Santana Row Turns 10

By Kaye Cloutman
Photography by Carl Simpson and Tyler Nguyen

Santana Row for me signifies leisurely shopping, dining and frolicking like none other in the Bay Area. Where else can you find a fabulous bevy of shops and just truly take pleasure in what you’re doing without having to worry about security, running out of time for the parking meter or being towed – it just gives shoppers that added value which means a lot. I also adore the open areas outside each restaurant to dine al fresco. The area is blessed with a wonderful sort of Mediterranean atmosphere and climate almost year round and when it comes to people-watching, this venue provides a feast for the eyes. See, the quality of consumers makes a place what it is and “The Row” has been a frequent go-to place for individuals and families alike who enjoy and appreciate all that the venue has to offer.

Santana Row has become my second home and it represents everything we believe in at GEV – the perfect merging of cuisine and culture. We’ve been blessed for the past year to work with some of the superb merchants and talented designers from the Row and each experience without exception is first-class. From the beautifully eclectic creations of Donald J. Pliner to the excellent team of Atelier Aveda Salon with their artistry and passion for marvelously transforming their subjects, each editorial fashion spread done in collaboration with the Row is transcendent.

This month, we pay homage to an establishment which has played a fundamental role in Silicon Valley’s current economic resurgence. Federal Realty, which helped spearhead the interest among developers in urban Main Street mixed-use environments, opened one of the most ambitious projects of its kind in the United States when it developed the $450 million, 42-acre mixed-use village-within-a-city, Santana Row. Last year alone, this development contributed approximately $24 million in sales tax revenue for the city of San Jose and Federal Realty has paid $40 million in property taxes since purchasing the land in 1997. Santana Row is a residential, office, shopping, dining, and entertainment district built around a main street in San Jose, California. The size and scope of Santana Row make it Federal Realty’s largest development to date and one of the nation’s largest mixed-use projects constructed by a single developer.

A decade after opening, and celebrating its 10 year anniversary, Santana Row is firmly established as a thriving shopping and dining destination, combining office, residential and a 5-star hotel. The shopping center boasts a lofty 30,000 visitors a day, both local and global, and has created a sense of place in Silicon Valley. Santana Row ranked third among the top 10 local searches by San Francisco residents in 2011, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Santana Row’s pedestrian-friendly sidewalks consistently draw a desirable demographic of shoppers and diners. The location on the corner of Winchester and Stevens Creek Boulevards in San Jose is what attracted Federal Realty to this project. It is one of the most affluent areas in the country with the average household income more than $94,000 and visitors from Asia and Europe are increasingly spending time and money at Santana Row.

At the 10 year anniversary party of Santana Row. (L-R) Red Haute and Co. CEO Beverly Zeiss, GEV Editor in Chief Kaye Cloutman and Phyto Regional Manager Hilario Hufana. Photo by Tyler Nguyen

A Grand Celebration

Yours truly was part of a celebratory fashion show produced recently by our dear colleague and Fashion Director Beverly Zeiss and her reliably outstanding Red Haute and Co. staff that evening.  A special shout-out to Alyssa Rodriguez is in order as well – for making it seamless and so much fun backstage! I overheard some guests saying “It was a refreshing event for a change to see real people on the catwalk” so despite of my nerves that evening I took comfort in the fact that there wasn’t any expectation of connoisseur-sashaying on my part. For the most part, I was just truly honored to be in the company of distinguished personalities from Silicon Valley.  Among the “runway lineup” that evening was Federal Realty’s Western Region VP Jan Sweetham and Randy Paul; San Jose City Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio, San Jose Mercury News columnist Sal Pizarro with his adorable girl Mia, Chef Extraordinaire Bradley Ogden of Lark Creek Restaurants, Jessica Alder of Smith Alder store, and residents Carrie Krinock, Bobby Napitlonia and Debbie Allison whose regal presence ended the festivities literally in fireworks with her spellbinding voice.

Guests of honor addressing the crowd that evening included San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, San Jose Fire Chief Willie McDonald and Karie Bennett, owner of Atelier Salon and Spa. Karie couldn’t have said it any better “I didn’t do any of it alone. Business success comes from 3 things: people, brand, and location.  We are fortunate in that we have the best of all 3.  We have had an amazing journey, full of wonderful success stories not just for our customers and their hair, but for our employees as well.  I am so proud to be a small business owner in this valley and to be able to offer valuable employment to so many people” she joyfully concluded.”

Check out the fashion show below

The new H&M store is open and nothing short of amazing!

What’s New at The Row?

Now open: Bigger H&M for Women, Men and Children at new location

Splendid, a clothing store, moves into H&M’s vacated spot next year
H&M opened recently in the two-story, 26,000-square foot space that was formerly occupied by Borders Books & Music. The move means the store has tripled its space and added departments for men and children and has expand its women and accessories offering.
Splendid, a label noted for effortlessly chic and luxuriously soft casual wear for women, men and children, is slated to open a 2,000-square foot store in H&M’s former space next year.
Now open: Lavazza Espression café slated to open in early October
Lavazza, known as “Italy’s favourite coffee” since 2007, is expanding its presence in the U.S. and opens its first Bay Area shop at Santana Row. Lavazza Espression cafe brings a contemporary and European approach to coffee and food. It’s a place where customers can experience an extraordinary blend of coffee creations and eclectic dining in an artfully designed environment. The menu ranges from traditional Italian coffee drinks to fresh baked goods, panini sandwiches, chocolate drinks and gelato. Wine and beer will also be served. Lavazza’s history goes back 110 years when founder Luigi Lavazza opened a small grocery store in Turin, Italy. He is credited with inventing the concept of the blend, the art of mixing coffee of different origins to obtain a flavorful brew.
Lavazza is located at 300 Santana Row, at the entrance of the office lobby, across from Crate & Barrel.
Mommy & Me “Halloween Family Fun Fest,” Tuesday, Oct. 30
Superheroes, princesses and little monsters are all invited to Santana Row’s Mommy & Me Halloween festivities. Costumed or not, kids can trick-or-treat on The Row, decorate pumpkins, play with balloon animals, get face paintings and listen to music by Andy Z. Complimentary trick-or-treat bags are provided. Capture the day with a 5×7 picture taken by a professional photographer for $10 at the Halloween set in Santana Row Park.
When: 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Oct. 30 at Park Valencia. Mommy & Me is a free kids’ club held on the second Tuesday of every month from May through December. For more information, call 408.551.4611 or

Santana Row ushers in fall with events and celebrations that include new openings, Halloween fun for kids and holiday events. A holiday highlight: American Idol contestant DeAndre Brackensick performs at this year's annual tree lighting ceremony on Nov. 13.

A look ahead to November and December

American Idol contestant DeAndre Brackensick is Featured Performer
At Light Up the Row! Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony, Nov. 13
Santana Row kicks off the 2012 holiday season with the annual Light Up the Row Tree Lighting Ceremony with a performance by Deandre Brackensick from the most recent season of American Idol.
Brackensick, a native of San Jose and an Oak Grove High School grad, is expected to sing seasonal songs and crowd favorites.
The day of festivities include Santa photos, children’s activities, hot chocolate samplings, live music, carolers, costumed characters, special guests, performances by local theater groups and the lighting of the 40-foot Christmas tree, making this one of the most exciting holiday events in Silicon Valley.
Time: Festivities are scheduled from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., with tree lighting slated for 7 p.m.
3 p.m. to 9 p.m. – Photos with Surfin’ Santa in Park Valencia
7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. – Tree Lighting Ceremony in Santana Row Park
6 p.m. to 9 p.m. – Live music, choirs, carolers, hot chocolate sampling and activities for children and families throughout The Row
Where: Tree lighting takes place at 368 Santana Row, across from the Left Bank Restaurant on the giant chess board in Santana Row Park.
Get your holiday shopping done, or get started! Guests will receive an exclusive shopping card good for 20 percent off any one item at select shops and restaurants on The Row. Pick up a card at Vera Bradley or the Concierge Center from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Nov. 13 and it’s valid through Sunday, Nov. 18.
Mommy & Me “Give Thanks,” Tuesday, Nov. 13
The holidays encourage us to pull together and help those less fortunate and November’s program encourages kids to bring a canned food item that will be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank. Holiday fun includes face painting, balloon animals, Arts & Crafts with Action Day, “Beaming with Health” scavenger hunt, building animals out of unusual veggies and mini manicures for little ones by Lavande nail spa. Moms and kids will be entertained by music and performances by Broadway San Jose, the Harvest Scarecrow and Andy Z. Snacks are provided by Happy Family Brands and there’s a drawing to win a $50 gift card from The Container Store.
When: 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Oct. 30 at Park Valencia. Mommy & Me is a free kids’ club held on the second Tuesday of every month from May through December. For more information, call 408.551.4611 or
Rainy Day Rewards, November 1, 2012 – March 31, 2013
When there’s a 70 percent chance for rain, shoppers and diners braving bad weather will be rewarded with discounts that include 15 percent off purchases at participating shops and restaurants, a free signature Santana Row golf umbrella for customers who spend $150 anywhere on The Row and a $20 gift certificate to a participating shop or restaurant for customers who spend $300 on a designated Rainy Day.
No need to get wet: On all rainy days, customers can pick up a complimentary umbrella to use while shopping and dining and then return it before leaving. The yellow umbrellas are conveniently located throughout The Row – outside Concierge, Via between Village California Bistro and Lark Creek Blue and the valet parking lot in the Winchester Parking
The Nutcracker Gift with Purchase Promotion, Nov. 13 – Nov. 25, 2013
Spend $500 in one day at Santana Row and receive two tickets to a holiday tradition: A performance of “The Nutcracker” by Ballet San Jose. Customers must present their dated receipts to the Santana Row Concierge. Tickets are available while supplies last.

Shop, Enjoy and Give: Holiday Wine & Dine Around

Santana Row Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony

A Benefit for Second Harvest Food Bank
Every Tuesday in December from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Help those in need while you complete your holiday shopping during Santana Row’s during Santana Row’s “Shop, Enjoy & Give” event that benefits Second Harvest Food Bank. Purchase a $10 ticket on or at the Concierge center and receive complimentary food and wine tastings in Santana Row shops and restaurants, a signature Santana Row wine glass and exclusive holiday shopping discounts. Bring a donation of canned food when you purchase your ticket and receive $2 off the ticket. (Customers must be 21 years or older.)
Santa Paws, a Benefit for Humane Society Silicon Valley, Sunday, Dec. 9
Bring your canine and feline friends to Santana Row’s
Park Valencia for a keepsake photo with Santa Claus. Photos are $20 and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Humane Society Silicon Valley. Registration begins at 10:30 a.m. in Park Valencia. Photos taken from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Menorah Lighting and Hanukah at Santana Row, Sunday, Dec. 9
Santana Row celebrates the first night of the Jewish Festival of Lights with Kosher treats, entertainment and activities that include decorating dridels, Jewish story time, arts & crafts and the lighting of the Menorah. The evening is co-hosted with the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley and The PJ Library.
The celebration will take place from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Santana Row Park.
For more info, visit