SAN JOSE -- A big new shopping center, office towers and residences could replace several of the Century movie theaters near the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose under a plan to lease the property, realty agents said Wednesday.
The site being eyed for redevelopment includes the Century theaters on Winchester Boulevard near Interstate 280. The theaters' domes are a familiar sight in the area, and the theatres have over the decades played many blockbuster films.
A group of San Jose families has hired realty brokerage Cassidy Turley and its retail unit Terranomics to market the 11.6-acre site on Winchester Boulevard between Olin Avenue and Interstate 280, across the street from Santana Row.
"There is very good interest in this site," said Todd Oliver, a partner with Terranomics Retail Services.
Potentially 500,000 square feet of retail or offices, or both, could be built at the site.
"You could build a large shopping center or have one or more office towers at the location," said Greg Davies, a partner with Cassidy Turley.
It also is possible that new homes could emerge on the property.
"The city has designated this in its general plan as an urban village," Davies said. "By definition, that could include all three uses -- retail, office and residential."
The owners, operating under the name Winchester Investments, intend to lease the land beneath the theaters to the future owner. To make way for the potential offices, shops and homes, the owners would then probably bulldoze the theaters.
"This has been a site for movie theaters for almost 50 years," Davies said.
The lease on the theaters is about to expire, so the owners decided to attempt a ground lease of the property to redevelop the site, sources said.
Retail development has been rebounding in Silicon Valley as the economy has improved over the past year or two.
Plus, large and small tech companies have gobbled up considerable stretches of office space in Mountain View, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Palo Alto and Santa Clara, and now the leasing surge has spilled into North San Jose.
Across the street from the Century theatres, Santana Row has enjoyed brisk retail leasing. Earlier this year, popular retailer H&M expanded its space at Santana Row, taking over a former Borders Bookstore site. Smaller retailers have also been opening shops at the retail complex.
Then in March, the principal owners of Santana Row, Federal Realty, revealed plans to build three office complexes and more retail on the site. The offices would total 700,000 square feet and be able to accommodate about 3,000 workers if completely filled.
The brokers for the property believe the Century theaters parcel could be similarly successful.
"We believe this is the best remaining infill site in the West San Jose area," Davies said.
Contact George Avalos at 408-373-3556 or 925-977-8477. Follow him at Twitter.com/george_avalos.