Hilltop Mall

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Hilltop Mall
Location Richmond, California, USA
Opening date 1976
Developer A. Alfred Taubman
Management Jones Lang LaSalle
Owner Jones Lang LaSalle
No. of stores and services 150 [1]
No. of anchor tenants 5
Total retail floor area 1.1 million ft² (102,193 m²) [1]
No. of floors 2

Hilltop Mall is a mall in the Hilltop neighborhood of Richmond, California. Hilltop is managed and co-owned by Simon Property Group, and is anchored by longtime tenants JC Penney, Macy's, Sears, and lastly Walmart, a 2007 addition.[2]


Hilltop Mall opened in September 1976, built on land previously occupied by the Chevron Oil Corporation tank farm. The mall was developed by the A. Alfred Taubman, who also developed several other shopping malls in the East and South Bay Area, including Eastridge Center in San Jose, Stoneridge Shopping Center in Pleasanton and Sunvalley Mall in Concord. Originally it was anchored by a bright red-tiled Capwell's, JCPenney and Macy's. Both Macys and JCPenney originally had stores in downtown Richmond, but while Macys had closed its downtown store a couple of years earlier, JCPenney kept its downtown store open for another year after Hilltop opened .[3] Capwell's changed its name to Emporium-Capwell in 1979, before becoming simply Emporium in 1990. Sears was added in 1990 and was the last expansion of this property.

Once opened the mall attracted the major anchors of Richmond's downtown, which became deserted, with several major national chain stores closing, although many acknowledge that the trend predated Hilltop due to economic and safety issues.[4][5]

Hilltop Mall center court area with the gold anodized sculpture "solar cantata" (1971).[6]

The mall remained largely unchanged until 1996 when the Emporium store closed following its merger with Federated, who owned Macy's. The store remained vacant until October 1998, when Macy's refurbished and relocated their existing store into the former Emporium space. However, Federated chose not to have two Macys at Hilltop (unlike Sun Valley, Stoneridge, and others) and closed the original store. That building would remain vacant until WalMart took it over in the Spring of 2007.

The Taubman shopping center interests, which had become a publicly traded real estate investment trust in 1992, were reorganized in 1998 and the GM Pension Trust assumed full-ownership of Hilltop Mall at this time, retaining Taubman Centers as manager.[7] In its turn, in 2004 the GM Pension Trust sold a half-interest in a portfolio of shopping centers, including Hilltop to The Mills Corporation, which also assumed management of the center. After several years of delay, Wal-Mart opened on April 11, 2007 on the site Macy's vacated in 1998.

In July 2007, Simon Property Group purchased the entire The Mills Corporation portfolio including other Bay Area properties: Stoneridge Shopping Center in Pleasanton, California and Great Mall in Milpitas, California. On December 23, 2011 shots were fired and the mall was closed due to a shopping frenzy over the retro Air Jordans on sale that day.[8] The mall later reopened but sales of the shoe were banned for the day.[8] Similar events occurred at the nearby Westfield Solano and the Bayfair Center malls in Fairfield and San Leandro respectively.[8]

In August 2012, Greg Maloney, president of Jones Lang LaSalle Retail was appointed receiver by the Contra Costa Superior Court to assume management of the property due to Simon's loan default. JLL retained Michael Piazzola as its managing receiver. The property was foreclosed upon in June 2013 by US Bank as a trustee representing a consortium of lenders that underwrote the original Mills acquisition in 2007. Jones Lang LaSalle was retained as the manager post-foreclosure and has attempted to stabilize the asset in anticipation of its eventual sale by the trustee.



Hilltop Mall has smaller clothing boutiques for men, women, teens, and children, in addition to main department store anchors of Macy's, Sears, WalMart, and JC Penney. It has shoe stores including Shiekh Shoes, Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, and Shoe Palace, and athletic stores such as Champs Sports and Finish Line

Hilltop Mall also features many other mainstream retailers such as, Claire's, and Zumiez. Hilltop has places to snack, such as Maggie Moo's Ice Cream, Mrs. Fields Cookies, Auntie Anne's Pretzels, Subway, Cazuela's Grill, and Great Khan's Mongolian BBQ.

There are also jewelry stores, stationers, and gift stores. There are restaurants, mostly fast food, that include Burger King, Boost Mobile and Cellphone Accessories. and others. Miscellaneous services include a hair salon, tattoo parlor, manicurist, portrait studios, a dentist and optometrists. There is a health bar at the 24 Hour Fitness Magic Johnson Sport gym.

American Carousel Works opened its first Bay Area carousel at Hilltop Mall in May 2009. It occupies the mall's center court and lounge area.

Notes and references[edit]

Oakland Tribune (Richmond area edition), Sept. 3, 1976, page 13

  1. ^ a b Simon Property Group
  2. ^ Chico Enterprise Record - Wal-Mart plans to offer help to small fry at new location
  3. ^ Richmond Chamber of Commerce: History
  4. ^ Richmond History, retrieved 09-08-07
  5. ^ Images of America: Richmond (Paperback) by Donald Bastin, Arcadia Publishing (SC), November 2003
  6. ^ “Hilltop Mall Rotunda”, city of Richmond website, access date 06-03-2009
  7. ^ http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/890319/0000890319-99-000005.txt
  8. ^ a b c Air Jordan release sparks violence at Richmond, Fairfield malls, Karl Fischer, Contra Costa Times, 23-12-2011, access date 25-12-2011

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°58′51″N 122°19′42″W / 37.980725°N 122.32826°W / 37.980725; -122.32826