The Shops at Hilltop

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The Shops at Hilltop
LocationRichmond, California, United States
Opening date1976
DeveloperA. Alfred Taubman
ManagementLBG Real Estate Companies, LLC and Aviva Investors
OwnerLBG Real Estate Companies, LLC and Aviva Investors
No. of stores and services150 [1]
No. of anchor tenants5
Total retail floor area1.1 million ft² (102,193 m²) [1]
No. of floors2

The Shops at Hilltop formerly known as Hilltop Mall, is a shopping mall in the Hilltop neighborhood of Richmond, California. Hilltop is managed and co-owned by LBG Real Estate Companies, LLC and Aviva Investors, and is anchored by longtime tenants Macy's, Sears, and Walmart.[2]


Hilltop Mall opened in September 1976, built on land previously occupied by an oil storage tank farm owned by the Chevron Corporation. The mall was developed by 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 red-tiled Capwell's, JCPenney and Macy's. Both Macy's and JCPenney originally had stores in downtown Richmond, but while Macy's had closed its downtown store a couple of years earlier, JCPenney kept its downtown store open for a year after Hilltop opened.[3] Capwell's changed its name to Emporium-Capwell in 1979, before becoming simply The Emporium in 1990. Sears was added in 1990 in a newly built north wing addition, which was the last expansion of this property.

Once opened, the mall attracted the major anchor stores from Richmond's downtown, with several major national chain stores closing downtown locations (although many acknowledge that the trend predated Hilltop due to economic and safety issues).[4][5]

A 2007 view of Hilltop Mall center-court area with the gold anodized aluminum sculpture "Solar Cantata" by Charles O. Perry (1971)[6][7]

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 and closed the original Macy's store.

The GM Pension Trust assumed full ownership of Hilltop Mall in 1998, retaining Taubman Centers as manager.[8] 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 Mills Corporation portfolio, including other Bay Area properties: Stoneridge Shopping Center in Pleasanton, California and Great Mall in Milpitas, California. On December 23, 2011, a shopping frenzy over retro Air Jordan shoes resulted in temporary closure of the mall after shots were fired.[9] The mall later reopened, but sales of the shoe were banned for the day.[9] Similar events occurred at the nearby Westfield Solano and the Bayfair Center malls in Fairfield and San Leandro, respectively.[9]

In August 2012, Greg Maloney, president of Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) 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, and Jones Lang LaSalle was retained as the manager post-foreclosure.

The JCPenney store at Hilltop Mall closed in August 2017.[10]


On July 2017, LBG Real Estate Companies, LLC and Aviva Investors announced the purchase of the Hilltop Mall property, which went into foreclosure by Simon Property Group in 2012 and then into auction. LBG plans to immediately work with urban planners to rebrand, redevelop and upgrade (both interior and exterior of the mall structural buildings) which is expected to take effect in 2019-2020 timeframe.[11]

LBG intends to plan a long-term mixed-use redevelopment that would have a sustainable capacity of more than 9,600 housing units at the property as well as office, hotel and entertainment uses.

In September 2017, the shopping center rebranded as "The Shops at Hilltop," a new approach to modernize the property. The renovated mall will eventually contain a 99 Ranch Market, two theaters, and a variety of stores, food options, and entertainment establishments.[12]


Former anchors[edit]

  • Capwell's, Opened with mall in 1976 closed in 1996 following its merger with Federated; Macy's refurbished and relocated their existing store.
  • JCPenney, Opened with mall in 1976 (originally located in downtown Richmond) closed in July 2017. The property currently remains vacant.


Hilltop Mall has smaller clothing boutiques for men, women, teens, and children, in addition to main department store anchors of Macy's, Sears and Walmart. 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.

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

There are also jewelry stores, stationers, and gift stores. Boost Mobile and Cellphone Accessories. and others. Miscellaneous services include hair salons, 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". Archived from the original on 14 November 2006. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Chico Enterprise Record - Wal-Mart plans to offer help to small fry at new location". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  3. ^ "Richmond Chamber of Commerce: History". Archived from the original on 2 March 2007. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  4. ^ Richmond History Archived 2007-09-04 at the Wayback Machine., retrieved 09-08-07
  5. ^ Images of America: Richmond (Paperback) by Donald Bastin, Arcadia Publishing (SC), November 2003
  6. ^ “Hilltop Mall Rotunda” Archived 2008-11-14 at the Wayback Machine., city of Richmond website, access date 06-03-2009
  7. ^ "Charles O. Perry - Solar Cantata". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-07-02. Retrieved 2017-08-29.
  9. ^ a b c Air Jordan release sparks violence at Richmond, Fairfield malls Archived 2015-10-01 at the Wayback Machine., Karl Fischer, Contra Costa Times, 23-12-2011, access date 25-12-2011
  10. ^ Sciacca, Annie (31 July 2017). "End of an era for JCPenney store closing in the East Bay". The Mercury News. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-07-27. Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  12. ^ Dan, Lucky (24 February 2018). "In-depth: Richmond's Hilltop Mall reinventing itself for 21st century". Archived from the original on 25 March 2018. Retrieved 24 April 2018.

External links[edit]

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