Vallco Town Center Poised to Become California’s First SB 35 Compliant Project

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Things at Vallco Mall are looking up for those in favor of a housing-centric upgrade.

Sand Hill Property Company, the owners of the dilapidated Mall, announced in a press release today it has received a “Notice of Streamlining Eligibility” from the City of Cupertino, putting it in line to become the first project in California to be approved under the newly enacted law, SB 35.

The notice, which was issued within 90 days after the developer submitted its application for “Vallco Town Center,” confirms that the project qualifies for streamlined review under the law. According to the press release, the City will use the remaining 90 days to “undertake a more detailed review of technical plans in preparation for issuance of development permits for the project and ultimately demolition and building permits.”

Reed Moulds, managing director at Sand Hill Property Company, called the achievement an important first step. “Our world-class project, the first in the state to be deemed compliant with the laws set forth under SB 35, will both combat our region’s worsening housing crisis and provide the vibrant downtown environment Cupertino has long desired,” said Moulds.

The news comes less than one week after the City hosted a meeting to review the Vallco Special Area Specific Plan’s Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which has been dwindling in engagement in recent weeks.

Today’s announcement, according to officials, reiterated Sand Hill Property Company’s commitment to working with Cupertino residents and officials to arrive at a “viable, community-driven outcome on the condition the Specific Plan prioritizes housing and does not succumb to the delays or challenges that have characterized past planning efforts in Cupertino.”

“Above all, we are pleased to be on the path to finally revitalizing the dead Vallco mall. We are enthusiastically preparing to build Vallco Town Center, just as we are eager to find out if the City can conclude their community-driven process later this year with an even better solution for all,” said Moulds. “One way or another, we now feel we are on the cusp of moving this long-awaited project forward, and we are proud to be doing so in a way that begins to chip away at Silicon Valley’s dire housing shortage.”

What is Vallco Town Center?

Vallco Town Center made news in March with the announcement of its housing-centric approach to fixing up Vallco Mall. The project plans to bring 2,402 housing units to the site and will designate 50-percent as affordable for low- and very low-income households at a fraction of market rates.

The plan mirrors several aspects of Sand Hill Property Company’s 2015 proposal, The Hills at Vallco, including its a 30-acre rooftop park, ground level open space including a destination town center plaza, and an exciting retail and entertainment district to be anchored by new, state-of-the-art movie theatres, bowling alley and ice facilities.

Compared to the earlier plan, however, Vallco Town Center reduces total office area from approximately 2.4 million to 1.81 million square feet, and the retail area from 640,000 square feet to 400,000 square feet to better reflect evolving and real market conditions.

To read the Vallco SB 35 Streamlining Letter from the City to Sand Hill Property Company, click here.