Cupertino Village undergoes a multi-phased renovation

Jocy He, Business Editor

Cupertino Village, a 136,553 square foot shopping center in the heart of Silicon Valley, is going through renovations this year. The new restoration will include a four-phased project that features a new two-level parking structure, more retail buildings and upgraded pedestrian courtyards. Kimco Realty, the real estate agency in charge of the renovation, started the current third phase in late June and predicts completion in October 2017.

Known as Town & Country Center in the 1960s, the shopping center was acquired by Kimco Realty in 2006 and renamed Cupertino Village, marking the beginning of a multi-phase project.

“Kimco has the reputation of having the best shopping centers,” said Kimco’s Bay Area Vice President of Leasing and Asset Management, John Welter. “We like our shopping centers to be inviting to all customers and for tenants to be proud of the shopping center they’re operating their businesses in. The goal is to update and renovate the landscaping and courtyard features to create a more retail experience.”

Project developments began in 2014, with the construction of a two-level parking structure that holds up to 220 cars. Phase two involved adding 24,000 square feet of additional shopping strips around the main square in the fall of 2016, enabling new businesses, such as Mod Pizza, Gogigo Korean Barbeque and Creamistry to open, a process that will be ongoing throughout the upcoming stages of development.

The next step will be to modernize the shopping center’s architecture, inspired by four elements of nature: fire, water, earth and metal. The four outward-facing sides of the main shopping center will each have an arched gateway leading to the center of the square. The shopping center will be decorated with game tables, fireplaces and a garden. Additionally, the pedestrian walkway and landscape surrounding Cupertino Village facing the new Apple Park corporate campus are also being upgraded, in order to attract both passersby and Apple employees.

“Once complete, the redevelopment project will enhance the lifestyle of the shopping center and create a more inviting atmosphere,” said Welter. “Our existing and new tenants will be rewarded with a much-improved shopping center that will enrich the shopping and dining experiences.”

Students at Lynbrook envision that the modern architectural renovations will greatly improve the 50-year-old buildings, making it more appealing to the public.

“I think it would help make the plaza more popular and attract more people, because their restaurants were more hidden before,” said junior Emily Leung. “With the new additions, it will be known more as a good place to eat and shop.”

The renovation, however, has caused some problems for the existing center. The construction for the multi-phased project began in 2014, but is still ongoing and interrupting businesses, making it difficult for customers to access the storefronts.

“There is this one restaurant that my parents and I go to every week as a Friday night out,” said senior Joanna Miao. “We park near Fantasia, and so we would typically be able to cut across to the restaurant in a three minute walk. But with the gates, we have to go around, and sometimes we have gotten lost. I’ve been going there for so long, and the new developments have been annoying.”

Despite the challenges that come with rebuilding the shopping center, Kimco is working to accommodate everyone, including the businesses and customers. By the end of construction, Cupertino Village will become a more enriched shopping and dining center.