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 focus, 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, located 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 contained the Junipero Serra Landfill between 1958 and 1983.

280 METRO CENTER encompassed 1 level and 213,500 leasable square feet. Some of its original tenants were a (30,600 square foot) Bed Bath & Beyond, (32,000 square foot) Marshalls and 
1-level (89,000 square foot) Home Depot. Smaller stores and services included The Wherehouse Music & Entertainment, New York Fabrics, 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) Old Navy, the first store in the chain, which was dedicated March 11, 1994.

The small-format Home Depot at 280 METRO CENTER was replaced with a 1-level (100,000 square foot) store. Built as a southern outparcel, it began business in 1995. The original building sat 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 a share of the property. 

Meanwhile, the United Artists 6-plex had been shuttered in the spring of 2002. It was knocked down and replaced by a (45,000 square foot) Best Buy, which opened for business in 2004.

Several changes took place at 280 METRO CENTER during the Twenty-tens. Office Depot set up shop in a vacant Magnolia Hi-Fi spot in August 2012. Ross Dress For Less assumed a vacated Bed Bath & Beyond space, and opened on October 8 2016. 

Meanwhile, Kimco Realty bought out its joint venture colleague, a subsidiary of Blackstone Real Estate Partners, in September 2014. Kimco then assumed total ownership and control of 39 properties, including 280 METRO CENTER.


San Mateo County property tax assessor website