Almaden Expressway • San Jose, CA 95118

(408) 264-3766


Score (5 out of 10)

Similar to other regional/community shopping centers that lost their single anchor tenant, Almaden Plaza in San Jose had to reinvent itself. Although some malls have been knocked down and replaced by a fancy new power center, Almaden Plaza’s contemporary architecture and convenient location have enabled it to successfully divide the ex-Emporium (yes, you can still see the giant “E” labelscar) building into many large stores. Plus, some buildings in the center are occupied by a single tenant, such as Levitz Furniture. However, my disappointment in a place like this is the increased reliance on the parking lot instead of the middle walkway. Regardless of the fancy brick inlay, there really is no need to walk down the center of the mall. Although one restaurant has attempted to capitalize on the walkway and set up tables for eating.


National retailers include Costco, Trader Joe’s, Circuit City, TJ Maxx & More, Ross, Bed Bath & Beyond, Levitz, and Barnes & Noble.


Parking is pretty good, depending on what store you are visiting. Obviously, Costco and Trader Joe’s will be busy, but the Almaden Expressway side of the mall may be easier.


Almaden Plaza is located in San Jose CA, at the corner of Almaden Expressway and Blossom Hill Road. From the West Valley Fwy (85), exit south Almaden Expressway.

In summary

While this shopping center isn’t so much a “mall” anymore, it demonstrates a positive conversion from dying mall to bustling shopping center. It makes our list because of its size (that is, in square footage) and history.

Take advantage of the fact you can actually walk, instead of drive, from store-to-store. If you want an indoor mall, go down Blossom Hill to Oakridge Mall.

Brief history

Almaden Plaza, previously known as Almaden Fashion Plaza, was originally developed by Emporium-Capwell in 1968 and functioned as a combination regional and neighborhood center.


Mondays – Fridays

10 AM – 9 PM


10 AM – 7 PM


11 AM – 6 PM

Anchor Stores

  • Barnes & Noble
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Circuit City
  • Costco
  • Levitz Furniture
  • Ross Dress For Less
  • TJ Maxx & More
  • Trader Joe’s


Stores: 48

Type: Regional center

Enclosed: No (Open Air)

GLA: 51,096.672 m2 (550,000 sq. ft.)

Levels: 1

Owner: Brothers International Holding Company

Management Company: n/a

Grand Openings: 1968 (mall and The Emporium)

Anchor Closures: 1996 (The Emporium)

Renovated: n/a


Size: Small (-1)

Architectural Appearance: Average (-0.5)

Cleanliness: Hospital clean!

Occupancy: Bursting at the seams!

Stores: Mainstream/community-based (-0.5)

Store Quality: Standard (-0.5)

Parking: Average (-0.5)

Location: Very convenient

Services: Website (-1)

Uniqueness: Run of the mill (-1)

See our rating scheme