Apple Flees to Far Suburbs

October 10, 2007

Influenced by its waterside geography, the San Francisco Bay Area has expanded outward over the last 20 years, consuming small suburban towns and turning them into bedroom, commuter communities. Most of the development has been along the Interstate 80 and 580 corridors to Sacramento and Stockton respectively, and along I-680, where the Walnut Creek Apple store is located. Now Apple has apparently thrown the retail store dart further afield, expressing interest in the future The Streets of Brentwood lifestyle mall in the small town of Brentwood (pop. 23,000) in the Sacramento River delta. The 460,000 square-foot mall will include 100 shops and restaurants and a multi-screen cinema. City economic development officials claim the city’s average household income is now about $97,000 and that 273,000 people live within 15 minutes of the mall. Even so, the area is remote and still retains its original small-town reputation, raising questions why Apple would locate here. The developer, Continental Real Estate Co.’s (Ohio) has proposed several “The Streets of….” malls in the east, but this is only its second lifestyle center west of the Mississippi. The Brentwood mall is now under construction and could be open by late 2008 or early 2009.

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