Address:

Park Street & Otis Drive • Alameda, CA 94501

(510) 521-1515

 

Score (6.5 out of 10)

Alameda Towne Centre (previously known as South Shore Center) has served the Oakland area since 1958. It’s one of the few outdoor malls in the Bay Area that manages to keep most of its stores actually facing the mall. However, it appears as if the shiny new stores all faced the parking lot (similar to the Fremont Hub).

Atmosphere

The weather is usually quite agreeable and couldn’t be better for shopping, so there really is no need for a roof on Alameda Towne Center. The landscaping is outstanding. Well-placed trees, perennials, trellises, and potted shrubs all add to the elegance of the mall. A rarity today, you’ll also find plenty of unique and interesting artwork. Finally, there are plenty of benches for lingering and resting tired feet.

Look for placards hung in various locations throughout the interior for historical pictures and stories of the area.

New and Improved!

Alameda Towne Center is going through an extensive renovation. Adding big-box stores without loosing the middle walkway. It appears as if the smaller shops will occupy the interior while the big-box stores occupy the exterior. It’s really what this shopping mall needs and I think we are going to get it.

Stores

Alameda Towne Center is currently without a conventional anchor tenant. Mervyn’s closed on July 31, 2008, but was replaced by an updated Kohl’s in spring 2009. We didn’t see any vacancies and were generally pleased with the selection of one-of-a-kind mall stores.

Location

Finding Alameda Towne Center may not be so easy for the first time visitor. It’s located at the far side of the island and there aren’t many large avenues like the newer suburbs. However, Alameda has such a charm, you may find winding through its tidy neighborhoods enjoyable (the bane of the locals).

Mall History

In 1958, South Shore Center opened with JC Penney, Walgreens, Woolworth, and Lucky supermarket anchoring the mall. Safeway was off to the side, where it stands today.

Of the original stores, only Walgreens remains. Mervyn’s joined in October 1972. Recently, JC Penney was replaced by Trader Joe’s. In 2005, the mall’s name was changed to Alameda Towne Centre.

Hours:

Monday – Saturday

10 AM – 9 PM

Sunday

11 AM – 6 PM

Anchor Stores:

  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Borders Books
  • Kohl’s
  • Old Navy
  • Safeway
  • Trader Joe’s
  • TJ Maxx
  • Walgreens

Stats:

Stores: 90

Type: Regional/neighborhood center

Enclosed: No (Open Air)

GLA: 61037.297 m2 (657,000 sq. ft.)

Levels: 1

Owner: Harsch Investment Properties

Management Company: Harsch Investment Properties

Year First Opened: 1958

Year Renovated: 2003 (Trader Joe’s replaced JC Penney and minor renovation), 2006-08 (major renovation/expansion), May 2009 Kohl’s replaced Mervyn’s.

Ratings:

Size: Average (-0.5)

Architectural Appearance: Chic

Cleanliness: Hospital clean!

Occupancy: Bursting at the seams!

Stores: Mainstream/community-based (-0.5)

Store Quality: Standard (-0.5)

Parking: Average (-0.5)

Location: Bring a map, compass, and provisions (-1)

Services: Website, gift certificates, security (-0.5)

Uniqueness: One of a kind gem!

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