Pacific Mall: Disneyland or cultural center?

It looks like there are plans to build a $100-million Asian-themed shopping mall in the McCarthy Ranch area of Milpitas.

Based on what’s already there, this is likely to be predominantly Chinese-themed. Since San Jose lost its Chinatown due to arson many years ago, and in light of the increased immigration from China recently, this makes sense.

But it raises some questions, at least in my mind.

  • Why is it designed to be an indoor space? I think that the current trend is to emulate a “downtown” environment. Santana Row, for instance, is fantastically successful, and was created when a strip mall was razed and an ersatz European cityscape was created.
  • The South Bay is a stranger to tourism. How will Silicon Valley react to this “Disneyfication (or Disneyization)” of Asian culture?
  • What does this bode for San Jose’s Japantown? Will it divert businesses away in a significant fashion? Will it inspire similar development for Nihonmachi?

More: http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_25347405/san-jose-and-fremont-more-than-400-million

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