Great Mall of the Bay Area

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Great Mall of the Bay Area
Great Mall sign.jpg
The sign that directs shoppers outside the mall
LocationMilpitas, California, United States
Opening dateSeptember 22, 1994; 26 years ago (September 22, 1994)
DeveloperFord Motor Land Development and Petrie Dierman Kughn
ManagementSimon Property Group
OwnerSimon Property Group
No. of stores and services179
No. of anchor tenants11
Total retail floor area1,366,123 square feet (126,917.0 m2)
No. of floors1
Public transit accessSanta Clara VTA Great Mall/Main station
Bay Area Rapid Transit Milpitas station

The Great Mall of the Bay Area (often simply called The Great Mall) is a large indoor outlet shopping mall in Milpitas, California built by Ford Motor Land Development and Petrie Dierman Kughn in 1994. It was acquired by Mills Corporation in 2003, and by the Simon Property Group in April 2007. The mall contains approximately 1.4 million square feet of gross leaseable area.[1]


The Mall was formerly the Ford San Jose Assembly Plant that was built in 1955. Ford Mustangs were produced at this plant and Mustangs bearing the name San Jose as the assembly location were in fact built in Milpitas. Fairlanes, Torinos, Pintos, F-Series pickup trucks and Escorts; Edsel Rangers and Pacers; and Mercury Cougars, Montegos, Comets, Bobcats, Lynxes, & Capris (US version) were also assembled here. The plant closed down in 1983 in part due to increasing competition with Japanese auto manufacturers. In the early 1990s, developers resized the former plant and converted it into a mall. Today, an oak tree with a plaque commemorating Great Mall's history stands in the southwest section of its parking lot.

The Great Mall of the Bay Area, which opened on September 22, 1994, was developed as a joint venture between Ford Motor Land Development Corporation of Dearborn, Michigan and Petrie Dierman Kughn of McLean, Virginia.

In 2016, it was announced that the mall would be undergoing renovation in the spring.[2]


The Great Mall of the Bay Area sits at the intersection of Great Mall Parkway (which becomes Capitol Avenue when it crosses Montague Expressway) and Montague Expressway. The Parc Metropolitan apartments lie to the north of the mall. A few inns are also located at the south entrance of the mall.


Great Mall, unlike many other malls (but like most Mills malls), is a "flat" mall and the 2nd largest mall in northern California — it has only one story but takes up a large amount of land. The mall is currently laid out in this fashion because the existing main structure was a Ford automobile assembly plant and was not designed to serve as a shopping center.

Various major retailers are represented in the mall, including The Home Depot, Off 5th Saks Fifth Avenue, Marshalls, Dave & Buster's, Sears Appliance Outlet, and a new Last Call by Neiman Marcus Clearance Center. The mall used to house a Vans Skatepark which closed in 2004 and was replaced by Kohl's. In addition, it houses a Century Theatres multiplex with 20 screens.

Based on gross leaseable area, the Great Mall of the Bay Area was once the largest mall in Northern California, but has now been surpassed by others. It still remains the largest outlet mall in Northern California, but not all of its stores are outlets. Great Mall also has a food court, which can be accessed through Entrance 4.

Public transit[edit]

The Great Mall of the Bay Area is close to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority's Great Mall/Main station. Many VTA bus routes and also one by AC Transit stop at this transit center. The light rail station is elevated in the median of Great Mall Parkway. Bay Area Rapid Transit opened service to Milpitas station on June 13, 2020, providing access to the Great Mall and connections with VTA and AC Transit.[3]


  1. ^ "Simon Property Group". Retrieved 2012-09-15.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "BART service to Milpitas and Berryessa stations starts Saturday". KTVU Fox 2. 2020-06-12. Retrieved 2020-06-12.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°24′57″N 121°53′53″W / 37.415773°N 121.898012°W / 37.415773; -121.898012