The City Council approved a gatekeeper request Tuesday which could lead to a massive revamp of San Antonio shopping center, possibly even bringing the spirit of San Jose's Santana Row to Mountain View.
Behind the proposal are Thoits Brothers and San Antonio LLC, two of the four major property owners of the 57-acre shopping center at El Camino Real and San Antonio Road, whose parcels include Walmart, Trader Joe's, Mervyns and Sears.
High-density homes for the shopping center are in the proposal, along with parking garages, a new system of driveways and some open space.
Many City Council members said they were "thrilled" after pushing for redevelopment of the shopping center over a year ago. In General Plan hearings last year, local residents also expressed a desire for a redeveloped, "walkable" San Antonio shopping center with new high-density housing above shops and restaurants in a European-style streetscape.
Shopping center manager Mike Couch spoke for the two owners.
"We're really excited about the opportunity," after all these years, Couch said. "The Thoits lived on the site in the 1950s when it was an orchard. We hope to create a plan beneficial to all of us."
The shopping center has a total of 16 owners, but only four own the core 50 acres.
"We plan to engage all of the property owners in all of the future planning of the site," said planning manager Aarti Shrivastava.