MUJI U.S.A. Limited Opening in Downtown San Jose

Urban chic retailer expected to open store in Spring 2013

SAN JOŚE, CALIF. –Downtown San José welcomes MUJI, an international apparel and home décor retailer to a prominent corner in the city’s core. The West Coast’s second MUJI store will land at the base of the San José’s Fairmont Hotel, on South 1st St. along the Paseo de San Antonio. MUJI’s doors will open Spring 2013, offering 7,000 sq ft. of shopping to Downtown residents and visitors.

San José Councilmember Sam Liccardo welcomed the investment of MUJI into his Downtown district. “We’re thrilled to welcome MUJI, which will serve San José residents that are increasingly choosing an urban lifestyle, and to provide a great shopping destination for visitors drawn to Downtown by our expanding Convention Center and attractions.”

MUJI, a Japanese company with over 200 stores globally, features a product line that emphasizes quality, great design, and urban simplicity. The San José store represents a doubling of MUJI U.S.A.’s West Coast presence, after a similar recent announcement in San Francisco, to supplement several stores in New York City.

Ritchie Commercial represented both Muji and the landlord, Imwalle Properties Inc., in the transaction. “It’s a milestone for downtown San José retail,” Ann Marie LaRocco Joel of Ritchie Commercial told one media outlet. “They are absolutely awesome.” MUJI rejected the conventional wisdom to drift into the large retail agglomerations at nearby Santana Row and Westfield Valley Fair, but chose Downtown during a surge in development in San José’s core.

High-rise builders have announced that they will break ground next year on two over-20-story residential towers, and another 600 units of mid-rise housing will begin construction Downtown over that period. A recently renovated Civic Center is attracting thousands of music and entertainment-lovers, and in the coming weeks, a free outdoor wi-fi network will launch Downtown, surprising visitors with the fastest wi-fi service in North America. Downtown residents and businesses are also looking forward to the construction of a bus-rapid-transit system and a bike-share system (both in early 2013), an electrified CalTrain system, a new high-rise state courthouse (under construction in 2013), an expanding McEnery Convention Center (due to open in September 2013), and the nearby construction of a professional soccer stadium and BART subway extension (both currently underway).

More immediately, the Downtown will welcome a new grocery store opening nearby this week, the rapid expansion of ZipCar’s car-sharing service in the coming weeks, and the opening of successful restaurateur Chris Esparza’s newest hotspot across the street from the MUJI site later this year. As Liccardo concluded, “MUJI’s announcement provides additional—and compelling—evidence of San José’s Downtown’s resurgence. This decision by MUJI U.S.A.’s President, Hiroyoshi Azami, and his team reflects their well-founded confidence in the trajectory of our growth.”

MUJI’s new location will enable it to exploit its proximity First Street’s Light Rail station, and the pedestrian access along the Paseo de San Antonio, which links several restaurants and retail stores with San José State University, the Repertory Theatre, the Fairmont, and Cesar Chavez Park.

West Coast Commercial Real Estate News