Vallco alternatives remove rooftop park and reduces open space. Participate in our POLL

What would you like to see happen at Vallco, specifically in regards to the park space?

A set of project alternatives for redeveloping the Vallco Mall in Cupertino propose significantly less park space at the site in comparison to a separate plan pitched last month by developer Sand Hill Property Company.

On April 13th, lead consultant Opticos Design released alternative project proposals during the closing presentation of the first Vallco design Charrette, a multiple day event that encouraged the community to collaborate and create a vision for the Vallco redevelopment. The Charrette is part of the current City-led community process, set up to identify community-supported alternatives for the redevelopment of the old Vallco Shopping Mall.

While the alternatives proposed by Opticos varied largely in the amount of space set aside for office and retail, all of them reduced the amount of park and open space acreage compared to the SB 35-compliant plan that was released by Sand Hill Property Company, Vallco’s owner, just a few weeks ago. The owner’s SB 35-compliant plan includes a proposal to build a 30-acre roof top park, which would be eliminated in Opticos’ proposed alternatives.

Alternatives to Sand Hill Property Company’s plan, called Vallco Town Center, proposed in the Opticos process varied largely in the amount of space set aside for office and retail, with the greatest variance occurring in the amount of park space offered. Sand Hill’s proposal includes a 30-acre rooftop park, while a majority of the alternative plans range from just under 5 acres to 8, with one at just over 12 acres of park space.

Outside of the open space reductions, the alternatives have the same number of housing units as the proposed SB 35-compliant plan – 2,400 – and all plans favor a movie theater, bowling alley and ice facility for the site.

Grace Miller, the Opticos Design office manager, dismissed the idea of a rooftop park, instead favoring “on the ground” park space. She explained that “there are many ways to accomplish roof gardens” and emphasized that roof gardens and ‘green roofs’ are not necessarily the same thing. In all of the consultant’s alternative concepts, not one of them includes the 30-acre rooftop park, a concept that has been supported by the community since redevelopment at Vallco was first envisioned.

In a poll from December 2017, we asked Cupertino Today readers what they want to see happen at Vallco and 35.3 percent said they favored the previous office-centric plan, known as The Hills at Vallco, which proposed a rooftop park, entertainment district and a mix of other uses to support them.

As the Vallco Specific Plan process continues to run in parallel with Sand Hill’s SB 35-compliant proposal, we would like to hear your opinion. What would you like to see happen at Vallco, specifically in regards to the park space? Please participate in the poll below and tell us what you think about park space at Vallco. 

This poll has ended, thank you for participating

 

4 Comments on "Vallco alternatives remove rooftop park and reduces open space. Participate in our POLL"

  1. I think the rooftop park is ingenious and makes a huge difference to the viability and enjoyment of the overall space having lived in Seattle, and having thoroughly enjoyed the parks they’ve created over highway tunnels, the spaces were incredibly valuable to the community… A large space to run in is far different and highly prized, than many or even several small spaces to sit in!

  2. Paul Bickmore | April 24, 2018 at 7:57 pm | Reply

    If the rooftop park is how we get more housing, then that’s what we need. Housing is our priority, which must be supplemented by parks, rooftop or no.

  3. I agree with Paul Bickmore

  4. A lot of concerns for a roof top park in this day of litigation: Such as; Keeping any water for vegetation where it belongs, not leaking through someones ceiling. Security of the perimeter, to keep some idiot from falling or jumping off, Access and control to the roof top, assuming it would close at dusk as other parks do.
    These are not insurmountable obstructions to overcome. Sand Hill has a reputation of not following through and taking shortcuts, look at downtown Sunnyvale.

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