Almaden Ranch retail project moves ahead

A major South San Jose retail development that had drawn criticism from some local residents is ready to move forward.

The City Council is scheduled on March 20 to give a final thumbs up or down on the Almaden Ranch shopping center, a 350,000-square-foot development located just east of Almaden Expressway between Almaden Plaza and Westfield Oakridge Mall. The proposed center is to be built at a cost of between $30 million and $50 million by developer Eli Reinhard. Retail brokers have said Dick’s Sporting Goods, a Coraopolis, Pa.based chain of 447 stores with nearly $4.9 billion in 2011 sales, is the likely anchor tenant at Almaden Ranch.

The project, which was criticized by residents of adjacent neighborhoods over traffic congestion and air pollution concerns, was approved by the San Jose Planning Commission last month.

Curtis Leigh, director of development for Hunter Storm LLC, said if the City Council approves the plan, infrastructure work for the 40-acre site could begin by later this year. Some tenants may be open by late 2013, he said, but most of the project wouldn’t debut until early 2014.

Although Leigh couldn’t confirm Dick’s Sporting Goods, he did confirm a new tenant for another of his company’s projects. LA Fitness is going into the Coleman Landing shopping center, on the periphery of Mineta San Jose International Airport. The Southern California-based health club chain with a national presence is moving into Silicon Valley and plans to open a new
45,000-square-foot location by December. Current tenants at what will eventually be a 250,000-square-foot mixed-used center include Lowe’s, In-N-Out Burger and Chevron. Leigh said he is seeking additional restaurant tenants for the project.

David Goll covers health care, retail, nonprofits and education at the Business Journal. His phone number is 408.299.1853.