2018 National Planning Conference

San Jose's Approach to Retail Restructuring

Sunday, April 14, 2019, 4:15 p.m. - Sunday, April 14, 2019, 5:30 p.m. PDT

CM | 1.25

Activity Type: Educational Sessions

Activity ID: NPC198163

Location: 2004

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  • Understand how to manage changing land-use patterns related to traditional shopping centers and new mixed-use development.
  • Gain a clear understanding of the changing retail industry and what the changes mean for economic development activities.
  • Learn how to formulate realistic strategies for managing future retail growth and change locally.


Providing a million residents with the right mix of goods and services in the right places is complicated, especially when the city is world headquarters for disruptors. San Jose’s Economic Development and Planning teams undertook a comprehensive citywide retail strategy by engaging stakeholders, and economics and retail experts in a process that integrated long-range planning considerations, and economic and market realities. Chief among the realities was recognizing fundamental changes in how retail sales are conducted, and the consequential impacts these changes have on all stakeholders from the city itself to its residents. Staff’s goal was to create a balanced plan, taking neighborhoods varying from urban centers to classic suburbs to those undergoing reurbanization into account. Challenges that were addressed included planning for dramatic population growth, managing the city’s existing stock of retail space, accounting for sales tax impacts from today’s evolving retail environment, and developing realistic policy for how, where, and when to accommodate retail in mixed use projects. This panel provides a behind-the-scenes look at how the city’s chief urban planner, senior economic development official, and their consultants navigated this complex process and arrived at a real-world, actionable plan.

Session Speakers

Dena Belzer
Strategic Economics
Berkeley, CA

Timothy Rood, AICP
City of San Jose
San Jose, CA

Nanci J. Klein
City of San Jose
San Jose, CA

David Greensfelder
Greensfelder Commercial Real Estate LLC
Albany, CA