Demolition day arrives at Vallco Shopping Mall

Years of debates, hearings, public outreach, lawsuits and dueling ballot measures that reflected the deep rift in Cupertino over the fate of the long-deserted Vallco Shopping Mall culminated Thursday into a day for hammers, hard hats and bright construction vests

It was a day that marked the beginning of the end for Vallco, the dead mall that stands in the shadow of Apple, and the first step toward a massive mixed-use development that could bring nearly 3,000 housing units, a slew of office buildings and some retail, as well as a good chunk of open space.

Amid cheers, crews for Sand Hill Property Co., the mall’s property owner and developer, began knocking down one of two parking structures along the western edge of the property near the old Sears. Applause, handshakes, pats on the back and broad smiles followed. Some rushed to grab a piece of the concrete. Words like “historic” and “milestone” were uttered. The message from Sand Hill was: we’re ready to move forward.

“Tear down that mall,” Vice Mayor Rod Sinks exclaimed, pumping his fist, a hammer in hand.

Afterward, Sand Hill founder Peter Pau said he is still hopeful the disparate communities will “come to the same side” once his company proves it has Cupertino’s best intentions in mind through the construction process.

“I’m not really an emotional guy, but it’s almost a bittersweet feeling,” he said minutes after a blue excavator brought chunks of the parking structure crumbling down in front of a large crowd that included state senators Jim Beall, Scott Wiener and Assemblyman Evan Low in addition to the three Cupertino City Council members who recently approved an alternate, community-forged plan for the mall. Missing from the festivities were Mayor Darcy Paul and Councilman Steven Scharf, who both voted against the alternate plan.

Long after most of his colleagues …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


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