Sand Hill Property Company
Vallco Mall Redevelopment (The Hills at Vallco)
Sand Hill Property Company retained Brightworks to manage the LEED Platinum program — and implement best practices from Sustainable SITES — for this 58-acre, 16-building redevelopment of the failing Vallco Mall.
Located adjacent to Apple’s new headquarters, The Hills at Vallco in the Silicon Valley community of Cupertino will revitalize the failing Vallco Shopping Mall into a vibrant, sustainable, walkable and safe new neighborhood with a mix of retail, dining, entertainment, recreation, offices, housing, open space, and public amenities.
The opportunity for a profound transformation of the Vallco Mall came in 2014, when Sand Hill Property Company acquired the entire mall (including the anchor department store buildings), bringing Vallco under single ownership for the first time in its nearly 40-year history.
Upon securing the property, Sand Hill Property Company initiated a design competition among leading architects and designers, ultimately selecting Rafael Vinoly Architects of New York and the OLIN Partnership Landscape Architects of Philadelphia to reconceive the site as a dynamic, walkable, bikeable, connected neighborhood with a variety of entertainment, dining, and retail experiences and a strong emphasis on family.
In place of the existing 1.2-million-square-foot mall, Sand Hill Property Company and its design team will build public parks and plazas; educational, retail, office, and entertainment space; and up to 800 residential units. Atop the modern and sustainable buildings, the world’s largest green roof will provide over 30 acres of public park with a 3.8-mile network of walking and jogging trails, meadows, vineyards, orchards and organic gardens, children’s play areas, and a refuge for native species of plants and birds. It will be Cupertino’s largest park when complete – and entirely open to the public. The rolling shape of the green roof mimics the forms of the foothills surrounding Silicon Valley and provides privacy for residents of an adjacent neighborhood from the public uses planned for the new development.
Brightworks began its work on the project with an extensive analysis for Sand Hill Property Company and the design team of options to certify the buildings as green buildings and include innovative environmental programs in the development. As a result of the analysis, the owner and design team agreed to pursue LEED Platinum certification for the buildings and implement landscape best practices drawing from Sustainable SITES for the dramatic green roof.
The Hills at Vallco will use recycled water for irrigation, heating, and cooling. It will recapture rainwater to reduce water consumption. The green roof park will feature native, drought-tolerant and climate-responsive landscaping that thrives on little to no water. Along with natural ventilation and smart technology, the green roof will also ensure energy efficiency, providing natural insulation that will keep the buildings and surroundings cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
In addition to the new public park, Sand Hill Property Company is also providing the citizens of Cupertino with $50 million in contributions to Cupertino schools. For K-8 students, this includes a new 700-student elementary school, replacement of modular classrooms with permanent classrooms, expanded school recreation fields, and a $1 million endowment for a Yosemite Science Program. For high school students, this contribution includes a new 10,000-square-foot flexible, mixed-use Innovation Center within The Hills at Vallco. The Innovation Center will serve as an incubator space for student-led projects, student-led businesses, and work-based learning initiatives. Within the space, students will also be able to build projects, display art, perform, and host robotics competitions.
Originally built in 1976 as a traditional mall anchored by JC Penney, Sears, and Macy’s, the Vallco Mall has long underperformed despite occupying a prime site at the heart of the community.
“The revitalization of Vallco had been one of the city’s highest priorities for more than two decades,” Cupertino’s Mayor once reflected.