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Largest green roof in the world proposed for new Vallco Mall project in Cupertino



The roof will feature a 3.8 mile trail network, vineyards, orchards, gardens, a playground and amphitheater.
The Vallco Shopping Mall on N. Wolfe Rd. in Cupertino, California, will undergo a major overhaul from ambitious developer, Sand Hill Property Co. The original 50 acre site was established as a part of Silicon Valley in the 1970’s. The previously named Vallco Fashion Park, once drew shoppers from the surrounding region.

The mall experienced decline when competition from nearby malls, such as Valley Fair, started to compete with Vallco for customers in the 1980’s. There was also thought that mid-size stores didn’t reflect the personality of the surrounding customer demographic. 

Sand Hill founder, Peter Pau, and managing director, Reed Moulds, have led their company in purchasing the half-empty shopping mall. The three billion dollar redevelopment plan includes renovation of 30 acres. Investment started with the acquisition of three anchor stores inclusive of Macy’s, J.C. Penney’s and Sears. A total purchase valued at $200 million.

By purchasing over 740,000 square feet of building space, Sand Hill will develop over the current mall structure. The redevelopment includes retail stores, office buildings and lots of open green space. With goals of achieving a LEED platinum design (the highest environmental rating possible), Sand Hill will work with the architects Rafael Vinoly and landscape architect OLIN. 

Construction will be inclusive of grid-style layout at the ground floor level and over 625,000 square feet of entertainment space. Apartments will offer 680 current market rate units, 80 economically priced dwellings and 40 living quarters for seniors. The arrangement is designed to attract younger families and workers with modest salaries, such as teachers. Much needed office space will also become available as neighbor Apple has played a major role of office vacancies being near zero.

The major attraction of the redevelopment is the green roof. The roof covering responds to the desire for open space on the east end of town. The construction, starting at street level, will bring a park atmosphere with bridges, trails and gardens. The possibility of an amphitheater and children’s playground add support for Pau’s vision of creating a pedestrian oriented town center. Popular staples AMC Theaters and the ice skating rink will remain.

As a part of development fee “perks”, Sand Hill plans on funding a 700 student elementary school near the Portal neighborhood, as well as a 10,000 square foot “innovation center” for high school students at The Hills of Vallco.

The project may be presented to the planning commission and city council in 2016. The proposal has steadily gained acceptance from the community, inclusive of mayor, Gilbert Wong. Implementation needs to follow the talk from the community. The entire process could take up to two years, according to Mayor Wong. 

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