Transforming Malls & Office Parks

Creating New Neighborhoods from Aging Malls & Underused Office Parks

By transforming aging malls and office parks into neighborhoods, Bay Area communities could add more than 150,000 homes at all income levels, create new public spaces and provide local services.

The Bay Fair Specific Plan is a transformative vision for 53-acres around the Bay Fair BART station in San Leandro. Supported by a MTC Priority Development Area planning grant, it will transition a shopping center into a neighborhood with community-serving retail, open spaces, offices and a range of housing types.

Van Meter Williams Pollack ALLP

MTC is working with the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and communities throughout the region to help solve the Bay Area housing crisis and advance equity. One solution identified in Plan Bay Area 2050 – the region’s long-range plan for transportation, housing, the economy, and the environment – is to transform aging malls and office parks into residential neighborhoods.

This strategy is part of the 3Ps framework of housing protection, preservation and production. This comprehensive approach aims to create a future in which every Bay Area resident enjoys the bedrock of a strong, vibrant community: a safe, stable, affordable, high-quality home.

Making the Strategy a Reality

In the Plan Bay Area 2050 Implementation Plan, MTC/ABAG staff identified actions the agencies can take to help make this strategy a reality:

  • Strategically align existing programs, including financial resources and technical assistance, especially through the:
  • Seek eligible new funding sources to promote planning and redevelopment of malls and office parks in PDAs and other growth geographies
  • Identify redevelopment opportunities and challenges. Partner with local jurisdictions, community members, property owners, affordable housing developers and other stakeholders to speed up the redevelopment of aging malls and office parks.

Webinar: Malls & Office Parks Reuse Challenges & Opportunities

In this webinar, staff highlighted findings on challenges and opportunities in transforming aging shopping malls and office parks into vibrant mixed-use neighborhoods, a key strategy for addressing the region’s severe housing shortage. Watch the recording of the Transforming Aging Malls and Office Parks webinar.

Technical Assistance: Aging Malls & Office Parks Transformation Work Group

Designed for local planning, housing and economic development staff, the work group’s six workshops focus on planning, housing and implementation. Each session includes practical takeaway information, resources and tools.

Visit the work group page.
Aerial of a parking lot at an under-used shopping center in Terra Linda, California.
Bay Area Aging Malls & Office Parks Transformation White Paper

This white paper will inform implementation strategy for local governments and support the next long-range regional plan. It answers questions about challenges and barriers in the Bay Area; roles for public sector and local governments; and opportunities to provide more affordable housing and advance equity.

Read the white paper.
An under-used shopping center in Terra Linda, California.
Bay Area Housing Finance Authority (BAHFA)

The Bay Area Housing Finance Authority (BAHFA) is a powerful new funding tool to address the Bay Area’s chronic housing affordability challenges.

Learn more about BAHFA.