FREMONT -- A stalled $200 million retail mall here is being revived by a development group that wants to turn the retail, restaurant and high-rise hotel complex into a shopping and dining magnet for the Bay Area, the realty firm handling the Asian- and European-themed project said Thursday.
The Globe mall in Fremont will eventually total 450,000 square feet of shops, restaurants and cultural spaces, plus a 12-story, 248-room hotel that will have views of San Francisco Bay and be visible from Interstate 880. The mall will consist of a series of "villages," each a building incorporating themes associated with a certain part of Asia or Europe.
"We believe The Globe can be the next shopping destination for the Bay Area," said Wai Zin, a marketing and sales executive with Oregon-based American Pacific International Capital, or APIC, the owner of the mall. "Fremont is a great location for this kind of center."
Fremont city officials estimate that 50 percent of the population of Fremont is Asian. About 25 percent has ethnic origins in East Asia, including China and nearby nations. Another 25 percent is South Asian, including origins in India and Pakistan.
"The Globe is a bold vision, and it's very exciting that this project is getting back on track," said Kelly Kline, Fremont's economic development director. "This is a key location for the city."
Located near the intersection of Interstate 880 and Stevenson Boulevard, The Globe began construction several years ago, but the Great Recession and financing woes brought construction to a halt in 2007 with only 70,000 square feet of the mall completed. The center languished for years, bogged down by litigation, foreclosure proceedings and virtually no tenants.
Now the new owners are ready to pour $200 million into the completion of the shopping center and the development of the hotel, including the purchase and construction costs, said Joseph Nguyen, a marketing and sales manager with APIC, which taps the capital markets in Asia and the United States to finance the projects in which it invests.
"Interest from tenants has really picked up," Nguyen said. "We are seeing a lot of energy picking up in response to our leasing efforts. More people are coming to our doors asking to become tenants."
The existing first phase is known as Siam Village. The next retail cluster will be Pacifica, which will total 32,000 square feet and should be complete sometime this summer, Nguyen said. A final date for completion of the entire center and the hotel isn't set yet.
Future phases will be known as Sino Village; JK Town, which stands for Japan Korea town; Europa, Indus and The Heart. Besides the shopping and dining activities, the center is also expected to feature cultural events with Asian and European themes.
At present, the only tenants are some furniture stores that are on month-to-month leases. As new retailers sign leases, the furniture stores will exit the property, Nguyen said.
"Our landmark structure for The Globe will be a hotel that will be the tallest building in Fremont," Nguyen said. APIC owns five hotels in San Francisco.
The Globe has a decent chance of success, said Josh Gispan, a broker with Meacham Oppenheimer, a commercial realty brokerage in San Jose that specializes in retail projects,
"This project can be a home run," Gispan said. "It's a little bit off the beaten path, but if you hit at the right economic cycle, you can be very successful with this."
Contact George Avalos at 408-859-5167. Follow him at Twitter.com/georgeavalos.
The retail and dining center will have an Asian and European theme. Among the highlights:
450,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and cultural space
Designed as a series of "villages," including Siam Village, Pacifica, Sino Village, JK Town, Europa, Indus Village and The Heart
A 12-story, 248-room hotel
Total investment is expected to be $200 million
Mercury News reporting