Feb. 24--SUNNYVALE -- Whole Foods will anchor an emerging retail and residential complex that is also bringing a multi-screen cinema to downtown Sunnyvale, developers said Thursday.
The healthy foods grocery chain has leased 52,000 square feet in a long-stalled development that for years has been known as Sunnyvale Town Center. The developer of the site is STC Venture, which is a joint venture headed by Hunter Storm, a commercial real estate firm; Sares Regis Group of Northern California, a residential builder; and investors advised by JP Morgan Asset Management.
"This is going to be part of a walkable downtown," Deke Hunter, president of Hunter Storm, said Thursday.
Until last fall the site was mired in turmoil for years due to financial woes that engulfed prior developer Sand Hill Property. Eventually, Wells Fargo conducted seized the property through a foreclosure. Last September, STC Venture bought the site and in October began a partial demolition to clear the way for development.
"The Town Center is obviously a highly desirable location for businesses and residents, and we are thrilled with STC's rapid progress toward bringing the project to completion," Sunnyvale Mayor Glenn Hendricks said in a prepared release.
The deal with Texas-based Whole Foods represents a major breakthrough for the site, which once was dominated by a two-story regional mall bounded by Mathilda, Washington, Sunnyvale and Iowa avenues.
"Whole Foods will be a terrific addition to the amenities our community already enjoys in Sunnyvale's vibrant downtown," Mayor Hendricks said.
The building that contains Whole Foods will be a two-story complex. A 10-screen movie theater will occupy the floor above the grocery store, Hunter said. The name of the theater operator wasn't immediately disclosed.
Construction on the Whole Foods building should begin by the October-December quarter of this year. Whole Foods is expected to be open in February 2019.
Restaurants and other stores are planned for the site, Hunter said. In addition, developers have begun building out the interiors of of 198 apartment units that were left incomplete due to the prior financial woes.
"We are excited about restarting the redevelopment of the retail hub of downtown Sunnyvale to build an experiential shopping district to serve Peninsula and South Bay regional shoppers," Hunter said.
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