A larger entrance with a circular fountain, a driveway lined with towering Italian cypress trees, and four new buildings that will stand in place of the massive Bloomingdale's department store await Stanford Shopping Center after it gains City of Palo Alto approval for the final phase of its redevelopment.
The initial phases of the upscale shopping center's transformation included constructing a new building in the parking lot along El Camino Real for Fleming's restaurant and the upcoming move of Bloomingdale's to a new, scaled-down, three-story building located at the former Fleming's site.
But the third phase, which the Palo Alto Architectural Review Board considered last week, would include some of the most dramatic changes the center has seen in its three-year remodeling effort.
Most notable would be the construction of three retail buildings and one mixed-use building on the former site of Bloomingdale's, which at 133,600 square feet currently dominates the center's northeast corner, facing El Camino. Each building will house multiple small shops, though Simon Properties Co., the company that manages the center, stated in an email to the Weekly that it couldn't comment on which stores might occupy the new space.
There will be two, 1-story buildings and two, 2-story buildings, one of which will house office space on the second floor. The four buildings, which tenants would customize with their company's "look," would be visible from El Camino and Quarry Road.
The final phase of the renovation also includes plans that would impact the feel of the entire shopping center, which was founded in 1955 and has been renovated several times. To modernize and create a more cohesive appearance, the lighting, pavement and signage throughout the site would be updated to differentiate between the center's streets and pedestrian paths.
The central walkway, running parallel to Quarry, would become the center's new "main street," with each of the remaining interior streets designed with distinguishing characteristics.
Though a detailed landscaping plan hasn't yet been unveiled, renovation would also update the shopping center's popular landscaping, featuring a simplified at-grade scheme with different themes for four distinct areas outdoor rooms, the main avenue, luxury shopping and areas for families and kids.
The southeast entrance to the center, next to Neiman Marcus, would be redesigned to accommodate events such as concerts and gatherings and would include a circular water feature with a pedestrian bridge.
Rows of Italian cypress trees along the primary entrance of the center at El Camino would be planted. In all, the shopping center is proposing to plant 78 trees and remove 38 throughout the site. They would include valley oak, southern live oak, callery pear and gingko trees.
Stanford Shopping Center currently has 5,826 parking spaces, but the proposed project would eliminate 260 spaces, leaving the center with more than the required number of 5,284 spaces.