towards the northeastern side of the mall, Lake Cunningham Park is one of the largest regional parks in the city, offering the surrounding communities acres of open space and a 50-acre artificial lake. Located right next to the mall is the Eastridge Transit Center, which is the second busiest transfer point in the VTA system (see FIGURE 2). An 86-acre vacant urban-village site, situated towards the southern edge of the mall site, is among the few available greenfield sites in the city (see FIGURE 2).
  • 25 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST 3.1. Site Analysis A. DEMOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS Results of U.S. Census 2010 show that the area has a high percentage of families with children. In the year 2010, 55.6 percent of the total households in the area had children.129 This is much lower than the percentage of households with children for the city of San Jose, which is 40.8 percent.130 However, consistent with the trend across the nation, households with children have declined by seven percent since 2000.131 Correspondingly, the area also has a significantly larger average household size (4.48) than that for San Jose (3.09) in the year 2010.132 The area is defined by its ethnically and racially diverse population, which comprises two main groups (42.8 percent Asians and 22.3 percent Whites).133 In fact, the area has higher proportions of Asian and Hispanic populations (42.3 percent and 44.3 percent, respectively) when compared to the city’s percentages (26.9 and 30.2, respectively).134 However, there is a far lower percentage of the White population in this neighborhood than the 47.5 percent city average.135 Additionally, there is a sizable multilingual population, with 78.5 percent of residents speaking in a language other than English at home.136 126. City of San Jose, “Census 2010 Summary File 1 and 3,” made with ESRI Community Analyst [December 1, 2012]; and Area within 1 mile of Eastridge Shopping Mall, “Census 2010 Summary File 1 and 3,” made with ESRI Community Analyst [December 1, 2012]. 127. Ibid. 128. Ibid. 129. Area within 1 mile of Eastridge Shopping Mall, “Census 2010 Summary File 1 and 3,” made with ESRI Community Analyst [December 1, 2012]. 130. City of San Jose, “Census 2010 Summary File 1 and 3,” made with ESRI Community Analyst [December 1, 2012]. 131. Area within 1 mile of Eastridge Shopping Mall, “Census 2000 Summary File 1 and 3,” made with ESRI Community Analyst [December 1, 2012]. 132. Area within 1 mile of Eastridge Shopping Mall, “Census 2000 Summary File 1 and 3,” made with ESRI Community Analyst [December 1, 2012]; Area within 1 mile of Eastridge Shopping Mall, “Census 2000 Summary File 1 and 3,” made with ESRI Community Analyst [December 1, 2012]. 133. Area within 1 mile of Eastridge Shopping Mall, “Census 2010 Summary File 1 and 3,” made with ESRI Community Analyst [December 1, 2012]. 134. City of San Jose, “Census 2010 Summary File 1 and 3,” made with ESRI Community Analyst [December 1, 2012]; and Area within 1 mile of Eastridge Shopping Mall, “Census 2010 Summary File 1 and 3,” made with ESRI Community Analyst [December 1, 2012]. 135. Ibid. 136. Area within 1 mile of Eastridge Shopping Mall, “2005-2009 American Community Survey,” made with ESRI Community Analyst [December 1, 2012]. TABLE 1. 2010 Population by Race for Area within a mile of Eastridge Shopping Mall compared to the City of San Jose Area within a mile of Eastridge Shopping Mall, San Jose In summary, the area has a higher percentage of households with children, a lower median age, a lower percentage of White population, lower education and income levels, and higher poverty levels, compared to averages throughout the city. While some of these statistics are troubling, the numbers indicate the potential of Eastridge Shopping Mall to be retrofitted for making a positive impact on the surrounding community. San Jose 50% 45% 44% 42.8% 40% PERCENT OF TOTAL POPULATION According to U.S. Census 2010, the area within a mile of Eastridge Shopping Mall houses a population of 27,609.126 The data further shows that, since the year 2000, the area has experienced a decline in its population by 1,708, a reduction of 0.60 percent.127 This compares to the total population growth of 5.6 percent experienced by the city during the same period of time.128 35% 32% 30% 25% 24.7% 23.5% 20% 15.7% 15% 10% 5% 2.3% 3.2% 1.0% 0.9% 0.5% 0.4% 0% White Black American Indian Asian Pacific Islander Other RACE Source: U.S. Census 2010 Statistics indicate that the area is younger than the city as a whole. Census 2010 reports that, compared to the city average of 35.2, the residents of the area have a median age of 32.8 years.137 The area also has significantly lower education and income levels compared to the citywide averages.138 Thirty-three percent of the area’s total residents have an educational level of less than a high school diploma, compared to only 14 percent for the city of San Jose.139 The median household income for the area is approximately $63,852, compared to almost $79,000 for the city of San Jose.140 According to the American Community Survey 2005-2009, the area also had a greater percentage of people living below the poverty line for the past 12 months than that for the city during the same period.141 137. City of San Jose, “Census 2010 Summary File 1 and 3,” made with ESRI Community Analyst [December 1, 2012]; and Area within 1 mile of Eastridge Shopping Mall, “Census 2010 Summary File 1 and 3,” made with ESRI Community Analyst [December 1, 2012]. 138. City of San Jose, “2005-2009 American Community Survey,” made with ESRI Community Analyst [December 1, 2012]; and Area within 1 mile of Eastridge Shopping Mall, “2005-2009 American Community Survey,” made with ESRI Community Analyst [December 1, 2012]. 139. Ibid. 140. Ibid. 141. City of San Jose, “2005-2009 American Community Survey,” made with ESRI Community Analyst [December 1, 2012]; and Area within 1 mile of Eastridge Shopping Mall, “2005-2009 American Community Survey,” made with ESRI Community Analyst [December 1, 2012].
  • 26 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST B. EXISTING AND FUTURE LAND USES D. D. D. 2000 500 1000 2000 500 1000 0 2000 750 Feet 1500 3000 Feet Feet Commercial Industrial Study Public Public Commercial Space Open Space Residential Area Park Area Open Study Open Space Study Area Residential 0 750 1500 3000 Light Industrial Public Urban Village Open Space Regional Commercial Feet FIGURE 3. Reid-Hillview Airport Safety Zones. Residential Public Commercial Open Space Study Area Source: Santa Clara County Airport Land Use Commission, Comprehensive Land Public Use Open Space Open Space Study Area FIGURE 4. Map showing existing land uses for the study area. Source: Author. Owing to Eastridge Shopping Mall’s proximity to the Reid-Hillview Airport, the Santa Clara County Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) is applicable to a major portion of the mall site.142 FIGURE 3 shows the Reid-Hillview Airport Safety Zones. The area of highest concern, the trapezoidal area marked in red, is a no-build zone that affects the northern portion of the mall’s existing surface parking lot (see FIGURE 3).143 Next, the areas marked in orange and yellow, representing the Inner Safety Zone and the Turning Safety Zone allows only non-residential uses (see FIGURE 3).144 In comparison, the proposed urban village site is less impacted by the safety zones, with only a small northern portion of the site being under the Inner Safety Zone (see FIGURE 3). The shopping mall’s main building is 142. Santa Clara County Airport Land Use Commission, Comprehensive Land Use Plan Santa Clara County [San Jose, 2007]. 143. Santa Clara County Airport Land Use Commission, Comprehensive Land Use Plan Santa Clara County [San Jose, 2007]. 144. Ibid. Plan Santa Clara County [San Jose, 2007]. 0 Residential Area Study Public Public 0 N Feet E. CAPITOL EXPY. Public Feet PY. L EX 3000 PITO 1500 A E. C 1000 E. CAPITOL EXPY. 750 PY. L EX 500 Residential 0 PITO PROPOSED URBAN VILLAGE SITE Residential A E. C Commercial RD BY IM QU . BY RD QUIM E. CAPITOL EXPY. Commercial Public Commercial Commercial Space Open Residential R . BY RD QUIM RD BY IM QU Residential BY QUIM . E. CAPITOL EXPY. Commercial N QUIM RD. 0 N N .. BY RD QUIM . . BY RD QUIM BY RD.. E. CAPITOL EXPY. EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL PY. L EX Y. RD XP LE Inner Safety Zone . D. PITO QU O TY APIB E. C IM RD BY IM QU RD BY IM QU E. CAPITOL EXPY. Runway Protection Zone N BY QUIM . RDRD.. BY LY QUIML TU . BY RD QUIM E. CAPITOL EXPY. N PY. L EX PY. L EX PITO PITO PY. L EX RD BY IM QU .. BY RD . QUIM . BY RD QUIM Turning Safety Zone E. CAPITOL EXPY. tial . PITO PY. L EX .. BY RD QUIM . BY RD QUIM .. BY RD QUIM . BY RD QUIM REID-HILLVIEW AIRPORT . D. A E. C PITO . D . RD BY IM QU . RD LY L TU A E. C D. YR LL R LLY TU R LY UL T A E. C R LLY TU A E. C R LY UL T A E. C R LLY TU FIGURE 5.Map showing proposed land uses for the study area. Source: City of San Jose’s general plan , Envision 2040. an aberration from the safety zone requirements — that do not allow stadium, shopping malls, or similar uses with very high concentrations of people — as the mall was constructed in 1970, prior to the establishment of the Airport Land Use Commission and consequently is considered as a pre-existing use.145 145. Santa Clara County Airport Land Use Commission, Comprehensive Land Use Plan Santa Clara County [San Jose, 2007]. Open Space
  • 27 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST The surrounding parts of Eastridge Shopping Mall offer an array of land uses that includes retail, residential, and public uses, such as a medical center, transit center, parks, and elementary schools. FIGURE 4 shows the existing land uses in the study area. The retail uses, primarily concentrated along Tully Road towards the northern edge of the mall site, mainly consist of strip malls and auto-related services. Development along the western and eastern edges of the mall is characterized by detached single-family residences, but more recent developments around the intersections with Tully Road have introduced commercial uses. Substantial areas of open spaces and active recreation lands have been established along the northeastern side of the mall in the form of Lake Cunningham Park and Raging Water. Currently undeveloped, the proposed urban village site defines the southwestern edge of the shopping mall site (see FIGURE 4). Eastridge Shopping Mall and its surrounding areas are to retain their existing residential and commercial characteristics under the City of San Jose’s recently adopted 2040 General Plan. FIGURE 5 provides the future land uses for the area, based on the Envision 2040 General Plan. However, the proposed urban village, located towards the southern edge of the mall, offers tremendous infill potential that will likely result in significant changes to the existing character of the neighborhood (see FIGURE 5). An urban village features a mix of residential, commercial, and institutional uses within a compact urban form that promotes walkability and public-transportation usage.146 The underlying goals of the planning concept aim to preserve the existing character of the neighborhood and maximize the use of the existing infrastructure by directing housing and job growth in the currently underutilized or vacant parts of the city.147 The presence of the undeveloped urban-village site, together with the Eastridge Shopping Mall site and the Eastridge Transit Center, offers an exceptional opportunity to further the city’s vision of creating an interconnected area where people can function without having to own an automobile. The inclusion of safety zones in the mall redevelopment plans will help to further demonstrate the CLUP’s intent to safeguard the general safety and welfare of the people who live within the vicinity of the airport. However, for the purpose of this 146. City of San Jose, Envision San Jose 2040 [San Jose, 2011]. 147. Ibid. paper, Comprehensive Land Use Plan regulations, with the exclusion of the no-build zone, were not taken into consideration. This was intentional in order to allow the thesis to include the creation and exploration of urban design strategies that could be widely applied to similar projects. C. TRANSPORTATION Considering the sprawling nature of the established environment in the area, it is not surprising that a significant 75 percent of residents within one mile of the Eastridge Shopping Mall drive alone to their workplaces.148 On the other hand, only 5.6 percent of residents commuted by public transportation, walked, or biked to their places of employment.149 The overall resident commuting statistics are similar to those for San Jose, where 77.3 percent of total residents drive alone to work, and only 6.3 percent used alternative modes of transportation.150 The study area has the advantage of being well served by Valley Transportation Authority’s bus services. Eastridge Transit Center, the second busiest transfer point in the entire VTA system,151 is located at the eastern edge of the shopping mall site (see FIGURE 6). The transit center is currently served by eleven bus routes, six of which are among the “core bus network” or primary grid of the VTA bus system.152 In addition, there is also a high concentration of bus stops along the periphery of the shopping mall site. As part of the Capitol Expressway Light Rail Project, there is also a proposed VTA light rail extension from the existing Alum Rock Light Rail Station to the Eastridge Transit Center.153 Arrival of light rail along East Capitol Expressway will offer opportunities for maximizing pedestrian, transit, and bicycle activity, thereby realizing the catalytic potential of a pedestrian-oriented development. 148. American Community Survey 2005-2009,“ Commuting Characteristics to Work,” prepared by U.S. Census Bureau. 149. Ibid. 150. Ibid. 151. Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, Eastridge Transit Center Improvement and Access Plan, February 2010, prepared by Community Design + Architecture, Inc. and Circle Point. 152. Ibid. 153. Ibid. FIGURE 6. View of Eastridge Transit Center from East Capitol Expressway. Source: Author
  • 28 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST 3.3. Urban Design Analysis lly Tu . Rd tol api E. C This section presents the findings of the urban design analysis and behavioral analysis for the study area. The issues and opportunities were weighed against the four urban design principles previously identified in Chapter 1 of the paper: character, connectivity, legibility, and diversity. im Qu The objective of the principle is to enhance the unique elements of a place that define its identity.154 To accomplish this objective, it is paramount to recognize the built form, such as street and block patterns, buildings, and architecture, that define the character of an area. The study area is characterized by a structure of “loops and lollipops” and “warped parallel street patterns” that emerged during the 1970s and 1960s, respectively (see FIGURE 7).155 Warped parallel street pattern, seen the southwest side of the Eastridge Shopping Mall, is characterized by parallel curvilinear streets that was created in an effort to create a more rural character and to shorten the visual length of the street (see FIGURE 7).156 The loops and lollipops street pattern, found towards the eastern side of East Capitol Expressway, is the quintessential symbol of suburbs characterized by curving connector roads and numerous cul de sac streets (FIGURE 7).157 The figure-ground map further suggests that the area has predominantly large, irregularly shaped urban blocks (see FIGURE 7). The assessment of the block sizes in the area reveals that nearly 71 percent of the total number of blocks within the study area have perimeter lengths greater than 1,800 feet, which is the maximum recommended for promoting walkability.158 The superblocks at the Eastridge Shopping Mall, Urban Village, and Reid-Hillview Airport sites are aberrations in scale relative to the surrounding neighborhood blocks, which presents challenge for the creation of a coherent neighborhood character (see FIGURE 7). 154. Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, By Design: Urban design in the planning system: towards better practice [Great Britain: Crown, 2000]. 155. Michael Southworth and Peter M. Owens, “The Evolving Metropolis: Studies of Community,Neighborhood, and Street Form at the Urban Edge,” Journal of the American Planning Association [1993]: 271-87. 156. Ibid. 157. Ibid. 158. Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson, Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburb [New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2011]; Charles C. Bohl, Place Making: Developing Town Centers, Main Streets, and Urban Villages [Washington, DC: ULI-Urban Land Institute, 2002]; and Lee Sobel, Ellen Greenberg, and Steven Bodzin, Greyfields into Goldfields: Dead Malls become Living Neighborhoods [Pittsburgh: Congress for New Urbanism, 2002]. by y. Exp A. CHARACTER Rd . Arterial Road Minor Arterial Road Local Streets N 0 500 1000 2000 Feet FIGURE 7. Figure Ground Map (Left), Building Footprint Map (Center) and Street Map (Right) for the study area. Data Source: Google Earth. Maps by author. The building footprint map — showing the relative size of buildings in the area — reveals the coarse texture of the urban fabric that characterizes the streets near the Eastridge Shopping Mall site (see FIGURE 7). In comparison to the surrounding neighborhood that largely is comprised of smaller scale, single-family residences, the existing mall building has a discordant scale. The drawing particularly reveals a difference in the character between the northern part of the mall and the rest of the area (see FIGURE 7). The absence of buildings, deep and varying setbacks from the street, the haphazard placement of buildings, and the large-scale mall building along Tully Road fails to create a unifying neighborhood character (see FIGURE 7). Based on the California Department of Transportation’s functional classification system, the mall site is bounded by principal arterial roads (East Capitol Expressway and Tully Road) towards the north and east, and a minor arterial street (Quimby Road) towards the west and centers of activity of a metropolitan south (see FIGURE 7).159 Principal arterial roads are high traffic-volume corridors that serve the major area, while the minor arterial streets serve to accommodate longer trips within the community and do not penetrate neighborhoods.160 Both types of roads — principal and minor arterials — have a primary function of providing “mobility,” which is in reference to the actual ability of the road to move traffic.161 In contrast, the roads with a primary function of “accessibility” offer the ease of entering or exiting a roadway to or from adjacent properties.162 159. U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, “ FHWA Functional Classification Guidelines,” http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/processes/statewide/related/functional_classification/fc02. cfm [accessed January 10, 2013]. 160. Ibid. 161. Ibid. 162. Ibid.
  • RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST The area is typified by low-rise buildings, ranging in height from one story to a maximum of three stories. The majority of the buildings in the peripheral areas are single-storied. The study area is largely characterized by conventional, single-family residences that are commonly referred as “snout homes” because of their protruding garage frontages and monotonous strip-mall buildings — both typical ingredients of suburbs (see FIGURE 8). The more recent strip mall at the intersections of Tully Road and East Capitol Expressway has elaborate architecture with articulated building facades (see FIGURE 9). Aging, free-standing retail, restaurant, medical-office, and auto-dealership buildings located in the peripheral areas of the mall site visually and physically disconnect the main mall building from its surrounding streets (see FIGURE 10). Key Findings Overall, the area lacks a recognizable and consistent character that fails to contribute to a unique sense of place. Existing urban form characteristics of the area surrounding Eastridge Shopping Mall pose significant constraints to the achievement of the goals and visions that were initially set forth in this paper. The irregular and fragmented network of streets in the area discourage pedestrian and bicyclist use by increasing the walking distance, impeding interconnectivity FIGURE 8. View of a typical single-family residence in the study area. Source: Author 29 between streets, and hindering the legibility for the visitors. In addition, the bounding arterial roads also pose a design challenge by creating a hostile environment for pedestrians. Finally, the automobile-oriented character of the surrounding neighborhood generates a need for developing a coherent urban design in order to retrofit the entire area to accomplish the desired goal of creating a walkable, pedestrian-oriented environment. There are, however, opportunities for creating a positive character in the area. One such opportunity is presented by the existing superblocks in the area, which, due to the absence of street networks and individually owned land parcels, are easier to retrofit than traditional city blocks. The residential character of the area along Quimby Road provides favorable conditions for retrofitting the mall into a pedestrian-oriented and walkable center, offering potential support for the retail stores and the pedestrian traffic that is crucial for the success of such developments. Also, the lack of existing unifying architecture in the area creates an opportunity for developing a new, distinctive character that could perhaps define the overall identity of the area. FIGURE 9.View of an aging strip mall along the periphery of Eastridge Shopping Mall at Tully Road and Quimby Road intersection. Source: Author FIGURE 10. View of a seemingly recent built strip mall at the intersection of Quimby Road and East Capitol Expressway in the study area. Source: Author
  • 30 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST B. CONNECTIVITY Despite its advantageous location in the midst of residential neighborhoods and being well-served by an extensive bus network, the Eastridge Shopping Mall has extremely poor pedestrian connectivity with its immediate neighborhood. Existing transportation conditions of the area find high-speed and capacity arterial roads along the northern (Tully Road) and eastern (East Capitol Expressway) edges of the shopping-mall site, creating a hostile environment for pedestrians. The lack of sidewalks and limited crosswalks along East Capitol Expressway further reinforces the automobile orientation of the area (see FIGURE 11 and FIGURE 14). Surprisingly and ironically, Eastridge Transit Center is along East Capitol Expressway, which creates a formidable barrier to transit passengers trying to access the center. The presence of Thompson Creek, running parallel to the East Capitol Expressway, further hinders the connectivity of the mall with the surrounding residential neighborhoods along its eastern shore. FIGURE 11.View of East Capitol Expressway and Thompson Creek. Source: Author A drastic change in character is experienced proceeding from the East Capitol Expressway to Quimby Road, as the latter is characterized by four lanes street abutted by residential developments (see FIGURE 12). The street offers a welcome respite from the otherwise vehicular-dominated nature of the majority of the study area. The street is also the principal designated bike route in the area, which provides much-needed connectivity to the shopping mall for bicyclists (see FIGURE 12 and FIGURE 14). Key Findings Heavy, fast-moving traffic along the arterial roads towards the northern and eastern sides of the shopping mall site creates a negative pedestrian environment that undermines the site’s connectivity with the neighboring areas. The large expanses of surface parking lots in front of the surrounding stand-alone developments further constrain the connectivity by separating the streets from the building entrances by a distance that is far greater than a reasonable walkable distance. The sprawling mall site has six vehicular entry points along the surrounding streets (see FIGURE 14). However, at present, there is no direct pedestrian link that connects the surrounding streets to the mall’s main building (see FIGURE 14). Discontinuous, fragmented sidewalks throughout the site create multiple pedestrian-vehicular conflict points, where vehicles intrude onto pedestrian areas or where the priority is unclear. Evidently, overscaled and underutilized surface-parking lots surrounding the mall’s main building further disrupt the connectivity of the pedestrians to and through the shopping mall site by separating the street from the shopping mall beyond a comfortable walking distance. Despite these constraints, there are considerable opportunities for improving the connectivity of the study area. The presence of a transportation hub along the eastern extents of the mall provides an opportunity for maximizing pedestrian activities in the area in order to allow accessibility of services. The pedestrian-scaled Quimby Road has significant potential for serving as a link for pedestrians and bicyclists to access the adjoining urban village site and residential developments. Whist currently a constraint, the creek allows an opportunity for developing a network of pedestrian trails that could possibly be interconnected with the key destinations of the area. FIGURE 12. Vehicular access point to Eastridge Shopping Mall site from Quimby Road. Source: Author FIGURE 13. Vehicular access point to Eastridge Shopping Mall site from Quimby Road. Note the discontinuous sidewalk. Source:Author
  • 31 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST Reid-Hillview Airport h ni g ite Rd n Cu Lake Cunningham Park S . Wh am e. Av . . ve yA . RD Eastridge Transit Center PY. L EX Welch Park PITO EASTRIDGE MALL A E. C l er av W LLY TU e idg str Ea BY QUIM op Lo RD.. . BY RD S. QUIM om Th g Kin . C on ps Rd ve. pin A Cho Proposed Urban Village Site Meadowfair Park ek re r. E. CAPITOL EXPY. oD lett igo R Missing formal pedestrian pathways Formal pedestrian pathways on mall site Designated Bike Lane Crosswalks N FIGURE 14. Analysis of connectivity around Eastridge Shopping Mall. Source: Map by Author 0 250 500 1000 Feet
  • 32 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST C. LEGIBILITY m Reid-Hillview Airport S . Wh ite Rd n Cu ha ni g Lake Cunningham Park . e. Av rly R LLY TU e av W Eastridge Transit Center D. 1 op Lo ge id str EASTRIDGE Ea Welch Park MALL .. BY RD QUIM RD BY IM QU 3 . 2 . BY RD QUIM S. on ps om Th g Kin The study area is interspersed with notable elements that can serve as a foundation for fostering a distinctive sense of place. Thompson Creek runs along the eastern edge of the shopping mall site and is a notable, valuable natural and visual element. One of the area’s most distinctive features is the scenic view of the nearby Diablo Hill Range. Together, the Thompson Creek and the view of the surrounding hills can serve as landmarks that can help create a clear and understandable environment for visitors. However, the existing conditions of the area fail to utilize the potential of these natural assets. Thompson Creek is unrecognizable from its main approach routes along the vehiculardominated Tully Road and Capitol Expressway (see FIGURE 16). A fence further obstructs the view and diminishes the prominence of the creek. A number of developments in the area have their backs facing the hill and the creek view, creating inactive edges that fail to realize the potential of these natural assets (see FIGURE 17). e. Av Rd . In summary, the car-dominant character and poor visual environment of the approach routes and points to the Eastridge Shopping Mall and Eastridge Transit Center fails to establish a positive sense of arrival for the visitors. Tully Road, for example, is abutted by isolated retail developments with varying building lines and street-facing surfaceparking lots. Similarly, the East Capitol Expressway, which ve. pin A Cho Proposed Urban Village Site Meadowfair Park N Potential Key Gateways k ee Cr Another potential landmark for the area could be the recently renovated building facade and streetscape of the mall near Quimby Road. Nevertheless, the site’s deep setback from Quimby Road, surface parking lots, and the aging, isolated developments along the periphery of the site undermine the mall’s visual prominence from the adjacent, public right-of-way. tto ol e Rig Dr. E. CAPITOL EXPY. Eastridge Transit Center located along the eastern edge of the mall feels isolated and inconspicuous, which creates an unwelcoming feeling to the visitors arriving by public transit. The transit center also suffers from a lack of pedestrian connectivity to East Capitol Expressway. The commonly used and direct route from the transit center to the mall building goes past the deserted-looking medical center, surface-parking lots, and JCPenney® anchor store. The route is poorly designed and lacks visual clues to aid way-finding across the site (see FIGURE 18). View of Hills 1 Eastridge Transit Center 2 Thompson Creek 3 Eastridge Mall’s main frontage 0 250 500 1000 Feet FIGURE 15.Analysis of legibility for the study area. Source: Map by Author incidentally is the primary approach route for visitors arriving by public transit, serves as a vehicle-movement channel with no pedestrian pathways. Key Findings The excellent natural setting of the study area offers considerable opportunity for improving its legibility by enhancing the existing views and vistas. Eastridge Transit Center, with its high pedestrian traffic, close proximity to the Thompson Creek, and scenic view of the surrounding hills, also provides an opportunity for developing a recognizable and distinctive focal point. However, the fragmented developments along the auto-dominated approach routes to the site fail to establish a sense of arrival and create an unwelcoming environment for the visitors.
  • RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST FIGURE 16. View of Thompson Creek from East Capitol Expressway. Source: Author 33 FIGURE 17. Backdrop of Diablo Hill Range along East Capitol Expressway. Source: Author FIGURE 19. Main pedestrian route between Eastridge Transit Center (seen in the background) and Eastridge Mall. Source: Author FIGURE 18. Inactive street edges of East Capitol Expressway created by street facing large surface parking lots and inward facing developments. Source: Author FIGURE 20. View of outdoor streetscape along the Eastridge Shopping Mall’s southern entrance. The area was among the key pedestrian generators. Source: Author D. DIVERSITY OF LAND USES The study area accommodates a diverse range of land uses including residential, retail, entertainment, public, industrial, and institutional. However, compared to retail and housing — predominant uses in the area — offices are currently not a significant land use within the study area. Like typical suburban neighborhoods across the nation, these otherwise inter-compatible land uses such as residential, retail and recreational are separated by distances that far exceed those that can reasonably support walkability and thereby discourage pedestrian activities in the area. The situation is further exacerbated by inactive and blank building frontages, fostering an uncomfortable and often dangerous walking experience at the street level (see FIGURE 18). Although parts of Quimby Road and Tully Road benefit from active frontages generated by storefronts directly accessible from the street, these are punctuated by open spaces, inward-looking developments, and surface parking lots that fail to support activities for encouraging pedestrians to stay and linger in the area (see FIGURE 22).
  • 34 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST am Reid-Hillview Airport h ni g l er av W . RD . LLY TU ite Rd n Cu Lake Cunningham Park S . Wh The majority of the study area was devoid of many pedestrian activities during each of the field visits that were conducted at different times and days of the week. The only pedestrian generators in the area are Eastridge Transit Center and the mall building’s southern entrance (see FIGURE 22 and FIGURE 21). While Eastridge Transit Center was mostly occupied by people waiting for buses (see FIGURE 21), the pedestrian-friendly streetscape along the southern entrance of the mall encouraged people to engage in leisure activities, such as sitting, people-watching, and socializing. e. Av Eastridge Transit Center . ve yA EASTRIDGE MALL Welch Park e idg str Ea .. BY RD QUIM op Lo S. om Th g Kin . C on ps Rd ve. pin A Cho Proposed Urban Village Site Meadowfair Park N FIGURE 21. View of Eastridge Shopping Mall Transit Center. The center experiences highest pedestrian activities in the area. Source:Author FIGURE 22. Analysis of diversity for areas surrounding Eastridge Shopping Mall. Source: Map by Author ek re r. E. CAPITOL EXPY. oD lett igo R Inactive building facades Active building facades High pedestrian movement areas 0 250 500 1000 Feet
  • 35 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST 3.4. Constraints and Opportunities An assessment of the study area’s physical environment creates an inventory of the opportunities and constraints evaluated against the urban design principles of character, connectivity, legibility, and diversity. The following are the key constraints within the area, based on the urban design analysis and behavioral observation study: The following areas of opportunities were identified within the study area, based on the urban design analysis and behavioral observation study: A. Superblocks in the study area The multiple ownership of the surrounding residential subdivisions constrains the ability to retrofit a “lollipop and loops” street pattern in order to improve connectivity within the neighborhood (see FIGURE 23 and FIGURE 26). Traditional blocks within cities typically have subdivisions with multiple owners, and an existing network of streets that are resistant to change due to the adjoining plots. Conversely, with the absence of street networks, single ownership, and land boundaries, Eastridge Shopping Mall superblock, in comparison, is more receptive to retrofitting (see FIGURE 29). B. Coarse building grain along Tully Road B. Existing scale and character of Quimby Road The discordant size of the Eastridge Shopping Mall and the Reid-Hillview Airport sites, compared to that for the surrounding area, means the buildings on these sites have a massive footprint that impedes the connectivity, character, and legibility of the area, by fostering an environment that lacks a sense of place and presents an uncomfortable and uninviting setting for anyone without a car (see FIGURE 24 and FIGURE 26). Its pedestrian scale, designated bike lane, adjoining residential developments, and urban village site present an opportunity for redeveloping Quimby Road as a main pedestrian and bicyclist linkage between the mall site and the existing urban fabric (see FIGURE 30). A. Irregular and disconnected street pattern C. Arterial roads (East Capitol Expressway and Tully Road) bordering the Eastridge Shopping Mall site The high-speed and high-volume arterials, which provide mobility for automobiles, do not integrate the needs of pedestrians and impede pedestrians’ safety and comfort which are essential components of a walkable urban space (see FIGURE 25 and FIGURE 26). D. Automobile-oriented developments at the periphery of the Eastridge Shopping Mall The existing developments along the periphery of the Eastridge Loop present a similar set of challenges to the Eastridge Shopping Mall, which generate a need for extending the retrofit beyond the site boundaries (see FIGURE 27 and FIGURE 26). E. Single-use buildings separated by long walking distances Representing the central issue of suburban developments, the separation of land uses in the study area — residential, commercial, and public — practically makes walking infeasible in the area (see FIGURE 26 and FIGURE 28). C. Lack of unifying architecture and character of the study area The absence of a recognizable and consistent character provides an opportunity to creating a place with a distinctive identity and sense of place (see FIGURE 31). D. Eastridge Transit Center and proposed light rail station The existing, well-served, and connected transportation center and the proposed VTA light rail station at the Eastridge Transit Center provide an opportunity for maximizing pedestrian activities in the area and reducing automobile dependency (see FIGURE 33). E. Thompson Creek The natural asset presents an opportunity for developing a network of trails that could potentially serve as pedestrian linkages connecting various points of interest across the study area (see FIGURE 34). F. View of Diablo Hill Range Existing views of the Diablo Hill Range from the eastern and northern sides of the mall create a positive contribution to the character and identity of the area. Through appropriate urban design strategies, opportunities can be created for enhancing the visibility and enjoyment of this visual resource (see FIGURE 35). G. Southern building facade of Eastridge Shopping Mall The pedestrian-friendly design of the southern entrance of the mall, incorporating physical features commonly associated with traditional main streets, offers a considerable opportunity for enhancing pedestrian usage of the area (see FIGURE 36). H. Proposed urban Village site The presence of 86 acres of undeveloped land in the largely built-out city of San Jose, located right next to the Eastridge Mall and proposed light rail station, offers an extraordinary opportunity to redevelop the area as a natural heart for the surrounding neighborhood (see FIGURE 37). I. Diverse land uses A variety of land uses within the area provides an opportunity for fostering a walkable, compact, and accessible urban space that can be used by people without getting into cars, or at least to encourage pedestrian activities in the area (see FIGURE 38 and FIGURE 39).
  • 36 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST Key Constraints within the Study Area Irregular and Disconnected Street Pattern m Lake Cunningham Park Reid-Hillview Airport ite Rd n Cu ha ni g e. Av S . Wh A C . A B D e. Av LLY TU 5 RD BY IM QU FIGURE 23. Aerial image of residential development within the study area. Source: Google Earth B PY. L EX Welch Park EASTRIDGE MALL PITO D . RD A E. C ly er av W eL idg str Ea . Coarse Building Grain along Tully Road p oo D D . BY RD QUIM S. g Kin . C on ps Rd om Th A ve. pin A Cho Proposed Urban Village Site Meadowfair Park ek re r. E. CAPITOL EXPY. oD lett igo R Areas of constraint for the study area FIGURE 24. View of Eastridge Shopping Mall from Tully Road. Source: Author C Arterials along Eastridge Shopping Mall 0 N 250 500 1000 Feet FIGURE 26. Areas of constraints within the study area, based on urban design analysis. Source: Map by Author. D FIGURE 25. View of East Capitol Expressway. Source: Author. Existing Automobile-oriented Developments FIGURE 27. View of a strip mall along Tully Road. Source: Author E Single use buildings separated by long walking distances FIGURE 28. View of Eastridge Shopping Mall from Quimby Road. Source: Author.
  • 37 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST Key Opportunities within the Study Area Superblocks in the study area m Reid-Hillview Airport I F ite Rd n Cu ha ni g Lake Cunningham Park S . Wh A e. Av . e av W RD BY IM QU FIGURE 29. View of surface parking lot within the Eastridge Shopping Mall site. Source: Author . eL idg str Ea B E PY. L EX G A C p oo . BY RD QUIM S. g Kin H . C on ps Rd om Th Existing Scale and Character of Quimby Road EASTRIDGE MALL D F PITO p oo eL dg i str Ea Welch Park B Eastridge Transit Center A E. C rly . RD LLY TU e. Av ve. pin A Cho Proposed Urban Village Site ek re r. E. CAPITOL EXPY. oD lett igo R Meadowfair Park Areas of opportunity for the study area View to Diablo Hill Range FIGURE 30. View of Quimby Road. Note the residential development, designated bike lane and scale of the street. Source: Author C Lack of Unifying Architecture and Character of the Study Area 250 500 1000 Feet FIGURE 32. Areas of Opportunities in the study area ,based on urban design analysis. Source: Map by Author D FIGURE 31. View of retail along Tully Road. Note that the area currently lacks a distinct architecture. Source: Author 0 N Eastridge Transit Center and proposed Light Rail Station Site FIGURE 33. View of Eastridge Transit Center looking towards East Capitol Expressway. Source: Author E Thompson Creek FIGURE 34. View of Thompson Creek running along East Capitol Expressway. Source: Author
  • 38 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST Key Opportunities within the Study Area (Continued) F View of Diablo Hill Range m Lake Cunningham Park Reid-Hillview Airport S . Wh I F ite Rd n Cu ha ni g e. Av . e av W LLY TU EASTRIDGE MALL D RD BY IM QU C . FIGURE 35. View of Diablo Hill Range from Meadowfair Park looking towards the eastern side. Source: Author. eL dg tri as E B p oo . BY RD QUIM S. . C on ps Rd om Th H g Kin r. E. CAPITOL EXPY. Proposed Urban Village Site ve. pin A Cho oD lett go Ri ek re Southern Building Facade of Eastridge Shopping Mall E PY. L EX G A F PITO op Lo ge id str Ea Welch Park G Eastridge Transit Center . RD A E. C rly e. Av Meadowfair Park Areas of opportunity for the study area View to Diablo Hill Range FIGURE 36. View of streetscape along Eastridge Shopping Mall’s southern building facade. Source: Author H Proposed Urban Village Site FIGURE 37. View of proposed urban village site from Quimby Road. Source: Author 0 N I Diverse Land Uses FIGURE 38. View of Evergreen Dialysis Center near Eastridge Transit Center. Source: Author I 250 500 Diverse Land Uses FIGURE 39. View of AMC theater from Quimby Road. Source: Author 1000 Feet
  • CASE STUDIES 4 4.1. Methodology and Selection Criteria 4.2. Case Study: The Crossings at Mountain View, California 4.3. Case Study: Broadway Plaza at Walnut Creek, California Lessons from Retrofitted Shopping Malls 4.4. Key Lessons Learned from Case Studies T his chapter examines the urban design strategies employed by selected shopping mall retrofit projects to achieve integration with an existing neighborhood’s urban fabric, to foster the pedestrian environment, and to establish a distinct sense of place. The case studies were conducted in an attempt to build upon real-life lessons gained from retrofitted traditional shopping malls. The study is also expected to assist in the development of appropriate design solutions for Eastridge Shopping Mall through the establishment of urban design strategies that have worked, and that have not worked in the past.
  • 40 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST 4.1. Methodology and Selection Criteria 4.2. Case study: The Crossings at Mountain View,CA A simplified overview of case study methodology is as follows: NEWARK 1. Identification of the case studies based on selection criteria. 84 2. Background information for each of the case studies was obtained by review of relevant books, journal articles, and reports that have previously documented the work involving the selected project. A brief online search also provided additional information and updates pertaining to the projects. From the interviews and the review of secondary sources including books, journals, and websites, a long list of successfully retrofitted shopping malls were whittled down to two. Both case studies presented in this report met all four selection criteria. First, time and money constraints limited the case study to within the San Francisco Bay area. Second, the projects were previously shopping malls. Third, the status of the project as of August 2012 was completed. Last, consistent with the stated research question, the site embodies the desired urban design qualities that are missing in traditional suburban shopping malls: pedestrian orientation and connectivity with the existing urban fabric. Appendix D provides the evaluation of the potential case studies based on the selection criteria. 880 San Francisco Bay MENLO PARK 3. An urban design analysis and behavioral observation study of the pedestrians in the case study sites was conducted through multiple field visits from January 2013 to March 2013. The urban design principles, previously identified in Chapter 1 of this report, were used as a basis for studying the strategic use of urban design in the mall retrofit projects: character, connectivity, legibility, and diversity. Each of the case studies includes a brief overview of site history and project facts, a qualitative evaluation of the project’s physical environment, and lessons learned from the studies. The conclusion summarizes and compares the findings of the case studies and the Eastridge Shopping Mall study area, based on the evaluation criteria. Opened in 1975, the Old Mill Shopping Mall, commonly referred to as the “Ghiradelli Square of Mountain View,” featured stores and restaurants around a two story central atrium containing a creek, an old wooden mill, and large living trees and lush landscaping (see FIGURE 41).166 Like several shopping malls across the nation, the burgeoning population of the surrounding areas, oversaturated retail market, changing consumer taste, and retail formats led to its closure in the late 1980s.167 Faced with a dead mall, the city reclassified the zoning for the site from retail to residential.168 Rejecting the developer’s initial proposal for a mixed use, automobile-oriented development on the mall site, the city advocated for a high-density development, taking advantage of the proposed San Antonio Caltrain station.169 The city’s aggressive public relation program helped to garner public support for the project.170 The construction of the new development began in 1995, following the demolition of the mall’s main building.171 However, the Old Mill Office Center building and the outer strip malls were retained as a part of the new development. 101 ALVISO Stanford University 280 237 THE CROSSINGS 101 MOUNTAIN VIEW SUNNYVALE 85 SANTA CLARA 280 N 0 1/2 1 2 Miles FIGURE 40. Context map for the Crossings at Mountain View, California. Source: Google Earth. Map by Author. The Crossings is a highly successful replacement of the automobile-oriented Old Mill Shopping Mall located in Mountain View, and is around 30 miles south of San Francisco (see FIGURE 40). The transit-oriented development, built on an 18-acre site, offers a diverse range of housing choices for an area with a short supply, including single-family bungalows and cottages, townhomes, row homes, and apartments.163 The residents of the vibrant community also enjoy the convenience of neighborhood retail stores, a day-care center, and transportation choices provided by the adjacent San Antonio Caltrain commuter rail station.164 In recognition of the exemplary transit-oriented development plan, the American Planning Association awarded an Outstanding Planning Award to the city of Mountain View in 2002. In essence, the project embodies the key New Urbanism principles of walkability, high-density, and mixed uses.165 163. U.S. Enviornmental Protection Agency, “Smart Growth Illustrated:The Crossings, Mountain View, California,” http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/case/crossing.htm [ accessed Feburary 1, 2013]. 164. Ibid. 165. Ibid. FIGURE 41. View of previous Old Mill Shopping Center in Mountain View. Source: www.labelscar.com 166. Keith, “ Old Mill Shopping Center,” Malls of America, http://mallsofamerica.blogspot.com/2006/11/ old-mill-shopping-center.html [accessed December 21, 2013]. 167. Lee S. Sobel, Ellen Greenberg, and Steven Bodzin, Greyfields into Goldfields: Dead Malls become Living Neighborhoods [Pittsburgh: Congress for New Urbanism, 2002]. 168. Ibid. 169. Ibid. 170. Ibid. 171. Ibid.
  • 41 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST EVALUATION OF URBAN DESIGN PRINCIPLES W hit The existing physical characteristics of The Crossings were assessed through three field visits between January and Feburary 2013, based on the evaluation criteria and assessment tools discussed in Chapter 1 of this paper. ne yD r. THE CROSSINGS Av e. Ha m gro th Wa y Ave Ort ega Ave . Central Expy. Old Mill Office Center Col le g eA ve Dr . Sh ow er NTO N SAN A G ab riel The townhomes have a “cottage style” architecture that contributes to the creation of its own visual identity that is unique compared to the existing character of the surrounding area’s conventional suburban-style development (see FIGURE 44). The provision of underground parking and rear-entry garages along private roads, and the absence of surface parking lots, also helps to improve the visual quality of the area. The density of the development — 30 residential units per acre — is atypical for the average density in the city, at 7 to 10 units per acre.173 The retention of redwood trees,present on the former shopping mall site, further helps to add a and interest (see FIGURE 44). ST. San Antonio Shaopping Center NIA OR LIF CA IO R D. L au rel Wa y Shower Dr. So nd Pac che tti Safeway Store W ay ilto Old Mill Office Center NT RA LE XP Y. Consistent with the predominant street pattern of suburbs across the nation, The Crossings has an irregular network of streets. However, unlike the prevailing urban fabric that is characterized by cul-de-sacs, the streets in the development are interconnected, creating small, walkable blocks. The average perimeter of the blocks in the area is 1,200 feet, which is shorter than the maximum recommended block size of 1,800 feet, in order to promote walkability.172 The compact development, with medium and high density housing, small retail stores, and open spaces, complements and positively interacts with the prevailing land uses in the surrounding area, including office, retail, and single-family residential uses. nA ve . CE M ay fie ld De lM ed io Av e. San Antonio Caltrain Station A. Character OLD MILL SHOPPING CENTER nia St. Califor N FIGURE 42. Overview map for The Crossings at Mountain View, California. Source: Google Earth. Map by Author. (Right) Map of the site before redevelopment in 1994. Source: Lee S. Sobel, Ellen Greenberg, and Steven Bodzin, Greyfields into Goldfields: Dead Malls become Living Neighborhoods [Pittsburgh: Congress for New Urbanism, 2002]. 0 125 250 500 Feet Similar to the Eastridge Shopping Mall study area, The Crossings is located at the intersection of two arterial roads: San Antonio Road and California Street. The Old Mill Office building, retained from the former shopping mall, and the peripheral strip mall buffer the residential developments from the arterial roads: San Antonio Road and 172. Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson, Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburb [New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2011]; Charles C. Bohl, Place Making: Developing Town Centers, Main Streets, and Urban Villages [Washington, DC: ULI-Urban Land Institute, 2002]; Lee Sobel, Ellen Greenberg, and Steven Bodzin, Greyfields into Goldfields: Dead Malls become Living Neighborhoods [Pittsburgh: Congress for New Urbanism, 2002]; and Jonathan Barnett, Redesigning Cities: Principles, Practice, Implementation [Chicago: Planners Press, 2003]. 173. Lee Sobel, Ellen Greenberg, and Steven Bodzin, Greyfields into Goldfields: Dead Malls become Living Neighborhoods [Pittsburgh: Congress for New Urbanism, 2002].
  • 42 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST FIGURE 43. View of Central Expressway parallel to San Antonio Caltrain Station. Source: Author. FIGURE 45. View of Pacchetti Way connecting residential development (seen in front) with a strip mall. Source: Author. California Street, respectively. A two-lane residential frontage road and the Caltrain rail line separate the development from the high speed and high volume Central Expressway towards the northern parts of the development (see FIGURE 43). B. Connectivity Lessons Learned The unique architecture, lush landscaping, and retention of redwood trees aid in generating a distinctive character and identity. The Crossings illustrates the application of urban design for developing a sense of place in an area with an undefined existing character. The key strategies that contributed significantly to the development of a sense of place include taking advantage of the site’s inherent natural features, strategically designing parking for minimizing visual blight, well-designed and articulated building facades, and providing suitable land uses that are consistent with those in the neighboring area. FIGURE 44.View of townhomes with cottage style architecture and preserved redwood trees within The Crossings at Mountain View. Source:Author. The Crossings is well-connected on a regional level, and to some extent, on the local level. On a regional level, the site is well-served by a commuter rail station that provides connectivity with the remainder of the San Francisco Bay Area via Caltrain (see FIGURE 43). On a local level, the short, local trip distances encourage people to walk and bike to the strip malls located along California Street. The short and straight Pacchetti Way, running through the development, provides a direct visual and physical connection between California Street and the station. The street extends beyond California Street to provide connectivity with San Antonio Shopping Center, an auto-oriented shopping center (see FIGURE 45). All of the residential units are within a five-minute walk from the transit station. The pedestrianoriented streetscape, small-sized blocks, fine-grained development, and public spaces also encourage pedestrian and bicycling activities to thrive within the development. Overall, The Crossings provides a walkable, permeable, safe, and well-connected internal movement system. However, the automobile-oriented character of the neighborhood beyond the development site — with large surface parking lots and standalone developments — creates a barrier to pedestrian connectivity across the surrounding area (see FIGURE 46). In the absence of clearly defined and direct pedestrian pathways connecting The Crossings with the retained portions of the former shopping FIGURE 46. View of an existing strip mall at the periphery of the Crossings at Mountain View. Note the surface parking lot and standalone retail building. Source: Author mall — the Old Mill Office Center and Strip Mall along California Street — the pedestrians and bicyclists are forced to pass through the vast surface parking lots surrounding these developments. The situation is further exacerbated by the presence of pedestrian-hostile arterial roads along the northern and eastern edges of the site and rail line (see FIGURE 43). This issue is indicative of the limitations of retrofitting individual projects, which often lead to the creation of walkable islands, and then fail to extend their benefits beyond the project boundaries. Lessons Learned A remarkable feature of The Crossing is the clear, effective, and seamless pedestrian connectivity to the San Antonio Caltrain Station. The key strategies that enabled this include fostering walkability by developing small-sized blocks and straight and short streets, increasing permeability by providing clear and direct streets across the site, and encouraging pedestrian and bicycling activities using traffic-calming features and pedestrian-scaled streetscape. However, valuable lessons are also learned from the missed opportunities for integrating the site with the surrounding neighborhood. To truly realize the potential of individual suburban retrofits, there is a need for a more holistic approach — as Dunham-Jones and Williamson appropriately state, “there is also a need to, quite literally, connect the dots to effect systemic change.”174 174. Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson, Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburb [New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2011].
  • RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST C. Legibility The Crossings have a clear and understandable built environment that enhances the spaces and streets that it serves. The residential developments, with a uniform front setback create a sense of enclosure that reinforces and defines the streets (see FIGURE 47). Public and private spaces are clearly defined by the residential stoops along the public streets (see FIGURE 47). Besides rendering privacy to the residents, the stoops also contribute to the active use of the street and generate “eyes on the street” that helps to foster a positive pedestrian environment. Correspondingly, the enclosed private spaces provided at the rear side of building, facing the private streets, assist in providing privacy and security to the residents. 43 buildings facing the station provide a pleasant visual environment for the visitors arriving by rail (see FIGURE 48). Landscaping with redwood trees further offers visual interest and relief from the surrounding built environment. The landscaped central roundabout along the direct approach route connecting the San Antonio Caltrain Station with California Street helps in enhancing the sense of arrival and aids way-finding for visitors (see FIGURE 49). Deliberately accentuated corner buildings, with splayed corners and greater height than the surrounding buildings, serve as a gateway or entry point to the development (see FIGURE 48). Well-articulated FIGURE 47. View of residential stoops along Pacchetti Way that help to clearly delineate private space from public space. Source: Author FIGURE 48. (Top) View of corner building along Pacchetti Way. (Below) View of building facade facing San Antonio Caltrain station. Source: Author. FIGURE 49. View of central roundabout with preserved redwood trees along Pacchetti Way. Source: Author.
  • RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST FIGURE 50. View of park adjoining residential units. Source: Author. FIGURE 51. View of people biking along Shower Drive, located towards the northern edge of The Crossings at Mountain View. Source: Author. Lessons Learned A diverse mix of uses is concentrated along Pacchetti Way — the main street through the development — including residences, retail stores, open spaces, the transit station, and the strip mall. Conversely, the remainder of the development is mainly residential, interspersed with small pockets of green spaces. The differences among these spaces are also reflected on the pedestrian activities in the areas. During each of the site visits, Pacchetti Way was occupied by people of different age groups and ethnicities, engaging in a broad range of activities that include focused activities such as walking towards the transit station and retail stores, jogging, and waiting for public transit; and leisure activities, such as strolling with their children and dogs, engaging in social interaction, sitting on side benches, and playing in the park (see FIGURE 50). In comparison to wide range of activities along Pacchetti Way, the pedestrian activity in the remaining parts of the site was occasional and mostly limited to walking towards their respective destination. FIGURE 52. View of residential development at The Crossings in Mountain View. Notice the narrow, tree-lined street, human-scaled environment and individual and direct entrances to the residential units. Source: Author D. Diversity Recognizable routes, coherent urban design, and landmarks aid in the development of a clear and understandable identity for the development. The key strategies that contribute to the legibility of the area include the development of a strong relationship between buildings and streets, the creation of a clear distinction between public and private spaces, and the incorporation of design elements that aid in developing identifiable focal points. 44 The differences in the level of pedestrian activities and users demonstrate the impact of physical design and function of the urban spaces. The fine-grained land uses within a walkable distance along Pacchetti Way allows for and encourages pedestrian activities. Synergy among the compatible land uses also helps in encouraging the use of space at different times of the day (see FIGURE 51). For example, the proximity of residential and retail uses to one another encourages people to walk and bike for grocery shopping. Similarly, the transit station at the end of the street encourages pedestrian activities throughout the day. The integration of a small-sized but usable open space also tends to encourage the active use of the street. Together, the building form, design elements, and landscaping elements create an excellent setting for pedestrian activities. The continuous building frontage along the narrow, tree-lined street establishes a strong sense of enclosure and human-scale environment, thereby providing a comfortable walking experience (see FIGURE 52).
  • 45 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST 4.3. Case Study: Broadway Plaza at Walnut Creek, California The individual and direct entrances to the residential units from the street contributes to activities, the visual interest, and the “eyes on the street.”175 The open space along the street also serves as a useful play area by allowing for the supervision of children from the abutting residential buildings. Although the open space is directly accessible from the street, the surrounding residential units partially screen its view from the street, thereby contributing to the visual interest. to seamlessly integrate with an existing main street. Broadway Plaza currently integrates over 698,020 square feet of specialty shops, services, restaurants, cafes, small pockets of public spaces, and parking structures with the surrounding downtown area (see FIGURE 54).180 Framed by elaborate building facades, flanked by lavish landscaping, and pedestrian streets, the plaza is fittingly the centerpiece of activities in the downtown area. Suisun Bay 680 MARTINEZ 4 Buchanan Field 242 CONCORD Lessons Learned Overall, The Crossings, especially the principal street, offer opportunities for a diverse range of activities that foster a pedestrian friendly environment. The strategies that allowed the active use of the area include the provision of complementary land uses within a walkable distance, active building facades enhancing pedestrian safety by generating eyes on street, a human-scaled built environment, and a well-integrated public space. PLEASANT HILL 680 BAYWOOD WALNUT CREEK BROADWAY PLAZA 24 N 0 1/2 1 2 Miles FIGURE 53. Context Map for Broadway Plaza at Walnut Creek, California. Data Source: Google Earth. Map by Author. Built in 1951, the former Broadway Shopping Center — occupying a 30-acre site with 1,500 surface-parking spaces — typified the first automobile-oriented retail developments of that era.176 Despite being located adjacent to the city’s historic downtown, a busy arterial road — Mount Diablo Boulevard — separated the shopping center from the downtown. By the 1980s, both the shopping mall and downtown were failing.177 In an attempt to revive the area, the city’s planning department came up with a plan for developing a downtown– mall hybrid.178 The resultant development was highly successful, often referred as “the Beverley Hills of the East Bay area,”179 and offers an excellent example of how an existing shopping mall can be retrofitted 175. Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities [New York: Modern Library, 1993]. 176. Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson, Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs [New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2011]. 177. Ibid. 178. Ibid. 179. Ibid. 180. Macerich, “ Planning a Visit,” Broadway Plaza, http://www.broadwayplaza.com/VisitorInfo/Visit [accessed November 12, 2012].
  • 46 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST 1.3 Miles North-West o dr. Margand LO BLV MT. DIAB D. NORDSTROM S. B AZA AIN S. M MACY’S AY DW ROA L AY P ADW BRO pic Dr. Olym BROADWAY PLAZA t. bC com Hol ST. Dr. Pl. lho Bote Newell Hill Mt. Diablo Blvd. Newell Ave th ou a Bro ay dw S So ut hM ain St r eet BROADWAY SHOPPING CENTER N FIGURE 54. Historic aerial image of former Broadway Shopping Center. Source: www.farm3.staticflickr.com. (Right) Overview map of Broadway Plaza at Walnut Creek, California. Source: Google Earth. Map by Author. E. LL AV NEWE 0 125 250 500 Feet
  • 47 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST EVALUATION OF URBAN DESIGN PRINCIPLES The existing physical characteristics of Broadway Plaza at Walnut Creek were assessed through three field visits between January and Feburary 2013, based on the evaluation criteria and assessment tools discussed in Chapter 1 of this paper. A. Character A guiding factor in retrofitting the former shopping mall was to design within the context of the surrounding downtown area. Broadway Plaza lies in an area with a diverse urban form; the surrounding downtown area has an interconnected network of irregular streets, creating walkable-sized blocks (less than 1,800 feet in perimeter),181 and a typical suburban street pattern along its southern and eastern sides, characterized by cul-de-sacs and large-sized blocks. FIGURE 55. View of Broadway Plaza Street. Notice the differential treatment of the building facades along the street that gives an impression of multiple buildings. Source: Author 181. Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson, Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburb [New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2011]; Charles C. Bohl, Place Making: Developing Town Centers, Main Streets, and Urban Villages [Washington, DC: ULI-Urban Land Institute, 2002]; Lee Sobel, Ellen Greenberg, and Steven Bodzin, Greyfields into Goldfields: Dead Malls become Living Neighborhoods [Pittsburgh: Congress for New Urbanism, 2002]; and Jonathan Barnett, Redesigning Cities: Principles, Practice, Implementation [Chicago: Planners Press, 2003]. Consistent with the traditional street pattern of the surrounding downtown area, Broadway Plaza Street, running through the plaza, and a network of arbitrary pedestrian streets break the plaza into small-sized blocks averaging 1,405 feet in perimeter. pedestrian-oriented environment of Broadway Plaza Street and abutting buildings fits with and acknowledges the character of the adjacent main-street style developments, contributing to a coherent overall design (see FIGURE 57). A visual analysis of the building footprints clearly suggests that the buildings in the plaza have a significantly larger footprints compared to the surrounding downtown area. However, consistent with the mainstreet style of the downtown area, the different facade treatment of the buildings in the plaza — with varying scale and design — creates an impression of multiple, small-scaled buildings at the street level (see FIGURE 55). Lessons Learned The plaza has a distinctive visual appeal provided by the well-articulated and detailed buildings, carefully designed public spaces, and complementary landscaping elements, including topiaries, sculptures, and European-styled fountains (see FIGURE 56). The FIGURE 56.View of a pedestrian street at Broadway Plaza. The well-articulated buildings and complementary landscaping contributes to the distinctive visual appeal of the plaza. Source: Author The project provides valuable lessons on how to sensitively incorporate a new development into an existing urban fabric, while also establishing its own unique sense of place. The particular urban design strategies used in the project include breaking a superblock into small-sized blocks, creating building facades and streets that have similar scale and form than that of the surrounding developments, and adding a sense of identity with the unique design and landscaping of the plaza. FIGURE 57. View of South Main Street with Broadway Plaza towards the left and downtown towards the east. Notice that the scale of the plaza is consistent with that of the surrounding developments. Source: Author
  • 48 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST FIGURE 58. View of a pedestrian street connecting the plaza with the downtown’s main street (seen at back). Source: Author FIGURE 59. View of parking lots and parking structure along South Broadway Plaza towards the rear side of the plaza. Source: Author FIGURE 60. Area adjacent to bus stop along Broadway Plaza Street. Source: Author At a regional level, the Contra Costa County Transportation Authority’s bus network connects the plaza to cities across the county. One of the most accessible and busiest bus stops in the area is located immediately adjacent to a heavily landscaped public area along Broadway Plaza Street, fittingly named The Fountain, which is liberally supplied with pedestrian-friendly amenities like a European fountain, benches, sculptures, and lights (see FIGURE 60). In contrast, the bus stops located adjacent to parking garages, along the outer edge of the plaza, feel nearly unusable and abandoned. Lessons Learned B. Connectivity The central objective behind retrofitting the former Broadway Shopping Center was to improve its connectivity with the downtown. The existing routes and crossing points through the pedestrian promenade of the mall, appropriately defined by strong and consistent building lines, way-finding signs, and landscaping elements, provide a clear and attractive connection with the adjacent downtown area (see FIGURE 58). In addition, the provision of traffic-calming features such as bulb-outs and textured pedestrian crossings and yellow flashing lights limit the pace of movement on the streets to walking speed, fostering a safe and active pedestrian-oriented environment. Conversely, the lack of natural surveillance created by the two-storied parking structure and underutilized developments along the car-dominant Newell Avenue and South Broadway Street creates a perceptual barrier to the connectivity of the plaza with the adjoining residential and commercial developments (see FIGURE 59). The extension of the pedestrian promenade by another block at the intersection of Mount Diablo Boulevard and North Main Street proved pivotal to making a physical, visual, and perceptual connection with the northern parts of the downtown. Overall, the permeable, walkable, and interconnected networks of streets provide excellent connectivity within the plaza and with the adjacent downtown area towards the northern and western edges of the plaza. Broadway Plaza benefits from being located adjacent to the city’s traditional downtown, with its fine-grained, interconnected network of streets and short blocks. However, the relatively poor connectivity with the automobile-oriented suburban developments along the eastern and southern parts of the plaza once again brings to the forefront the limitations of retrofitting individual projects located within a suburban setting. The key strategies that enabled connectivity within the plaza and the downtown area include clearly defined routes, traffic-calming features, a pedestrian-scaled streetscape, the provision of a new street through the pedestrian promenade, and the development of an additional block for better integration with the existing downtown area.
  • 49 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST C. Legibility Recognizable routes, intersections, and open public places adequately help visitors understand, use, and move around the plaza and adjoining downtown area. Buildings in the plaza typically front directly onto the streets, and are occasionally set back to accommodate open public places (see FIGURE 61). The distribution and arrangement of open spaces along the major streets in the area provide points of orientation and enhance the value of the street as a public realm, thereby enhancing the legibility of the area. Intersections of the streets, clearly articulated by the well-designed corner buildings, complementary landscaping, and way-finding elements also contribute to the legibility of the area by creating visual interest and contributing to a distinctive identity. D. Diversity Nevertheless, all of the arrival points to the plaza are punctuated by open spaces and landscaping elements that help to establish a sense of arrival and positive welcome to visitors. A small open space centered on a fountain at the intersection of North Broadway and Mount Diablo Boulevard, for instance, performs the function of a gateway to the plaza (see FIGURE 63). Lessons Learned Broadway Plaza is easy to understand, use, and move within for the visitors. This stems from clearly defined streets, well-designed street corners, prominent public spaces, way-finding signs, and recognizable gateway features in the area. There is a remarkable difference between the visual quality of the approach routes to the plaza from the north and west, and those from the south and east (see FIGURE 62 and FIGURE 59). The well-articulated and detailed building facades and distinctive landscaping along the North Main Street and Olympic Boulevard can be contrasted with the surface parking lots, inward-looking developments, and weak building patterns along the South Main Street and South Broadway Street. FIGURE 61. View of Broadway Plaza Street. Note that the buildings (at the back) are setback to accommodate small public space around a fountain. Source: Author FIGURE 62. View of South Market Street immediately adjacent to Broadway Plaza (towards the left). Source: Author The plaza offers a variety of retail choices, including small specialty stores, restaurants, cafes, and department stores, albeit these are mostly targeted at high income consumers. Ground-floor retail uses, articulated building facades, and direct views of public places from the streets maximizes the natural surveillance, thereby making the area safe and comfortable to walk within. The integration of well-designed and heavily landscaped public places generate plenty of leisure activities such as relaxing, socializing, people watching, and reading in the promenade (see FIGURE 64). However, the largely commercial nature of the surrounding area results in the majority of pedestrian activities taking place during the weekends or daytime, when the restaurants and stores are open. Another intriguing observation was that these activities were largely concentrated near the food establishments, which varied from fine-dining restaurants to sidewalk cafes to food carts (see FIGURE 65). In contrast, the inactive frontages and uses along the eastern and southern edges of the plaza — with parking lots and a variable building setbacks — create a physical environment strongly oriented towards automobiles, with poor natural surveillance, resulting in little pedestrian activity. FIGURE 63. The development along the intersection of Mount Diablo Boulevard and South Broadway Street, The Fountain, serves as a gateway to the plaza. Source: Author
  • 50 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST 4.4. Key Lessons Learned from Case Studies The two case studies look at whether and how the desired urban design principles — character, connectivity, legibility and diversity — were achieved by the physical design of the projects. Lessons learned from these case studies provide guidance in identifying urban design strategies for retrofitting Eastridge Shopping Mall, and, consequently, could help reduce automobile dependency, create a distinct sense of place, and improve the connectivity of the mall with the surrounding areas, particularly the adjacent urban village, as stated in the research question. Additionally, the shortcomings of retrofitting individual projects and influence of existing neighborhood provide direction for future research seeking to broaden the benefits of retrofitted suburban developments beyond the site boundaries. FIGURE 64. View of a landscaped open space along Broadway Plaza Street. Source: Author FIGURE 65. View of a small public place at the intersection of Mount Diablo Boulevard and South Broadway Plaza. Areas around food options such as kiosks experienced high pedestrian activities. Source: Author Lessons Learned The blend of a wide range of retail stores, distinctive architecture, and an attractive public realm generates plenty of pedestrian activities in the area, particularly during the weekends. However, in comparison, the absence of office and residential uses fails to sustain adequate use of the plaza during the weekdays and after store hours. This suggests that limiting single-use districts could help create a vibrant and thriving 24-hour environment. The strategies that attracted a variety of people and activities during the store-business hours include the provision of public spaces and active ground-level uses, and the use of a continuous building facade. TABLE 2 summarizes the characteristics of the case studies and the study area. The connectivity of the studied projects was influenced by the context. Although all three projects are set within conventional post-world-war suburbs, Broadway Plaza at Walnut Creek benefits from the traditional urban form of an adjoining downtown that favors pedestrian activities. Similar to the Eastridge Shopping Mall, which was built in 1970 at the peak of the popularity of the retail format, the former mall, which was replaced by The Crossings at Mountain View, opened in 1975. However, the original mall at Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek opened in 1951 and was among the first shopping malls built to accommodate automobiles. The case studies have a drastically smaller acreage compared to the study area. Even though the study of a project whose scale was comparable to that of the study area might have been more beneficial, both projects present successful stories of mall retrofitting widely documented in the related literature. Also, as stated previously, money and time constraints limited the case studies to the San Francisco Bay Area, and, within the geographical boundaries, these projects were the best fit based on the evaluation criteria. TABLE 2. Case Study Characteristics Project Name Context Site Size Transit Facilities Previous Use Existing Uses Notable Features THE CROSSINGS, Mountain View, CA Suburban 18 acre Caltrain Regional Rail Shopping Mall Residential, retail, office and open space Residential units within 5 minutes’ walk of Caltrain Station; Office and peripheral strip malls retained from former mall. BROADWAY PLAZA, Walnut Creek, CA Suburban and downtown 25 acre Contra Costa County Transportation Authority’s bus network Shopping Mall Retail and open spaces Integrated with main street of downtown area; Anchor stores retained from former mall. EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL, San Jose, CA Suburban 105 acre Valley Transportation Authority Bus Network N/A Retail, Medical center and transit center Adjacent to undeveloped proposed urban village site,Eastridge Transit Center and proposed light rail station. Source: Lee S. Sobel, Ellen Greenberg, and Steven Bodzin, Greyfields into Goldfields: Dead Malls become Living Neighborhoods [Pittsburgh: Congress for New Urbanism, 2002]; Big Mall Rat, ”Guide to Eastridge Shopping Mall,” Big Mall Rat, http://www.bigmallrat.com/san-jose-malls/eastridge-mall.html [accessed November 20, 2012].
  • 51 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST All three projects are well-served and connected by the public transportation system. In particular, the Eastridge Shopping Mall area has a wealth of existing and proposed transit facilities that could potentially serve as a catalyst for bringing positive, meaningful design changes to the area. The case studies illustrate how to sensitively incorporate a new development into an existing urban fabric while also establishing its own unique sense of place. Consistent with the urban design strategy set forth by the reviewed literature and urban designers for overcoming the constraints created by superblocks, both the projects have small and regular shaped blocks with an average perimeter of less than 1,800 feet that is considered conducive to walking.182 Similar to the Eastridge Shopping Mall, the absence of a recognizable character for the surrounding areas generated the challenge of developing a distinctive sense of place, while also respecting and responding to the existing urban fabric at the same time. This was adequately accomplished by both projects, urban design analysis suggests. While unique architecture, landscaping and strong relationships between the buildings and streets contributed to distinctiveness, consideration of the massing and scale of existing buildings and preservation of existing natural features enabled integration of existing and proposed developments. The buildings in Broadway Plaza, for instance, replicated the scale and main street style of the adjoining downtown area. Conservation of redwood trees from the former mall site in The Crossings at Mountain View helped in integrating it with the natural environment of the area. Evaluation of the connectivity in terms of the physical environment for the studied projects help in identifying effective strategy for encouraging the use of public transit, and conversely, reducing automobile dependency: providing active uses near the transit center. The significantly higher volume of commuters at the bus stop along the main street of Broadway Plaza and adjacent to retail and open public space, for example, as compared to that adjacent to parking structures along an arterial road indicate the influence of land uses on public transit use. Similarly, the proximity of the San Antonio Caltrain 182. Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson, Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburb [New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2011]; Charles C. Bohl, Place Making: Developing Town Centers, Main Streets, and Urban Villages [Washington, DC: ULI-Urban Land Institute, 2002]; Lee Sobel, Ellen Greenberg, and Steven Bodzin, Greyfields into Goldfields: Dead Malls become Living Neighborhoods [Pittsburgh: Congress for New Urbanism, 2002]; and Jonathan Barnett, Redesigning Cities: Principles, Practice, Implementation [Chicago: Planners Press, 2003]. TABLE 3. Summary of key findings based on urban design analysis and behavioral observation study Evaluation Criteria The Crossings, Mountain View, CA Broadway Plaza Walnut Creek, CA Eastridge Shopping Mall San Jose, CA Character Pedestrian oriented built environment with straight, interconnected network of streets creating small block averaging 1,200 feet in perimeter; Pedestrian oriented built environment with straight, interconnected network of pedestrian streets creating small block averaging 1,400 feet in perimeter; Automobile oriented built environment with disconnected street network creating large block sizes averaging 1,905 feet in perimeter; Unique architecture, lush landscaping and retention of redwood trees aids in generating a distinctive character and identity. Well-articulated and detailed buildings, carefully designed public spaces and complementary landscaping elements including topiaries, sculptures and European-styled fountains provides a distinctive character; Acknowledgment of the adjacent main street style development’s existing character. Absence of a defined and consistent character. Clear, effective and seamless pedestrian connectivity with the San Antonio Caltrain Station and adjoining strip mall fostered by small-sized blocks and straight and short streets; Excellent connectivity with downtown area fostered by clearly defined routes, traffic calming features, pedestrian scaled streetscape, street through the pedestrian promenade and development of an additional block for better integration with the existing downtown area; Extremely poor connectivity with the surrounding neighborhood due to adjoining arterial streets, surface parking, large walking distances and creek Connectivity Limited connectivity with the other surrounding developments constrained by presence of arterial roads, rail line and the surrounding automobileoriented developments. Limited connectivity with the remainder of the surroundings Legibility Coherent urban design, consistent building setback, well-designed corner buildings and clearly defined public and private spaces contribute to a legible built environment Clearly defined streets, well-designed street corners, prominent public spaces, wayfinding signs and positive gateway features in the area contribute to a legible built environment. Poorly designed approach routes, absence of gateway features and lack of well defined landmarks makes the area difficult to use and move for the visitors. Diversity Actively used area particularly the main street — Pacchetti Way — that has complementary land uses within a walking distance, active building facades, human scaled built environment and well integrated public space. Attracts high pedestrian volume during the store  business hours; Absence of much pedestrian activity stemming from automobile-oriented built environment created by high speed streets, large surface parking lots, large block sizes and absence of uses that can sustain pedestrian activities. Benefits from well-integrated public spaces, active ground level uses, and continuous building facade. Station to the residential areas seemingly encourage the use of public transportation. Both case studies have a clear and understandable built environment that contributes to development of a place that as a visitor feels functional, attractive and memorable. Continuous building facades that reinforce and define the streets seems to be one of the key strategies adopted by both the case studies for successfully creating a legible built environment. Occasionally projection and setback from the building line, in the case of Broadway Plaza, further helped in contributing to visual interest while also accommodating attractive and usable public spaces for the pedestrians. Other strategies that effectively assisted in enhancing the legibility of both the case studies were incorporation of gateway features that marked a sense of arrival to the place and provision of well-designed corner buildings that, besides defining an intersection, creates memorable points of interests that help orient visitors. The residential stoops in the setback along the main throughway of The Crossings at Mountain View unambiguously distinguishes the public space from the private space while also ensuring the need for resident privacy.
  • RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST The findings of the behavioral observation are in agreement with those of the literature review and interviews; providing a compatible mix of land uses within a compact distance is successful in encouraging pedestrian activities. The majority of pedestrian activities within The Crossings were concentrated along the development’s main street that had a mix of land uses including residential, transit, retail and open area, in comparison to the remainder of the development that is largely residential and had few or no pedestrian activities. Likewise, the relatively few pedestrian activities at Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek after store closing hours suggests that retail by itself is insufficient to encourage active use of an area around the clock. In summary, the case studies demonstrate successful urban design strategies that might be directly applicable to the study area. The case studies also revealed the limitations of retrofitting individual developments in making widespread positive changes to suburbs. The nature of surrounding developments seems to influence the connectivity of the studied projects with existing urban fabric. Developments beyond the project boundaries faced the very issues that are inherent in suburbs: single uses, unwalkable blocks and car-dominant environment. None of the case studies, for example, addressed the challenges presented by the presence of arterial roads; buildings within these developments had their backs facing the arterials creating walkable islands within a largely fragmented and unwalkable suburban environment. 52
  • URBAN DESIGN PROPOSAL Re-envisioning Eastridge Shopping Mall 5 5.1. Urban Design Strategies 5.2. Master Plan B uilding upon the areas of issues and opportunities identified in the study area during the course of an urban design analysis, in combination with lessons learned from interviews with an urban designer, a literature review, and the case studies of Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek and The Crossings in Mountain View, this chapter sets forth the urban design recommendations for the study area. The plan for retrofitting the Eastridge Shopping Mall and adjacent urban village site calls for a comprehensive urban design approach.
  • 54 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST 5.1. Urban Design Strategies 1. Reinforcing retail activities along Tully Road L TU R LY 2. Respecting the intimate scale and character of the existing . residential neighborhood along Quimby Road RD LY D. L TU Reid-Hillview Airport Reid-Hillview Airport G le n L TOL API E. C TOL API E. C Way oman . RD LY UL T G le n L Way oman Y. EXP Y. EXP The following section recommends urban design strategies for carrying forward the principles and visions described in Chapter 1 of the report. Even though the strategies address discrete principles, these are often interdependent and address more than one goal; the provision of active building facades, for instance, contributes to the diversity of activities as well as the legibility of an area. nton Glen Fe L TU Way R LY D. Glen Fe ay nton W A. CHARACTER BY IM QU The Eastridge Shopping Mall is set within an area characterizing a “paradigmatic postwar American suburb.”183 As with suburbs across the nation, the prevailing street pattern in the study area is essentially curvilinear and disconnected, resulting in large, irregular-shaped blocks. The presence of the Eastridge Shopping Mall, the Reid-Hillview Airport, and a vacant site along the key streets of the area — with sprawling building sites — further contributes to an area with weak character, or no sense of place. Means for possibly achieving the desired qualities include: . RD QU I M D. D. D. pi n Cho pi n Cho 0 750 1500 3000 Feet Tully Road (beyond its intersection with Quimby Road) offers a diverse range of retail activities and services to the surrounding residential communities. Consistent with the established commercial character of the street, ground-level retail, commercial, and dining uses should be provided along the Eastridge Shopping Mall site’s frontage, directly accessible from the street. Broadway Plaza at Walnut Creek, for instance, respects and builds upon the existing commercial character of the surrounding downtown by offering retail and dining options along its main street. The strategy attempts to address the constraint presented by the existing coarse grain of Tully Road contributed by the massive sized, haphazardly placed buildings along the street, as previously mentioned in section 3.4 of this paper. N Moss Hollow Dr. 183. University of Miami, Evergreen-Eastridge Plan, November 2003. e. Av pin o Ch Atwood Dr. Each of these five strategies with accompanying concept diagrams are further elaborated next. N R BY r. Moss Hollow Dr. 5. Dividing superblocks into small sized blocks o Ch Atwood Dr. e. Av pin 2. Respecting the intimate scale and character of the existing residential neighborhood along Quimby Road 4. Creating a unifying urban design D tto ole Rig IM Ave . R BY Ave . IM QU QU E. CAPITOL EXPY. r. E. CAPITOL EXPY. D tto ole Rig 1. Reinforcing retail activities along Tully Road 3. Strategically designing parking areas BY R 0 750 1500 3000 Feet In keeping with one of the Envision 2040’s central goals — preserving the character of the existing residential neighborhood — the new development should be sensitively designed, taking into account the existing building scale, the pattern of the existing single-family neighborhood, and synergies between the proposed and existing land uses. Taking lessons from The Crossings at Mountain View urban design strategies could be effectively employed for providing a gradual transition between areas with different characters, while also ensuring some degree of privacy for the residents. These include providing neighborhood-serving retail developments and a community center along the edges of the residential development facing the Caltrain station, and setting back the residential units from the street line. The strategy attempts to build upon the opportunity offered by the established character of Quimby Road, previously noted in section 3.4 of this paper.
  • 55 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST A reasonable solution could be to screen the parking structure by creating active building frontages along the streets or confining the off-street parking to the upper floor levels. Additionally, street parking could supplement the parking structure while also enhancing pedestrian safety and comfort by serving as a buffer from moving vehicles and decreasing the traffic speed. This strategy attempts to address the constraints presented by surface parking lots, previously noted in section 3.4 of this paper. . RD 3. Strategically designed parkingLLYareas TU Reid-Hillview Airport TOL API E. C G le n L Way oman Y. EXP L TU R LY D. Glen Fe QU IM BY R D. D. r. Cho pi n Ave . D tto ole Rig R BY E. CAPITOL EXPY. IM QU ay nton W Moss Hollow Dr. N Atwood Dr. e. Av pin o Ch 0 750 1500 3000 Feet Despite being blamed for undermining the pedestrian environment and visual quality of an area, parking, as suggested by the literature and interviewed urban designers, is essential for the success of retail uses. Moreover, it is unreasonable to assume that retrofitting existing suburban developments will altogether eliminate the use of automobiles. This, consequently, emphasizes the need for parking designed to be accessible without undermining the character of the new development. Despite the exorbitant cost, parking garages and underground parking — in the case of the studied projects — allows leveraging of limited and high-priced land for other uses, while preventing the visual blight created by large expanses of surface parking lots. However, learning from Broadway Plaza placing parking structures along a public realm results in stand-alone developments that are disjointed from the surrounding urban fabric, which ultimately fails to create a coherent urban character. 4. Creating a unifying urban design Building upon the lessons learned from the study of The Crossings at Mountain View, which, similar to the study area, previously lacked a unifying architecture or a unique, distinct, and recognizable character, the plans for the study area call for the development of a place with its own distinctive identity. This can be possibly attained by creating building facades that are consistent in scale and quality, yet contribute to visual interest and diversity. Breaks in the continuous building facade through a regular rhythm of architecture, heights, facade setbacks, and elements in Broadway Plaza at Walnut Creek, for instance, generated a diverse and attractive pedestrian experience, whilst the consistent use of elements such as decorative steel arches and landscaping elements such as topiaries, sculptures, and European-styled fountains visually unified the buildings across the development. Moreover, unlike the monolithic shopping-mall building, the building facade of the new development should be well articulated for establishing a sense of scale and dimension. This strategy attempts to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the absence of unifying architecture and character of the study area, as noted in section 3.4 of this paper.
  • 56 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST B. CONNECTIVITY 5. Dividing superblocks into small-sized blocks D. The existing design of the study area — with large expanses of surface parking lots and high speed arterials — clearly favors automobiles and places a low priority on the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists. As a result, the existing built environment of the study area feels unattractive and uninviting, and is often dangerous for anyone in the area without a car. In keeping with the objectives of the research question, the vision is to redevelop Eastridge Shopping Mall as a cohesive part of the existing urban fabric by seamlessly integrating it with the surrounding developments and, in particular, with the proposed urban village location. Means for possibly achieving the desired qualities include: Y. EXP . RD QU IM BY R D. r. oD lett R LY D. Glen Fe QU IM D tto ole Rig BY R D. r. 1. Knitting Eastridge Shopping Mall site and the pi n Ave . proposed Urban Village Site together Cho ay nton W E. CAPITOL EXPY. o Rig IM E. CAPITOL EXPY. QU . RD BY L TU Ave . Glen Way Fenton Way oman pi n LLY TU G le n L Y. EXP TOL API E. C Way oman Reid-Hillview Airport TOL API E. C Reid-Hillview Airport G le n L 1. Knitting Eastridge Shopping Mall site and the proposed . RD LLY TU Urban Village site together Cho TU R LLY 2. Connecting existing throughways 3. Repairing constraints caused by arterial roads N e. Av pin 4. Improving area along Thompson Creek e. Av pin o Ch 0 750 1500 3000 Feet The existing urban fabric — characterized by superblocks and large building sites — undermines the character and pedestrian movement for the area. Such massive-scale blocks allow for large building footprints and coarse urban texture that fail to provide a continuous and consistent street frontage, and separates the buildings by distances beyond that which is reasonable to encourage walking. Taking a clue from The Crossings at Mountain View and a key strategy set forth both by the reviewed literature and interviews with urban designers, the superblock should be divided into small-size, regular blocks that are no more than 600 feet in length on either side and 1800 feet in perimeter. The optimal block size was identified by reviewed literature based on the ease of walkability. Providing regular-shaped blocks, in comparison to irregular blocks, helps to improve the readability of the physical environment, making it easier for visitors to understand, use, and move within. The strategy attempts to take advantage of the opportunity as well as overcome the constraint presented by superblocks in the study area, noted in section 3.4 of this paper. Each of these four strategies with accompanying concept diagrams are further elaborated next. o Ch N 0 750 1500 3000 Feet Quimby Road, which separates the Eastridge Shopping Mall site and the designated urban village site, also marks the transition between grids with different block orientations toward the north and south of the street. As a result, both sites are angled, not perpendicular, to the street in question, thereby constraining the possibility of extending clear and legible straight streets in order to visually and physically integrate both the developments. One possible solution would be to extend Quimby Road — running along the western side of the mall site — by another block into the urban village site and then continuing parallel to the site along its southern edge. Although this opportunity is unique to the study area and was not present in either of the case studies or in the reviewed literature, the development of an additional block proved pivotal in the better integration of Broadway Plaza with the existing main street in Walnut Creek. This strategy attempts to take advantage of the unique opportunity presented by the proposed urban village site, noted in section 3.4 of this paper.
  • 57 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST L TU LY Reid-Hillview Airport Way oman Y. EXP LY Glen Fe QU IM BY R ay nton W L TU R LY D. G le n L Way oman . XPY L TU . RD Reid-Hillview Airport E OL PIT TOL API E. C G le n L 3. Repairing constraints caused by arterial roads A E. C Providing such direct links to the surrounding neighborhoods, as opposed to the existing street network, would minimize the walking distances between the site and the surrounding neighborhood and would provide choices for accessibility and movement through the site. Consequently, this measure could incentivize walking and bicycling activities and prevent an absolute need for a car in the area. This strategy attempts to mitigate the constraint presented by the separation of single-use buildings by large distances, previously stated in section 3.4 of this paper. 2. Connecting existing throughways . RD Glen Fe ay nton W D. Cho Cho pi n pi n Ave . Ave . E. CAPITOL EXPY. e. Av pin e. Av pin o Ch o Ch N 0 750 1500 3000 Feet Similar to the shortcomings of enclosed shopping malls across the nation — noted by both literature review and interviews alike — one of the greatest deficiencies of Eastridge Shopping Mall is its impermeability to the existing residential street networks, which limits the mobility of pedestrians through the site. A possible remedial measure, taking lessons from the case studies of Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek and Tachieva’s book Sprawl Repair Manual, is to extend the existing throughways along the street edges through the site, cutting across the main streets.184 However, it should also be considered that residents of the surrounding neighborhoods might be averse to the idea of direct connectivity with the mall site, who might fear negative traffic and noise implications. Nevertheless, learning from the case studies measures such as on-street parking, surface treatment, roundabouts and bulb outs can be useful in discouraging high speed and volume traffic through the street. 184. Galina Tachieva, Sprawl Repair Manual [Washington D.C.: Island Press, 2010]. N 0 750 1500 3000 Feet Reviewed literature and interviewed urban designers consistently mentioned abutting arterial routes as the primary design challenge for retrofitting shopping malls into a walkable and interconnected urban space. This reveals the inherent limitation of America’s transportation planning based on a simplistic, functional classification system that design streets either for mobility or accessibility, where mobility refers to the actual ability of the road to move traffic and accessibility refers to the ease of entering or exiting a roadway to or from adjacent properties. Based on the system, arterial roads are designed with the central tenet of maximizing mobility, while local streets are for providing accessibility to the abutting developments. This classification system blatantly ignores the role of streets as public places, discussed at length by the legendary urban designer Jane Jacobs’s classic book The Death and Life of Great American Cities.185 185. Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities [New York: Modern Library, 1993].
  • 58 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST LLY TU oman Glen L The area around Eastridge Shopping mall in general suffers from poor legibility, stemming from the absence of landmarks, clearly defined and recognizable street edges and gateway features that indicate a sense of arrival to the area. However, the existing natural assets and transportation resources provide significant opportunity to reestablish the area as a place with a distinctive identity and easy to interpret for the visitors. Means for possibly achieve the desired qualities include: Way . RD Glen Fe QU IM BY R D. D. 1. Providing well-defined street corners PS M ON E. CAPITOL EXPY. 2. Defining street edges K EE CR 3. Enhancing views of Diablo Hill Range Cho p in Ave . R BY ay nton W O TH IM QU N e. Av in Each of these four strategies with accompanying concept diagrams are further elaborated next. Moss Hollow Dr. op Ch 4. Establishing Eastridge Transit Center as a landmark Atwood Dr. 186. Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson, Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs [New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons, 2011]; and Galina Tachieva, Sprawl Repair Manual [Washington D.C.: Island Press, 2010]. 187. Ibid. Reid-Hillview Airport Y. EXP A reasonable alternative for integrating streets as a part of the public realm without compromising both accessibility and mobility, as advocated by two pioneering books — Ellen Dunham-Jones’s Retrofitting Suburbia and Galina Tachieva’s Sprawl Repair Manual — on the topic of retrofitting suburban developments, is transforming arterial streets into boulevards.186 Palm Canyon Drive in Cathedral City, California, provides a successful example of such a retrofit, in which the outermost high-speed traffic lanes were replaced by street parking and access lanes while the central lanes, with fast-moving through traffic, were separated by landscaped medians.187 Taking lessons from the reviewed literature, it is reasonable to assume that the transformation of East Capitol Expressway into a boulevard, by reducing lane widths, separating access and travel lanes, and including medians and on-street parking, could allow the creation of a safe, convenient, and inviting environment for pedestrians without compromising the primary function of the street. This strategy attempts to address the constraint presented by high-speed and high-volume arterial roads (East Capitol Expressway and Tully Road) bordering Eastridge Shopping Mall site, previously mentioned in section 3.4 of this paper. C. LEGIBILITY 4. Improving the area along Thompson Creek TOL API E. C This issue has not been adequately dealt with in either of the case studies, in which the retrofitted developments have their backs facing the existing arterial roads. Nonetheless, the failure to repair these arterial roads will compromise pedestrian comfort and safety, thereby confining the benefits of the retrofit to within the site boundary. 0 750 1500 3000 Feet Besides East Capitol Expressway, the poorly-maintained Thompson Creek constrains the connectivity of the Eastridge Shopping Mall with the existing residential neighborhood toward its eastern side. The only existing connection points between these developments are two road bridges, one along Tully Road, toward the north, and other along Quimby Road, toward the south, which are more than half a mile apart — double the distance people are reasonably expected to walk. Utilizing the true potential of the natural asset, recreational and commuting opportunities should be encouraged along the creek by creating bike and pedestrian trails and providing supporting pedestrian amenities, such as benches, picnic tables, bike racks, public rest rooms, and lighting. The trails should be extended and linked with existing regional or subregional trail systems, such as Coyote Creek trail in San Jose. Finally, additional access bridges and pedestrian routes should be created to link the creek with neighboring residential developments, Eastridge Shopping Mall, and the transit center. This strategy attempts to utilize the opportunity presented by the fact that Thompson Creek runs along the eastern edge of the mall, previously noted in section 3.4 of this paper.
  • 59 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST 1. Providing well-defined street corners D. YR L TU 2. Defining street edges L Reid-Hillview Airport Reid-Hillview Airport Way oman Glen Fe R LY D. Glen Fe QU IM D. D. D. Glen Fe BY R D. QU Ave . Ave . Cho pi n pi n pi n Cho 3000 Feet The corner buildings of a street intersection — with two street facing facades — offer excellent opportunities for serving as points of reference and marking entry or exit to an area. Building upon the lessons learnt from the Crossings at Mountain View, the buildings at key intersections could serve as a gateway to the area and assist in way-finding for the visitors. This can be achieved through a number of strategies such as directly orienting the building entrance towards the crosswalks, providing rounded buildings at the corners, making them higher or lower in height compared to surrounding buildings, and providing strong architectural articulations. This strategy attempts to build upon the opportunity presented by lack of unifying architecture and character in the built up area, as previously mentioned in section 3.4 of this paper. N D. e. Av pin o Ch 0 750 1500 3000 Feet Quality of approach routes contributes to the first image and perception of the people towards a place. Well-defined streets help in emphasizing and providing visual connections between the key destinations in an area while also establishing a sense of arrival for the visitors into the area; thereby, contributing to its legibility. Both the studied projects — The Crossings at Mountain View and Broadway Plaza at Walnut Creek — benefit from clear and legible street edges. This can be achieved by a number of strategies including providing continuous building facade enclosing the street and having a consistent building line. Clearly defining and distinguishing public areas and private areas, as in the case of The Crossings where building setback and residential stoops marked a transition from the public realm to individual residence, further contributes to ease of understanding for an area. The strategy attempts to build upon the opportunity presented by lack of unifying architecture and character within the study area, previously mentioned in section 3.4 of this paper. N Moss Hollow Dr. 1500 R BY Atwood Dr. 750 Moss Hollow Dr. 0 Atwood Dr. e. Av pin o Ch IM ay nton W E. CAPITOL EXPY. Ave . IM . RD BY E. CAPITOL EXPY. QU Moss Hollow Dr. N Atwood Dr. e. Av pin o Ch R LY QU IM D. E. CAPITOL EXPY. Q M UI R BY BY R L TU ay nton W Way oman Cho BY R L TU ay nton W G le n L Y. EXP D. QU IM Way oman Y. EXP Y. EXP R LY G le n L TOL API E. C G le n L Reid-Hillview Airport TOL API E. C TOL API E. C L TU 3. Enhancing view of Diablo Hill Range 0 750 1500 3000 Feet As stated previously, the study area has significant scenic views of Diablo Hill Range towards its eastern and northern side. Although considering the advantageous location and transportation infrastructure the site might be best suited for infill development as opposed to the prevailing low density and intensity development pattern of the area, attempts should be made to utilize the potential of this natural asset. Low height single family residences and Thompson Creek along the East Capitol Expressway allow a largely unobstructed view of the hills from the eastern edge of the mall site. Consequently, providing public spaces and orienting building facade along the expressway can potentially enable utilization of this opportunity. The strategy attempts to build upon the opportunity presented by View of Diablo Hill Range as mentioned in section 3.4 of this paper.
  • 60 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST D. DIVERSITY . 4. Establishing Eastridge Transit Center as a landmark RD LY L TU Eastridge Transit Center an Way ay nton W Glen Fe Reid-Hillview Airport L TU BY IM QU . RD Way oman D. Glen Fe BY R D. QU 1. Providing food-related options D tto ole Rig IM R BY ay nton W D. E. CAPITOL EXPY. r. Ave . Ave . 2. Providing a mix of compatible land uses pi n D. E. CAPITOL EXPY. Cho pi n 3. Incorporating public open spaces Cho Q M UI R BY R LY QU IM Means for possibly achieve the desired qualities include: Dr. tto ole Rig G le n L Y. EXP D. om G le n L . RD TOL API E. C Y. EXP TU R LLY Separation of land uses by lengthy distances in the study area, consistent with the typical automobile-dependent suburban environment across the nation, fosters a sterile physical environment that fails to generate much pedestrian activities in the area. With existing public transit facilities and proximity to the proposed urban village site in the study area has optimal conditions for facilitating a diverse mix of activities and uses. This is in consistent with the city’s general plan vision of creating active and attractive urban settings. TOL API E. C Reid-Hillview Airport 1. Providing food-related optionsLLY TU 4. Creating active street frontages 750 1500 3000 Feet The location of Eastridge Transit Center along an arterial fails to exploit its potential of serving as a hub of activities that the area is currently missing. Like in the case of The Crossings at Mountain View, focusing the streets directly onto the transit center could help people in finding their way around to the center, and thereby, encouraging its active usage. Success of the bus stop along the main retail street and public space at Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek also suggests concentrating active uses along focal points as an effective strategy for improving the vitality of the area. In keeping with the goals of reducing automobile dependence and taking lessons from the literature review that suggests towards the interconnection between the distance and the decision to walk by people, most intense uses and activities should be concentrated along the center. This strategy attempts to build upon the opportunity presented by Eastridge Transit Center and Proposed Light Rail Station, previously noted in section 3.4 of this paper. N Moss Hollow Dr. 0 e. Av pin o Ch Atwood Dr. Moss Hollow Dr. N Atwood Dr. Ch e. Av in op Each of these four strategies with accompanying concept diagrams are further elaborated next. 0 750 1500 3000 Feet The findings of the behavioral observation study for Broadway Plaza at Walnut Creek, where the pedestrian activities were mainly concentrated around the major restaurants, food kiosks, and street side cafes suggests that food is a large attractor for people in an area. Providing food options along the streets creates opportunities for a number of pedestrian activities, such as, eating, socializing, sitting and people watching. The smell of food, sounds of music, people laughing and talking further contributes to a vibrant urban atmosphere. Based on the assertion made by Jane Jacobs in her classic book The Death and Life of Great American City, one of the biggest drawing factors into a place is the presence of other people. She further elaborated, “Nobody enjoys sitting on a stoop or looking out a window at an empty street. Almost nobody does such a thing. Large numbers of people entertain themselves, off and on, by watching street activity.”188 188. Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities [New York: Modern Library, 1993].
  • 61 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST 2. Providing a mix of compatible land use . 3. Incorporating public open spaces RD LLY TU Providing a mix of uses within a compact area has been mentioned time and again in the reviewed literature and interviewees as a key strategy for encouraging active usage of an area. The Crossings at Mountain View supports the claim, where short distance of residential areas from neighboring retail seemed to encourage people to walk and bike for groceries and other daily activities. However, the relative absence of activities between office and residential areas within the development, suggests that providing a mix of uses is not sufficient by itself in generating pedestrian activities and thereby, generates a need for anticipating synergies between the proposed land uses. Another consideration while proposing the land uses, Ian Ross, one of the urban designers argued, is that they should support a wide range of social and economic activities in order to diversify reasons for people to visit a place.189 Finally, absence of pedestrian activities within Broadway Plaza at Walnut Creek after the store closing hours and during office hours suggests towards a need for creating a mix of uses that allow the same place to be used at different parts of the day. L TU R LY Way oman D. Glen Fe QU IM BY R D. R BY ay nton W D. E. CAPITOL EXPY. Q r. Cho pi n Ave . D tto ole Rig M UI N Moss Hollow Dr. e. Av pin o Ch Atwood Dr. 189. Ian Ross, interview by author, January 5, 2013. G le n L Y. EXP Based on the analysis, a wide array of mixed uses — residential, retail, offices, recreational and institutional — should be incorporated for allowing live, work, eat and play opportunities within the proposed development of Eastridge Shopping Mall. However, the compatibility and interrelationship between the both existing and proposed uses should be carefully considered in a way that allows active usage of the area for creating an attractive and safe urban environment around the clock. This strategy attempts to build upon the constraint presented by single use buildings separated by lengthy distances, previously noted in section 3.4. of this paper. Reid-Hillview Airport TOL API E. C The assertion was echoed by one of the interviewed urban designer, who suggested providing outdoor food options as a key urban design strategy for reinvigorating pedestrian activities in an area. The strategy attempts to address the constraint created by single use buildings separated by unwalkable distances in the study area, previously noted in section 3.4 of this paper. 0 750 1500 3000 Feet Eastridge Shopping Mall currently lacks a central civic place, or “third place”190— public places where people can gather and interact191— for allowing community members to get-together and indulge in social interaction. Building upon the lessons learnt from the literature review and interviews, providing an interconnected network of a wide type and scale of open spaces (plaza, pocket park, children play area and greenways) is critical for successful place making. However, like other land uses, public places should have a strong connection and positive relationship with surrounding developments that besides encouraging visitors to the area, allows natural supervision and consequently, feels safe and inviting. This can be achieved by locating public places in proximity to active retail uses and transit services. Moreover, in keeping with the needs of people the open space should have both active zones, with cafes, retail etc. and quiet zones for people to sit and relax. 190. Ray Oldenburg, The Great Good Places [New York: Paragon House, 1989]. 191. Ibid.
  • 62 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST address the constraint presented by single use buildings separated by large distances and automobile-oriented developments at the periphery of Eastridge Shopping Mall, previously mentioned in section 3.4 of this paper. 4. Creating active street frontagesRD. LLY TU Reid-Hillview Airport TOL API E. C G le n L Way oman Y. EXP L TU R LY D. Glen Fe QU IM BY R D. R BY D. r. pi n Ave . D tto ole Rig IM E. CAPITOL EXPY. QU ay nton W Cho As demonstrated by the study of Broadway Plaza at Walnut Creek, providing public place in proximity to active uses and existing transit facilities could help generate high pedestrian activities and promote transit usage. Considering the need for privacy and security of the residents, a small open park — as in the case of The Crossings at Mountain View — oriented towards residential units should be provided, allowing direct supervision from units that can enable the park to serve as useful children play area. This strategy attempts to build upon the constraint presented by single use buildings separated by unwalkable distances, previously noted in section 3.4 of this paper. Moss Hollow Dr. N Atwood Dr. e. Av pin o Ch 0 750 1500 3000 Feet The majority of street along the borders of Eastridge Shopping Mall suffer from a lack of pedestrian activities along the inactive and blank facades: surface parking lots, buildings with deep setbacks and inward orientation. On the contrary, the active building facades — benefiting from activities and uses generated by doors and windows that directly open onto the street — in both the case studies helped in animating the environment by encouraging the use of streets; thereby fostering a safe, inviting and comfortable environment for the pedestrians. All the three interviewees suggested enlivening the streets by providing active uses at ground floor level and directly orienting building entrances and windows towards the street. However, at the same time the privacy and security of the residents should be ensured — as in the case of the Crossings at Mountain View — by raising residents slightly above the street level. This further helps to enhance the sense of safety for the pedestrians by allowing passive surveillance of the streets. This strategy attempts to
  • RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST 63 5.2. Master Plan The master plan for the Eastridge Shopping Mall and an adjoining urban village incorporates the urban design strategies explained in the previous section with the aim of reducing automobile dependency, creating a distinct sense of place, and improving connectivity with the surrounding areas. The proposal also attempts to reflect on the opportunities that are available and address the constraints that were identified through urban design analysis and behavioral observation in the study area. Parking garages and on-street parking is contemplated to accommodate the parking requirement for the area. However, the large, imposing garages facing the streets — as noted during the study of Broadway Plaza at Walnut Creek — fail to support significant pedestrian activities and thereby create inactive streets. An alternative proposed by the master plan is to screen off garages by commercial or office buildings to encourage active use of the streets and enhance the pedestrian character of the area. Although the author did not take into consideration the Comprehensive Land Use Plan regulations, which recognize a “no build zone”— a critical safety zone for safeguarding the safety of people on the ground and air from airport-related hazard — the plan proposes redevelopment of the existing parking lot within the zone as a green space. The plan is based on the need to ensure that the development is well connected while also minimizing the need for visitors and residents to rely on cars to visit the area. While the plan does not, by any means, completely eliminate the need for cars, it is aimed at reducing car usage through offering well connected facilities that can be accessed on foot and by public transport. Consistent with the research question, the master plan was guided by the three themes — reducing automobile dependency, creating a distinct sense of place, and improving connectivity with the surrounding areas, particularly by the adjacent urban village as listed in the 2040 General Plan for the City of San Jose. A. REDUCING AUTOMOBILE DEPENDENCY Recognizing the discordant scale of the large, irregularly shaped Eastridge Shopping Mall superblock — which has a perimeter of 9,840 feet — the master plan proposes that the site is broken into 38 small-sized blocks with an average perimeter of 1,472 feet. This is smaller than the maximum recommended block perimeter of 1,800 feet that is recommended for promoting walkability. Similarly, a grid network of streets breaks the proposed urban village site into 21 blocks with an average perimeter of 1,469 feet. According to the master plan, the Eastridge Transit Center will become a natural hub of activities that will cater for both residents and visitors to the area. In order to make the most of the transit facilities while also maximizing the views of the surrounding Diablo Hill Range, the area lining the East Capitol Expressway will consist of open spaces that are complemented with a range of facilities, including retail, office, residential and entertainment buildings, all of which will be within walking distance of one another. B. CREATE A DISTINCT SENSE OF PLACE The master plan calls for the construction of retail buildings along Tully Road. The provision of a mix of retail opportunities including neighborhood retail, restaurants and cafes will help to enhance and reinforce the existing commercial nature of the street. Furthermore, the continuous building facade will help to define street edges and thereby contribute to the legibility of the area by creating a recognizable and distinctive approach route to the mall site. Consistent with the intimate scale and character of the existing residential neighborhood along Quimby Road, the master plan of the study area envisions a combination of housing and neighborhood retail. The proposed development along the street includes two-story townhomes and three-story apartments with a net density that ranges from 15 dwelling units per acre to 40 dwelling units per acre compared to the existing 8 dwelling units per acre density for the surrounding residential neighborhood. The underlying intent is to enhance and protect the established residential neighborhood and provide gradual transition of density and scale in order to avoid any conflict with the existing residential development. Similarly, the existing single-family residences along the western boundary of the proposed urban village site are lined by townhomes. Thompson Creek provides an extraordinary potential for recreational activities that can be enjoyed by the existing and future residents of the surrounding communities. This opportunity can be leveraged by providing pedestrian and bike trails along the creek, and incorporating two additional pedestrian bridges over the creek along Glen Loman Way and Glen Fenton Way that break the large walking distance of half mile between the two existing bridges into a more reasonable distance of around 700 feet each. Besides linking residential neighborhood with trails, the bridges would provide the residents with much-needed direct access to the Eastridge Transit Center and proposed light rail station. The development also contains a number of open spaces that are designed for public use. These include parks, playgrounds, plazas, natural green spaces, courtyards and walkways, each of which are designed to serve the needs of the community while adding aesthetic qualities to the development. It is intended that the development will offer a peaceful and pleasant environment within which people can live, work, socialize and entertain. C. IMPROVE CONNECTIVITY WITH THE SURROUNDING AREAS, PARTICULARLY WITH THE ADJACENT URBAN VILLAGE SITE Important to the redevelopment of Eastridge Shopping Mall is its integration with the proposed urban village site that is located along Quimby Road towards the south. The master plan proposes modifications in the orientation of Quimby Road in order to allow better visual and physical integration between the two major properties. Furthermore, the plan proposes to interconnect the three streets that continuously extend from Eastridge Shopping Mall site towards the north and run across the proposed urban village site. The purpose of two of these streets is to provide connectivity with the existing residential neighborhoods that are located towards the south of the urban village site, while one of the streets terminates at Meadowfair Park. Lined by civic buildings, open space, live/work units, offices, neighborhood retail on ground floor and multi-family residential above, the urban village site would offer live, work, socialize and play opportunities for the community members.
  • RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST An inherent deficiency of the very concept of a shopping mall — inward-focused buildings in a large superblock that are surrounded by large expanses of surface parking — is disconnectivity with the surrounding urban fabric. With the objective of overcoming this challenge, the master plan depicted here proposes the extension of five existing residential streets that currently terminate at the western edge of the mall, across the site: Edgebank Drive, Edgeview Drive, Edgegate Drive, Rigoletto Drive and Chopin Avenue. Similarly, four existing streets were extended through the urban village site: Atwood Drive and Moss Hollow Drive towards the south, and Brahmas Avenue and Barberry Lane towards the west. The urban village site is surrounded by a range of different housing establishments, including townhomes, live/work units and multifamily residences. The buildings work together to create a seamless building façade, which creates a distinct sense of enclosure. The clearly defined street edges complement this scheme and create an appealing environment. Setting residential units at least five feet from the public right of way will reinforce the distinction between public and private space, while also ensuring that the residents enjoy maximum privacy. The master plan requires the use of well-defined corner buildings that are directly oriented towards the crosswalks, as it is anticipated that these will serve as gateways and points of visual interest. Specific to the study area, the hostile pedestrian environment of the East Capitol Expressway is the key constraint that impedes connectivity of the site with the neighborhoods located towards the east of the expressway. The master plan envisions transforming the expressway into a transit boulevard, which incorporates separate travel and access lanes, central median and on-street parking, enlivened by adjoining offices, retail, live-work units, gathering spaces and dining establishments. . 64
  • 65 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST Master Plan Lake Cunningham Park LLY TU Reid-Hillview Airport . RD Lake Cunningham Park EX TOL API E. C H F H G . RD BY IM QU B J D b ev i Edg ew K D G F J r. F J K Cho pin Ave . H B D F F F H F D D I J D B K B I I B Ln . rry Ba rbe Moss Hollow Dr. B C Atwood Dr. pin o Ch e. Av Meadowfair Park J ek re QU D . RD BY H IM C on ps A r. oD lett om Th o Rig F D E. CAPITOL EXPY. eD e g at J F G B F Ed g F E . Dr F D G PLAZA r. kD an Way G K H enton Glen F D J H M C H G H K J G H G F e Ed g H G F H Welch Park PY. I . RD H LY L TU Welch Park Way oman L K Welch Park Glen L M A B C D E F G H I J K L Single Family Residence Townhomes Live/Work Units Multi- family Residences Retail-Entertainment Office with neighborhood retail on first floor Retail- Dining Retail-Commercial Civic/ Public Open Public Space Parking garage with neighborhood retail on first floor Transit Center M Pedestrian Bridge B N 0 125 250 500 Feet
  • Park EX TOL API E. C H F Glen L M Way oman 66 PY. L RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST K I . RD H LY L TU Welch Park H G F J M Master Plan: Concept View and Street Sections H Welch Park Welch Park H G K . RD BY IM QU 14’-0” 8’-0” H K Travel Lane Bike Lane 7’-0” 11’-0” H F J G G F BD 11’-0” Travel Lane F A D H H B Cho pin Ave . E. Capitol Expy. Parking Rig I K E Sidewalk QU . RD BY H M I F 8’-0” F K F H A B C D E F G H I J K L Residential Stoop 5’-0” F F D H I D B Sidewalk F H D D B H K J F D G im by F Rd D J . ek re L B F C on ps H F Qu E om Th G F J F G E. CAPITOL EXPY. C G Dr. K iew E Kdgev E D Jr. D dg e g ate H oletto Dr. b PLAZA D r. kD an F D G J F G K H B F e Ed g D J H F C H G H Way G H G F enton Glen F K B I H I Ln . B C Ba rbe rry in FIGURE 66. View of proposed retrofitted EastridgeopShopping Mall development. Ch Source: Author Atwood Dr. e. Av Meadowfair Park J Moss Hollow Dr. ad Ro ully T B Single Family Residence Townhomes Live/Work Units Multi- family Residences Retail-Entertainment Office with neighborhood retail on first floor Sidewalk Parking Travel Lane Travel Lane Bike Lane 14’-0” Retail- Dining 8’-0” 11’-0” 11’-0” 7’-0” Sidewalk 8’-0” Residential Stoop 5’-0” Retail-Commercial Civic/ Public Open Public Space FIGURE 68. Typical street section for proposed retrofitted Eastridge Shopping Mall development. Scale: 1”= 20’-0” Source: Author Parking garage with neighborhood retail on first floor Transit Center M Pedestrian Bridge B 0 Sidewalk 13’-6” Bike Lane Parking Access 6’-0” 8’-0” 11’-0” Median 6’-0” Travel Lane 12’-6” Travel Lane 12’-6” 37’-6” 25’-0” Travel Lane Median Travel Lane Parking Bike Lane 6’-0” 11’-0” 8’-0” 6’-0” 250 500 Feet Sidewalk 12’-6” 125 8’-0” 25’-0” 120’-0” FIGURE 67. Section of East Capitol Expressway. Scale: 1”= 20’-0” Source: Author Sidewalk 13’-6” Bike Lane Parking Acess Lane 6’-0” 8’-0” 11’-0” Median 6’-0” Travel Lane 12’-6” Travel Lane 12’-6” 37’-6” 25’-0” 120’-0” Travel Lane Median Travel Lane Parking Bike Lane Sidewalk 12’-6” 6’-0” 11’-0” 8’-0” 6’-0” 8’-0” 25’-0”
  • 6 CONCLUSION 6.1. Key Findings 6.2. Methodology Limitations and Next Steps Research Findings And Next Steps T his section summarizes the key findings and limitations of the study while also suggesting areas that are in need for further research related to this topic.
  • 68 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST 6.1. Key Findings A significant period of time has passed since a new retail format was conceived that changed the retail landscape in the United States and today the popularity of the classic enclosed shopping mall is now in decline. Although many people have criticized these shopping malls as a result of the contribution they make to sprawl, their tendency to erode typical community infrastructure and their commercialized focus, there is no doubting the fact that these places do make a positive contribution to the social life of suburban residents. This is especially true in the cases of those who grew up in the 70s and 80s, eras when classic malls were an integral element of many people’s weekly routines. The gradual demise of the format and the changing face of suburbs influenced by a plethora of factors — demographic shifts, urbanization of suburbs, retail oversaturation, economic recession, a dwindling stock of undeveloped land, peak oil crisis, and changing market demands — has resulted in a pressing need for retrofitting the now obsolete and aging suburban developments. Analysis of relevant literature and interviews with professionals in the field of urban design and urban planning provided valuable understanding and lessons on the broader topic of retrofitting suburban shopping malls, not only limited to the Eastridge Shopping Mall. Providing mixed land uses, strategically designing parking areas, breaking superblocks into smaller sized blocks, and reducing the capacity of abutting throughways were some of the key urban design strategies consistently recommended for mitigating the inherent deficiencies of the conventional shopping mall’s urban form and design — unwalkable superblock, inward facing single building surrounded by large expanses of surface parking and bordered by high capacity throughways separating the mall from the surrounding urban fabric. However, it is true that the size, location and nature of the surrounding areas entail that they represent the ideal areas in which further revitalization could and should take place. The large size of the Eastridge Shopping Mall, located at the intersection of three arterial roads in the midst of a burgeoning residential neighborhood and right next to a major regional public transportation hub, presents the best potential for being retrofitted in the face of the detrimental factors identified by the literature and interviews. Although the lessons learnt through literature review and interviews are valuable for retrofitting any conventional shopping mall, rejecting one-size-fits-all design solutions, the urban design analysis of the Eastridge Shopping Mall area demonstrate a need for a more context-based approach for availing and addressing the specific, and sometime even unique, opportunities and constraints presented by the existing urban fabric of the site. Key site-specific opportunities for the study area include existing and proposed transportation facilities, natural features such as Thompson Creek and scenic view of Diablo Hills and a large undeveloped site proposed to be developed as an urban village according to the city’s newly adopted general plan. Nevertheless, the area also presents a microcosm of the constraints typically faced by suburbs: disconnected streets, large unwalkable blocks, separation of land uses, and an automobile-oriented built environment. The identified urban design strategies are as follows: The findings of the case studies provide some useful urban design lessons that were directly relevant to and assisted in probing answers for the stated research question — reducing automobile dependency, creating a distinct sense of place, and improving connectivity with the surrounding areas. Case studies of The Crossings at Mountain View illustrate how a walkable and pedestrian-oriented environment can be fostered where people can possibly complete their daily activities without the absolute necessity of getting into a car. Physically, this involves integrating public transit, and residential and neighborhood retail uses within a short, walkable distance to encourage synergies between the different land uses, and providing a legible built environment that is easy to interpret for the user. The Crossings also addressed the surrounding area’s lack of a sense of place by creating an area with a recognizable and distinctive character, through well-designed and articulated buildings, preserving elements of the natural environment and integration of open spaces. The case study of Broadway Plaza at Walnut Creek demonstrates seamless integration of new development with the immediate neighborhood, by responding to the existing layout and pattern of the buildings and streets. Additionally, Broadway Plaza provides some useful clues for encouraging pedestrian activities within an area, thereby contributing to a thriving and vibrant urban space. 6. Knitting Eastridge Shopping Mall site and the Lessons drawn from the collected data — literature, interviews and case studies — formed the basis for formulating a majority of urban strategies for addressing the constraints and realizing the opportunities within the study area. 1. Reinforcing retail activities along Tully Road 2. Respecting the intimate scale and character of the existing residential neighborhood along Quimby Road 3. Strategically designing parking areas to achieve parking requirements without undermining pedestrian character of the development. 4. Creating a unifying urban design 5. Dividing superblocks into small sized blocks proposed Urban Village Site together 7. Connecting existing throughways 8. Repairing damage caused by arterial roads 9. Improving the area along Thompson Creek 10. Providing well-defined street corners 11. Defining street edges 12. Enhancing views of Diablo Hill Range 13. Establishing Eastridge Transit Center as a landmark 14. Providing food-related options 15. Providing a mix of compatible land uses 16. Incorporating public open spaces 17. Creating active street frontages While these urban design strategies are in no way comprehensive and have their own limitations, the approach to identifying these strategies might serve as a useful direction for similar projects in the future.
  • RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST 6.2. Methodology Limitations and Next Steps Given the unique nature and conditions of each project, the research approach defined in the paper benefited from the use of qualitative research methods, the exploratory nature of which provided in-depth answers that were specific to the project site. The research evaluated the physical environment of the study area and complemented this with an evaluation of two different case studies that described current best practices in urban design that were aligned with the objectives of the research questions: character, connectivity, legibility and diversity. Despite the benefits, defining quantitative parameters might have enabled the determination and verification of the effectiveness of urban design strategies. This project was based on field observations of the physical setting and the activities that people engaged in within the area. As such, contextual data for each of three studied areas was collected. However, the report might have benefited from seeking public input in terms of what works and what does not work for the stakeholders. The inclusion of airport safety zones in the mall redevelopment plans will help to further demonstrate Santa Clara County Comprehensive Land Use Plan’s intent to safeguard the general safety and welfare of the people who live within the vicinity of the airport. However, for the purpose of this paper, Comprehensive Land Use Plan regulations, with the exclusion of the no-build zone, were not taken into consideration to allow for creation and exploration of urban design strategies that could be widely applied to similar projects. However, the presence of an airport in the proximity of the Eastridge Shopping Mall site and proposed urban village site has implications for the safety and welfare of the people within these areas and therefore needs to be carefully considered and examined while contemplating the implementation of any changes to these sites. Finally, the paper did not take into consideration the financial aspect of retrofitting suburban shopping malls, something that was consistently mentioned by all four interviewees as being the single biggest detrimental factor associated with the execution of such projects. The success of such complex and huge-scale projects depends upon effective interaction and cooperation between a wide range of diverse stakeholders, which typically include developers, mall owners and tenants, government representatives, members of the community, private financiers and design participants. Developing an understanding of the underlying priorities, issues and interaction between these key players might be instructive in progressing the concept of transforming declining shopping malls into viable and positive community places from an idea into a reality. 69
  • 70 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST APPENDIX A: Interview Questions TABLE 5. Interview Questions QUESTIONS FOR URBAN DESIGNERS QUESTIONS FOR CITY PLANNERS 1. Census 2010 revealed that the country has experienced a drift from traditional to nontraditional households composed of singles, childless couples and ageing residents. What does it mean for how we plan our suburbs in the future? 1. Census 2010 revealed that the nation has experienced a drift from traditional to nontraditional households composed of singles, childless couples and ageing residents. What does it mean for how we plan our suburbs in the future? 2. My research indicates that restructuring conventional suburban shopping malls offer fertile opportunities for addressing the challenges that are commonly associated with suburban sprawl such as, automobile dependency, lack of connectivity with the surrounding neighborhood and a lack of distinct sense of place. Is this a viable solution? 2. My research indicates that restructuring conventional suburban shopping malls offer fertile opportunities for addressing the challenges that are commonly associated with suburban sprawl such as, automobile dependency, lack of connectivity with the surrounding neighborhood and a lack of distinct sense of place. Is this a viable solution? 3. Literature review suggests that over the past few decades there has been a decline in the popularity of traditional shopping malls across the nation. Can these be revived by using urban design interventions? If yes, what urban design strategies, principles and tools could be applied? 3. What, in your opinion, is the role of shopping malls in the social and economic life of the local communities? 4. What urban design strategies can be applied for integrating isolated shopping malls surrounded by vast sea of asphalt with their neighboring areas? 4. What, in your opinion, are the biggest challenges and barriers to redeveloping conventional suburban shopping malls? 5. Please tell me about your involvement and experience with the projects that are aimed at reinventing and retrofitting sprawl/suburbs. 5. Please tell me about your involvement and experience with the projects that are aimed at reinventing and retrofitting sprawl/ suburbs. 6. Does the city have specific goals and plans for encouraging reinvention of its underutilized shopping malls/retail spaces? 6. What, in your opinion, are the biggest challenges and barriers to redeveloping suburban shopping malls? 7. What, in your opinion, could be the potential opportunities and constraints of restructuring Eastridge Shopping Mall site? 7. Can you please suggest examples of retrofitted suburban shopping malls in San Francisco Bay Area? 8. Is there anything else that you would like to add? 8. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
  • 71 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST APPENDIX B: Urban Design Analysis TABLE 6. Evaluation of Principle 2: CHARACTER ASSESSMENT VARIABLE QUESTIONS GUIDING ANALYSIS METHODS OF MEASUREMENT FINDINGS a) a) What is the block size? (Ideal: no more than 600 feet or 1800 feet perimeter) Figure Ground Map and ArcGIS Total Number of Blocks: 35 Urban Form Block size and pattern Minimum Perimeter: 770.4 feet Maximum Perimeter: 13,363.9 feet Mean Perimeter:3,244.7 feet Do the blocks have a regular or irregular pattern? Majority of the blocks irregular b) Streets b) Built Environment Does the study area have gridiron or irregular street patterns? Figure Ground Map Two street/block pattern: “loops and lollipops” and “warped parallel street patterns” a) Buildings How large are typical buildings in the study area? Estimate building footprint area by using GIS Total Number of Buildings:1544 Minimum Area:20.2 sq.ft. Maximum Area:788,841.5 sq.ft. Mean Area:2,660.9 sq.ft. What is the function of buildings in the study area? Field Visit Refer Chapter 3 What is the building height? Field Visit (Count number of stories) One to three stories How close are the buildings on the street? Building Footprint Map Refer Chapter 3 Make a note of the architecture style of the buildings in the area. Field Visit Refer Chapter 3 How many traffic lanes do the streets surrounding the Eastridge Shopping Mall site have? What is the posted traffic speed limit along these streets? Count the number of traffic lanes and note the posted speed limits for the streets surrounding the mall site Tully Road- 6 lanes; 35 mph East Capitol Expressway- 8 lanes; 45 mph Quimby Road- 4 lanes; speed 30 mph
  • 72 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST APPENDIX B: Urban Design Analysis TABLE 7. Evaluation of Principle 2: CONNECTIVITY ASSESSMENT VARIABLE QUESTIONS GUIDING ANALYSIS METHODS OF MEASUREMENT FINDINGS a)Movement and accessibility a)Existing Movement Pattern Where are people getting to and from Eastridge Shopping Mall without cars? Behavior observation, make notes on base map Pedestrian movement to and from the surrounding areas- negligiable Where are people getting to Eastridge Shopping Mall and from VTA Transit Station? Behavior observation, make notes on base map Refer Chapter 3 Where are people getting to and from Eastridge Shopping Mall by bikes? Behavior observation, make notes on base map Bicycle Riding not allowed on the Eastridge Shopping Mall site What is the length of pedestrian route between the points of access to the main mall building? Measure by using ArcGIS or Google Earth Average - .20 miles (as the crow flies/ direct distance between two points) Is the pedestrian route direct or indirect? Field Visit No direct pedestrian pathway from the access points of the site to the main building. Refer”Figure 15.Analysis of Connectivity around Eastridge Shopping Mall.” People forced to move through the surface parking lot. Do the streets have traffic calming devices such as median islands, bulb-outs and speed humps that enhance the safety of the pedestrians? Use base map for making note of the streets with traffic calming features. No Are the sidewalks present along the streets surrounding Eastridge Shopping Mall? Are the sidewalks present on both sides of the street? Do the streets have marked pedestrian crossings? Use base map for making note of the Refer Chapter 3 streets with no sidewalks, as well as, those with sidewalks on one and both sides of the street. In addition, mark the locations of pedestrian crossings on the base map. b) Permeability/ Ease of Movement c) Pedestrian Safety and Comfort
  • 73 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST APPENDIX B: Urban Design Analysis TABLE 8. Evaluation of Principle 3: LEGIBILITY ASSESSMENT VARIABLE QUESTIONS GUIDING ANALYSIS METHODS OF MEASUREMENT FINDINGS a) Legibility a) Assets/Landmarks What are the important buildings and features? Use base map for making note of the prominent features, buildings and public spaces (transit stations, open spaces etc.) in the area. In addition, make note of the access points for each of the landmarks. Thompson/Lower Silver Creek, View of Diablo Hill Range, Shopping Mall Main Building’s southern facade and Eastridge Transit Center What are the access points to the landmark features? Are these recognizable? b) Gateways and Approach Routes What is the key approach route/gateways for people arriving by cars to Eastridge Shopping Mall site? Refer “Figure 24. Analysis of Legibility for the surrounding areas of Eastridge Shopping Mall” No, automobile dominant built environment fails to realize the true potential of either of assets (refer Chapter 3) Use base map for making note of the key gateways Six vehicular access points (refer Chapter 3) Use base map for making note of the key gateways Mainly from East Capitol Expressway (refer Chapter 3) Use base map for making note of the key gateways No marked pedestrian routes (refer Chapter 3) Make note of the quality of the immediate built environment. Are there sufficient wayfinding aids (landmarks)? What is the key approach route/gateways for people arriving by public transit to Eastridge Shopping Mall site? Make note of the quality of the immediate built environment. Are there sufficient wayfinding aids (landmarks)? What is the key approach route/gateways for pedestrians to Eastridge Shopping Mall site? Make note of the quality of the immediate built environment. Are there sufficient wayfinding aids (landmarks)?
  • 74 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST APPENDIX B: Urban Design Analysis TABLE 9. Evaluation of Principle 4: DIVERSITY ASSESSMENT VARIABLE QUESTIONS GUIDING ANALYSIS METHODS OF MEASUREMENT FINDINGS a) Diversity a) Activities Is the place empty and underutilized or bustling with activities? Behavioral Observation Study Refer “DIVERSITY” in Chapter 3 Are people indulging in focused activities (shopping, jogging, cleaning, waiting for transit, performing etc.) or are they lingering in the area (standing, socially interacting, sitting, eating, reading, standing, people watching, etc.)? Refer “DIVERSITY” in Chapter 3
  • 75 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST APPENDIX C: BEHAVIORAL OBSERVATION STUDY TABLE 10. Data Intake Sheet for Behavioral Observation Study Location: Time: Day: Date: Environmental Conditions How is the weather? Sunny Rainy Warm Notes: Cold Mode of Transportation How people seem to get to and from the area beside cars? Public Transit Bike Notes: Access Points Where are people getting to and from Eastridge Shopping Mall without cars? (Make note of the key access points for non-drivers to the mall site) Pedestrian in Study Area Is there a diverse population or is the population consistent in terms of age group and ethnicity? Diverse Consistent (People of different age groups and ethnicities) Notes: (mostly of same age group and ethnicity) Level of Pedestrian Activities Is the place empty and underutilized or bustling with activities? Empty and Under- Busy utilized Notes: Is the area well-maintained or untidy? Well-maintained Untidy Notes: Does the area have gang tags, graffiti or signs of vandalism? Yes No Notes: As a woman, does the area feel inviting and com- Yes fortable or uninviting and unsafe to walk through? No Notes: Are people walking slowly or hurrying through the Walking Slowly areas? Rushing Notes: Lingering in the Area Notes: Quality of Physical Environment Sense of Safety Types of Activities Are people indulging in focused activities (shopping, jogging, cleaning, waiting for transit, performing etc.) or are they lingering in the area (standing, socially interacting, sitting, eating, reading, standing, people watching, etc.)? Focused Activities
  • 76 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST APPENDIX D: CASE STUDY SELECTION CRITERIA TABLE 11. Evaluation of retrofitted shopping malls within San Francisco Bay Area based on Selection Criteria for identifying case studies Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek, CA The Crossings, Mountain View, CA Santana Row, San Jose, CA 18 Acres Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto, CA Bayfair Center, San Leandro, CA 43 Acres PROJECT FACTS Size Previous Use Broadway Plaza Old Mill Shopping Mall Town and Country Mall Shopping Mall Shopping Mall Current Land Uses Hybrid Downtown-Mall with retail, housing and open public spaces Housing (single family bungalows and cottages, townhomes, row houses, and apartments), parks, retail shops, and daycare center. Housing (townhomes, lofts, villas, and apartments), retail, movie theater, hotel and plaza Retail and gardens Retail and Theater Description  Successfully knitted  Replaced an auto oriented together old Main Street shopping mall with transit with shopping mall. oriented development.  Upscale mixed use center  Upscale open air shopping mall  Previously known as Bay Fair Mall  Pedestrian oriented development  Residential density is above 30 units per acre.  Retail on first floor and housing on upper floors.  All residential units within a five minute walk of CALTrain commuter rail station.  Renovated in year  Located on 2005 Stanford Univer Indoor and freesity campus standing stores and restaurants  Mixed income housing: 15% of total housing reserved for low income families.  Connected with local amenities (supermarket, stores and commuter rail station). CRITERIA Located in suburbs of San Francisco Bay area X X X X X Previously Shopping mall X X X X X Project status “completed” X X X X Walkable, Pedestrian Oriented X X X X Mixed Use X X X Public Transportation Choices X X X Integrated with the surrounding neighborhood X X X X X
  • 77 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST APPENDIX E: Demographics Analysis TABLE 12.Demographic Data for San Jose and Eastridge Shopping Mall Neighborhood for year 2000 and 2010 2000 San Jose 2010 Eastridge Shopping Mall Neighborhood San Jose (within 1 mile of Eastridge Shopping Mall) Total Population Eastridge Shopping Mall Neighborhood (within 1 mile of Eastridge Shopping Mall) 904,899 29,317 945,942 27,609 0 to 4 7.6% 7.9% 7.3% 7.6% 5 to 9 7.7% 8.4% 7% 7.5% 10 to 14 7% 8.3% 6.5% 7.3% 15 to 19 6.9% 8.8% 6.7% 7.9% 20 to 24 7.2% 8.6% 6.8% 7.8% 25 to 29 8.7% 8.7% 7.7% 7.9% 30 to 34 9.2% 8.2% 7.6% 7.2% 35 to 39 9.3% 7.7% 8% 7.5% 40 to 44 8.2% 7.5% 7.7% 6.9% 45 to 49 6.7% 6.6% 7.6% 6.6% 50 to 54 5.7% 5.0% 6.8% 6.5% 55 to 59 4.3% 3.8% 5.6% 5.7% 60 to 64 3.3% 3.1% 4.5% 4.2% 65 to 69 2.6% 2.4% 3.2% 2.9% 70 to 74 2.1% 2% 2.4% 2.3% 75 to 79 1.7% 1.5% 1.9% 1.8% 80 to 84 1% 0.8% 1.3% 1.2% 85 and above 0.9% 0.7% 1.3% 1.2% Median Age 32.7 Yrs 29.6 Yrs 35.2 Yrs 32.8 Yrs 95% 95.7% 95% 96% White 47.5% 22.3% 42.8% 23.5% Black 3.5% 3.3% 3.2% 2.3% American Indian 0.8% 1% 0.9% 1% Asian 26.9% 42.8% 32% 44% Pacific Islander 0.4% 0.7% 0.4% 0.5% Other 15.9% 25.6% 15.7% 24.7% 3.2 4.8 3.1 4.48 42.3% 62.7% 40.8% 55.6% 18.4 6.1% 19.7% 8% Population by Age ( in years) Population by Race One Race Average Household Size Households with children Households with 1 member Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2010 Summary File 1. Esri converted Census 2000 data into 2010 geography. Made with ESRI Community Analyst
  • 78 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST APPENDIX E: Demographics Analysis TABLE 13. Social Characteristics for area within 1 mile of Eastridge Shopping Mall and San Jose for year 2010 Eastridge Shopping Mall Neighborhood San Jose (within 1 Mile of Eastridge Shopping Mall) Education Level for Population Age 25 years and above Bachelor’s degree and above 16.1% 35.7% Less than high school graduate 33.8% 14% High school and above 66.2% 86% Median Household Income 63,852 (in dollars) 78,660 (in dollars) Below poverty level in past 12 months 10.7% 9% At or above poverty level in past 12 months 89.3% 91% Public Transit 3.6% 3.7% Bicycle 0.5% 0.8% Walk 1.6% 1.8% Drove alone 75% 77.3% Only English 21.4% 36.2% Other Language 78.5% 63.7% Poverty Status Commuting Characteristics to Work Language Spoken at Home Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2005-2009 American Community Survey. Made with ESRI Community Analyst.
  • 79 RE-ENVISIONING SAN JOSE’S EASTRIDGE SHOPPING MALL | SPRING 2013 | AASTHA VASHIST APPENDIX E: Demographics Analysis TABLE 14. Retail Market Potential for San Jose and Eastridge Shopping Mall Neighborhood Area for year 2011. Retail Market Potential Eastridge Shopping Mall Neighborhood San Jose (within 1 Mile of Eastridge Shopping Mall) To dine in a restaurant 2-4 times in month 112 104 < 2 times 103 108 Movie in 6 months 108 112 Source: These data are based upon national propensities to use various products and services, applied to local demographic composition. Usage data were collected by GfK MRI in a nationally representative survey of U.S. households. Esri forecasts for 2011 and 2016. TABLE 15.Retail Goods and Services Expenditure for San Jose and Eastridge Shopping Mall Neighborhood Area for year 2011. Eastridge Shopping Mall Neighborhood San Jose (within 1 Mile of Eastridge Shopping Mall) SPI Average Amount Spent SPI Average Amount Spent Apparel & Services 104 2,419.6 111 2,583.3 Food Away from Home 146 4,561.5 154 4,810.3 Child Care 148 662.9 159 714.6 Gasoline & Motor Oil 134 3,715 139 3,874.9 Entertainment & Recreation 156 4,888 160 5,013.4 Source: The Spending Potential Index (SPI) is household-based, and represents the amount spent for a product or service relative to a national average of 100. Detail may not sum to totals due to rounding. Esri forecasts for 2011 and 2016; Consumer Spending data are derived from the 2006 and 2007 Consumer Expenditure Surveys, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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