The Loma Prietan - November/December 2011

Shopping Center Remodeling Approved

Bicycle, Pedestrian Concerns Partly Addressed

by Andrew Melford

The San Antonio Shopping Center will look like this after its upcoming remodel into a mixed-use development. Photo: Courtesy of Merlone Geier Partners
The San Antonio Shopping Center will look like this after its upcoming remodel into a mixed-use development. Photo: Courtesy of Merlone Geier Partners

Plans for a remodeled San Antonio Shopping Center were approved unanimously by the Mountain View City Council shortly before midnight on June 14, amid concerns about bicycle and pedestrian access. The proposal by Merlone Geier Partners is for a mixed-use redevelopment project, including both retail and housing.

The development was originally proposed at the council’s May meeting, but the council delayed a vote on the project in order to address bike and pedestrian access, among other issues. Many felt that the planned development focused too heavily on cars and did not accommodate bikers and walkers. The Chapter believes that new development should cater more to alternative transportation, and members wrote to the council pushing for this.

The council’s approval requires the developers to work with Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committees (BPAC) to improve bicycle and pedestrian access to and within the redeveloped center. The developers and BPAC will work to widen San Antonio Road by five feet to allow for a bike lane and on internal traffic circulation.

During the June meeting, Chapter members and other residents raised their concerns that, although compelling the developer to work with BPAC at least acknowledges the issue, it may not be enough to help promote bicycle and pedestrian use.

The San Antonio Center is located at the corner of San Antonio Road and El Camino Real. The 180 million dollar project will include 311,000 square feet of retail, restaurant, and boutique space along with 330 luxury apartments. Demolition of the buildings, which housed a Sears, Rite Aid, Burger King and Sports Authority, started in September.                      

Andrew Melford is a meteorology graduate of San Jose State University currently volunteering for the Chapter.