I totally disagree. You can make the point that downtown SJ needs more retail, (on that I agree), but it does not need a mall. Don't forget the Pavilion failed years ago. Malls can become deserted… look at Vallco for crying out loud.
^^kay:We have too many malls, though. Honestly, if I live in Downtown and had no car and can spend half a day at the mall, I can just hop onto lightrail and head south to Oakridge Mall or north to Great Mall.
For retail to do well in Downtown, the stores would have to be unique and differentiate itself from the mega malls that San Jose already has.
^^kay:As I've said before, SJ should concentrate on bringing as many residents and jobs downtown as possible. Retail will naturally follow that, assuming is makes sense. Cultural institutions, civic events, cool restaurants, and nightlife are what should be focused on. Those are the types of things that will get people to come out of the suburbs, not another Urban Outfitters branch.
For downtown to do well (imho), it needs to offer something suburbia and malls don't. Culture, nightlife, events, etc. Why would anybody travel downtown to go to a mall when there are several already exist around town?
What I think downtown could take from the burbs is that little courtyard/plaza area at Santana Row (the one by Maggiano's, The Counter, Starbucks, etc.) and expand on that idea. On warm evenings, that little area is packed with people enjoying the night air and atmosphere. Why wouldn't they? Downtown could use a gathering place like that to allow families and friends a place to commiserate outside in our great weather. San Pedro Square Market is adequate, but it is a bit disjointed with the separate buildings and all. But, it's places like that downtown could use more of, not malls.