We’re reimagining because Hillsdale is not immune to change. 

Why Reimagine?

Retail is in a critical moment of change

The rise of online shopping, the decline of department stores, and the Covid-19 pandemic have led to many malls and stores closing.

Our community faces big changes

Retail is not the only sector in a moment of change – housing, sustainability, and economic vitality are all facing regional challenges that Hillsdale can help address.

Alignment with San Mateo

Hillsdale is part of the San Mateo community – we have an opportunity to align with the city’s 2040 General Plan to bring our vision to life.

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Change is in our DNA

We welcome change – throughout its 80-year history, Hillsdale has evolved to meet the demands and expectations of our community.

Take a walk with us through time to explore the changes Hillsdale has adapted to.

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1940

David D. Bohannon, our founder, acquires and begins the planning and development of the 848-acre community at Hillsdale in San Mateo.

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1954

Located just across the street from Sears, Hillsdale begins as an open-air mall anchored by Macy’s.

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1970s-1980s

The heyday of mall culture as a place for shopping, dining and entertainment, and gathering. The shopping center features nearly 150 stores including J.J. Newberry, Peninsula Music, the Hillsdale Cinema, and Archie’s Burger Pit.

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1991

The internet goes public – the birth of e-commerce and online sales. By 2018, US “Cyber Monday” online holiday sales exceeded in-store “Black Friday” Thanksgiving holiday sales.

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2010s

Internet technology combines with changing consumer preferences to create the ‘retail apocalypse’: 12,000 brick and mortar stores close over the decade, and another 75,000 more are at risk. To address the statewide housing shortage and affordability crisis, Sacramento begins exploring solutions including local mandates affecting cities like San Mateo. Plans begin for the North Block outdoor plaza, developed with community input.

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2019

Hillsdale opens the North Block outdoor plaza, and launches the Re:Imagine Hillsdale planning effort, starting by listening to and learning from our community.

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2022

San Mateo is working on updating its General Plan 2040 framework as the community recovers from a two-plus-year global pandemic, and faces state mandates for housing production and shortages in essential workforce due to lack of affordability.

Hillsdale has a new investment partner to help continue the work of planning with neighbors and San Mateo leaders to serve an expanded purpose in the community in the decades ahead.

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