By Meghan Hall
The transformation of the American mall is underway–and after a tumultuous 2020, there is no turning back. In the latest set of plans to emerge, San Francisco’s long standing Stonestown Galleria is the next major Bay Area mall with new development schemes in the works. After more than a year of planning and community meetings, New York-based Brookfield Properties has submitted plans to reimagine the sprawling retail center into an urban, mixed-use hub.
The Stonestown Galleria was originally constructed in 1952 and subsequently renovated between 1987 and 1988. Brookfield originally acquired the asset in 2018 as part of a larger, $9.2 billion deal to acquire General Growth Properties. At the time, General Growth Properties had owned the mall since 2004.
According to Brookfield’s website, the property currently has 803,837 square feet of retail space and is home to 112 retailers. The property sits on about 40 acres. About 10 acres of the property is utilized by mall building area, and 30 acres are surface parking lots.
The mall is well located, just adjacent to San Francisco State University (SFSU) and Lake Merced Park. Other attractions such as Fort Funston, the San Francisco Zoo and San Francisco Golf Club are also all located nearby.
Currently, the retail portion of the mall is also undergoing a revamp. A Regal Cinemas, Whole Foods and Sports Basement are expected to open mid- to late-2021. The retailers are taking over the former Macy’s site, which left Stonestown Galleria in 2017. Brookfield is also in talks with two to three more stores, and Target has expanded into Nordstrom’s former space.
The property is currently zoned for about 3,500 residential units. Under Brookfield’s new plans, the developer would not build out the entire site, planning about 2,900 homes and six acres of green space. A reworking of 20th Ave. is also included in the plans, which Brookfield hopes will act as a new “Main Street” for the community. 20th Ave. will also be lined with additional shops.
“Our vision for a new town center at Stonestown includes a mix of housing, retail and neighborhood services, open spaces, street network improvements and retail and residential parking,” explains the mall’s website. “We are embarking on a process to create a vibrant new neighborhood that connects the mall and the surrounding community.”
With a preliminary planning application submitted, Brookfield expects entitlements to take several years. After, construction will begin and occur over multiple phases. Build-out is expected to take between 10 to 15 years.
Brookfield believes that the designs will help to transform the property from a retail center to a town center. In recent years, Brookfield has undertaken a similar strategy across a multitude of other properties, including The Yards in Washington D.C., Boulevard in Dublin, Calif., and the Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood, Wash.
In February, Brookfield was nearing completion of its partial redevelopment of the Alderwood Mall. There, Brookfield has partnered with AvalonBay Communities to construct 328 residential units on property formerly occupied by Sears.
“The great thing about our sites is that they’re somewhere between 60 to 100 acres of A-plus real estate in great demographic marketplaces,” explained Brookfield’s Executive Vice President of Development, Adam Trip, at the time. “Our job is to unlock and tap the potential of that real estate.”
Also in February, Brookfield revealed its Phase II plans for The Yards in February, and the development will bring 10 buildings totaling 3.4 million square feet to the Capitol Riverfront.
At Boulevard, in Dublin, Brookfield is building six new neighborhoods, a recreation center and parks.
As of this writing, Brookfield had not yet returned The Registry’s request for updated comment.