Stanford Shopping Center
Stanford Shopping Center 1.jpg
Walkway at Stanford Shopping Center
LocationPalo Alto, California
Coordinates37°26′35″N 122°10′16″W / 37.44306°N 122.17111°W / 37.44306; -122.17111Coordinates: 37°26′35″N 122°10′16″W / 37.44306°N 122.17111°W / 37.44306; -122.17111
Opening date1955
DeveloperStanford University
ManagementSimon Property Group
OwnerSimon Property Group (94.4%)
No. of stores and services152
No. of anchor tenants4
Total retail floor area1,347,935 sq ft (125,227.3 m2) (GLA)
No. of floors1

Stanford Shopping Center is an upscale open air shopping mall located on Route 82 (El Camino Real) at Sand Hill Road in Palo Alto, California. It is on the campus of Stanford University although the university only owns the land and not the actual buildings or stores. Also, unlike the rest of the campus, the shopping center and the neighboring Stanford University Medical Center are part of the city of Palo Alto, not the census-designated place (CDP) of Stanford, California. The shopping center buildings are 94.4% owned by Simon Property Group, which manages the property and leases the land from the university.

The outdoor center is 1,347,935 square feet (125,227.3 square meters) and includes four major department stores: Bloomingdale's, Macy's, Neiman Marcus, and Nordstrom. Retailers at the shopping center include Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Burberry, Ermenegildo Zegna, and Frette, as well as the first Victoria's Secret retail store.[1]


In 1954, excavators broke ground on what was once Leland Stanford's vineyards. Nine buildings housing 45 businesses were built. The Roos Brothers clothing store opened as the first retailer in September 1955 and Blum's restaurant opened on October 22, 1956, marking the completion of the center. Board of trustees Chair Lloyd Dinkelspiel and university President J. E. Wallace Sterling presided at the opening and Shirley Temple Black cut the first slice of a nine-tiered cake. San Francisco department store The Emporium and luxury specialty department store I. Magnin & Co. were the original anchors.

The center opened with great success and became one of the largest sources of unrestricted income for the university.

Macy's California joined the center in 1961 and Saks Fifth Avenue opened a store in 1962. Further expansion came again in 1972 with the addition of Los Angeles-based Bullock's, owned by Bloomingdale's parent company Federated Department Stores. Bullock's only lasted 11 years, closing its northern California stores in 1983 and selling its Stanford location to Nordstrom, which opened in November 1984. Neiman Marcus became the sixth anchor in August 1985.

A department store shuffle occurred in the mid-1990s:

In 1997, the vacant Saks Fifth Avenue building was split into two tenants: Crate & Barrel and an Andronico's gourmet market.[5] Andronico's closed in 2011,[6] and was replaced by The Container Store in 2013.[7]

On March 18, 2020, Stanford was among 7 Bay-area malls owned by the Simon Property Group which closed until March 29, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[8]

Later years

Throughout the years, the center has continued to evolve in terms of both tenants and construction and was managed by the university through its investment affiliate Stanford Management Company since 1991. However, in 2003, taking advantage of the high prices that shopping centers were fetching, the university's board of trustees agreed to sell the center for $333 million to Simon Property Group which, in turn, leases the underlying land from the university under a 51-year lease. The university's lease includes an annual rent equal to 25% percent of the center's net profits.

In 2012, Bloomingdale's announced plans to move into a new three-level 120,000 square foot store, vacating its existing building.[9] The new Bloomingdale's opened in 2014,[10] and the original building was demolished to make way for a new wing of retailers. That new wing, anchored by a multi-level Anthropologie store and a True Food Kitchen restaurant, opened in mid-2016.

In early 2019, Simon Property Group submitted plans to the city of Palo Alto to tear down the former Macy's Men's building and replace it with a 40,000 square-foot, three-level RH gallery with a rooftop restaurant, a duo of smaller restaurant buildings, and a new, larger 29,000 square-foot Wilkes Bashford store.[11] The project was approved in late 2019, with demolition commencing in 2021 and continuing into 2021.[clarification needed][citation needed]


  1. ^ 5 Things You Didn't Know: Victoria's Secret Archived 2008-07-25 at the Wayback Machine By Ross Bonander - Entertainment Correspondent, - accessed January 12, 2008
  2. ^ "Stanford Saks to close". Archived from the original on 6 May 2018. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  3. ^ White, George (February 22, 1995). "Macy's and Bullock's to Spend $550 Million on Store Remodeling". The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on June 9, 2016. The I. Magnin stores in Walnut Creek and Stanford will reopen in June as Macy's specialty stores.
  4. ^ "Bloomingdale's is coming to Stanford". Archived from the original on 10 October 2016. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  5. ^ "Crate & Barrel to open today". Archived from the original on 10 October 2016. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  6. ^ "Palo Alto Andronico's to close". Palo Alto Online. July 18, 2011. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved September 16, 2014.
  7. ^ "The Container Store to open in Palo Alto in October". 5 September 2013. Archived from the original on 26 August 2016. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  8. ^[bare URL]
  9. ^ Carey, Pete (January 4, 2012). "Bloomingdale's to relocate store at Stanford Shopping Center". The Mercury News. Archived from the original on August 26, 2016.
  10. ^ "Bloomingdale's new Palo Alto store has high-tech touches for digitally savvy shoppers". 8 October 2014. Archived from the original on 9 March 2018. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  11. ^ "Stanford Shopping Center proposes to tear down Macy's Men's store". The Daily Post. 10 February 2019.