Junipero Serra and Colma Boulevards
Colma, California

America's first quote-unquote "power center" was built by a joint venture of Burlingame, California-based Terranomics Development and San Francisco-based Rawson, Blum & Leon Properties.

The head of the Terranomics company, Merritt Sher, began developing so-called "promotional centers" in 1970. These followed the basic strip shopping center format, with tenants such as Bed, Bath & Beyond, Toys "R" Us and Wall Paper To Go.

As some of these specialty chains expanded from regional to national scope, and the size of their individual stores grew, a new name began to be heard..."power retailer", "category killer" or "big box store".

A new type of community-class retail complex emerged. Instead of being anchored by a department store or supermarket, it would include several power retailers as its main draw. The first such shopping complex, 280 METRO CENTER, opened for business in 1986.

The open-air complex, designed by San Francisco's Jacques de Brer, was situated on 6.4 acres, 8.2 miles southwest of San Francisco's Union Square, in the West Bay suburb of Colma. The fully-enclosed SERRAMONTE CENTER (1969) sat .2 miles southwest. Sandwiched between the Woodlawn and Greenlawn Cemeteries, the 280 METRO CENTER site had served as the Junipero Serra Landfill between 1958 and 1983.

280 METRO CENTER encompassed 1 level and 213,500 leasable square feet. Its original stores included Home Depot (89,000 square feet), Bed, Bath & Beyond (30,600 square feet), Marshalls (32,000 square feet), Men's Wearhouse (6,000 square feet), Clothestime, Shoe Works, a Van Heusen Factory Outlet and United Artists Metro Center 6 multiplex.

A 30,800 square foot Nordstrom Rack opened August 13, 1987. This was followed by a 13,100 square foot Gap Warehouse / Old Navy (one of three original stores in the chain) which was dedicated in 1994.

The small format Home Depot at 280 METRO CENTER was replaced with a 100,000 square foot store, built as a southern outparcel, in 1995. The original building was to sit vacant (and still leased by the company) until it was repurposed as a Home Depot Pro store. This newly-created format, marketed specifically to contractors and other building industry professionals, was dedicated April 30, 1998.

Terranomics sold the shopping center to San Franscisco-based RREEF Asset Management in 1997. In July 2003, New Hyde Park, New York-based Kimco Realty acquired the property. Later in the year, the UA cinema outparcel was knocked down and replaced by a 45,000 square foot Best Buym which opened in 2004.

Today, 280 METRO CENTER, a.k.a. 280 METRO MALL, houses twenty-five store spaces in its central structure, with seven outparcel retail spaces in its periphery.


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