Frequently Asked Questions

The City of San Bruno has compiled a list of frequently asked questions related to Tanforan For San Bruno.  This list will be periodically updated.

If you have a question that is not answered below, please reach out to

The Shops at Tanforan was purchased by Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (Alexandria) in 2021 and 2022, a commercial developer. Alexandria has submitted to the City of San Bruno a preliminary project application to replace the existing mall with a transit- oriented mixed-use village. The project seeks to retain and upgrade Target and keep and modernize the Century at Tanforan movie theater to accommodate the modern movie-going experience. The future uses for the site are proposed to include a 2 million square foot innovative life science campus, 1,000 housing units as well as new modernized retail space.

The application was based upon a fact sheet the San Bruno City Council adopted in 2021 titled the Reimagining Tanforan Land Use Fact Sheet. This document aimed to encourage real estate investors that were considering purchasing one or more of the three privately held parcels on the site to examine the potential for a modern, mixed-use development across the entire 44-acre site. The Fact Sheet articulates a vision for redevelopment that includes office, hotel, retail, entertainment, and a minimum of 1,000 housing units. Alexandria has partnered with Strada Investment Group and MidPen Housing to develop the plan for transformation of the site to serve a broader purpose within the San Bruno community in the future.

The planning review and entitlement process for the project will include a robust review and analysis that will take up to 24 months. It includes a comprehensive City staff review to ensure the project meets the City’s General Plan requirements and land use regulations, and other required environmental and technical studies. The process also will include public meetings with the City’s Planning Commission, as well as multiple public City Council meetings before being considered for final action.

Given the significance of this project and the importance of this opportunity to San Bruno’s future, the City has enhanced its review to include a series of public input sessions at the beginning of the process and throughout the review period.

The October 2022 filing of the preliminary project application kicked off the start of a planning review and entitlement process which is projected to take up to two years, or until Fall 2024. A The City has launched a public engagement process “Tanforan for San Bruno,” with a dedicated website to facilitate public engagement.

The website, hosted at, will serve as a central point of information for the community input process. The engagement process will solicit input on what’s most important to the community. In advance of site-specific conversations, the City is looking to establish community priorities on how the site can best serve the City for the upcoming generations.

“Tanforan FOR San Bruno” is dedicated to keeping our community informed and soliciting community input – in-person and virtually – throughout the City’s planning process. Elements include this website, for communication and information and virtual participation; a storefront for in-person participation, and a Listening Report to share findings. This community process will help inform the City as it reviews the preliminary application and will serve as a supplement to the City’s technical analysis, studies and the CEQA review of the project.

You can find more information on how to get involved and share your priorities please visit the project webpage at

The community feedback and responses will be compiled into a Priorities Report that will be shared with the San Bruno City Council as they consider the development application.   

The 44-acre site currently known as The Shops at Tanforan is privately-owned and private commercial lease agreements between the owner and tenants govern its current retail uses. The City cannot dictate the terms of tenants’ private commercial lease agreements with the property owner.

At this time, the property owner has not formally communicated the anticipated date of the mall’s closure. The mall closure is not currently anticipated to include Target or the Century at Tanforan movie theatre as both businesses are proposed to remain in the new development, with Target being relocated to a new modernized store and the movie theatre upgraded.

As the review proceeds, the City of San Bruno will share updated information about the timeline for the planned closure date for The Shops at Tanforan as it is formally provided to the City.

As has been seen already in many communities, the transition ofTanforan to a mixed use community has the potential to also reinvigorate San Bruno’s downtown. This is because the new residents and employees will create new demand for businesses in the downtown. In cities where malls have closed, they have often seen revitalization of the downtown, which often could not compete with malls for tenants. San Bruno’s downtown can also be improved through enhanced pedestrian and bicycle connections that improve the link between the Caltrain and BART stations, which will also improve connectivity between the downtown and Tanforan sites.

As with all development projects, the City will conduct extensive reviews and technical analyses to identify all potential impacts and mitigate them to the extent possible and seek to ensure the developer completes their fair share of any needed on- and off-site improvements. The project’s proximity to BART and Caltrain stations have earned the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments’ Priority Site designation, making it a significant site for innovative sustainable planning, designed to reduce automobile dependence and promote pedestrian, bicycle and other alternative transit options, benefiting visitors to the site as well as the residents who will live at Tanforan. A full California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review will study all of the issues and seek to ensure that mitigations are put in place where they can be.

A Hyundai and Genesis dealership is now open at Tanforan in the former Sears building, but this is only a temporary location. Plans are currently being reviewed by the City for a new Hyundai and Genesis dealership to be located across the street from Tanforan on the vacant lot between Jack’s Restaurant and 380 at 1010 Admiral Court. Here is a link to project information on our website:

Since the dealership is planning on building a new building at the new location, it is not being proposed to remain on the Tanforan site. Instead, the proposed development will include retail and restaurant uses along with a new Target building and modernized movie theatre.

The project is at the early stages of the process, and plans are still being developed. The City has requirements for public art, which may include the placement of on-site art.

While the project plans are still preliminary, new modernized commercial space is proposed in addition to a 2 million square foot innovative life science campus, Target, and the Century at Tanforan movie theater. The current designs could accommodate a range of community and neighborhood focused businesses, including art uses and restaurant/food uses. It is anticipated that Target will continue to sell food items within a new, one-story modernized store. Given the early stages of the project, no decisions have been made by the property owner about future tenants of this space. Typically, leasing starts once the space is under construction.

The preliminary project application includes 1,000 rental housing units at all income levels, meeting a need identified in the city’s Reimagine Tanforan Fact Sheet prepared in the summer of 2021 to help ensure that whatever replaces Tanforan will have significant and lasting benefit to San Bruno as a whole.

The preliminary project application includes plans for a redesigned Target store that may include a grocery. San Bruno residents are encouraged to share their priorities for the future of Tanforan in our online surveys at

The potential 1,000 units of housing proposed to replace the Shops at Tanforan is a key element of San Bruno’s long-term housing strategy to meet the City’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) in the 2023-2031 planning period. This housing site is centrally located and close to areas of the city with disproportionate housing needs, and has access to commercial uses transit to serve residents.

The City of San Bruno’s affordable housing ordinance requires that this project include a minimum of 15 percent of residential units as deed-restricted affordable housing units at a range of income levels from very low income to moderate income. Based on the planned 1,000 new housing units, this will result in at least 150 new affordable housing units on the site.

Planning for new housing near transit is critical for the environment and helps to reduce local traffic congestion. The San Bruno City Council’s unanimous decision as a part of the Housing Element update to override airport land use restrictions that make new housing an inconsistent land use in certain noise contour zones helps ensure local decisions makers can make locally-based decisions about the exact types of development that is suitable near airports. The City continues to work in concert with the County’s Airport Land Use Committee and other agencies to review and mitigate noise concerns and other identified issues. Furthermore, the City will require the highest building construction materials standards for noise insulation to help mitigate concerns related to noise for new residents of the site.

More than the mall site itself, the significance of this proposal and the scale of the site will also allow us to do things for the greater San Bruno area that are not site specific. Neighborhoods nearby can integrate to this new experience in ways they find beneficial. Our downtown can be improved through greater connections and increased demand for business space. Transit usage can improve through these same connections that better link our Caltrain and BART stations together. That’s just the tip of the iceberg and we know that together we can make this community stronger through this proposal.

Tanforan for San Bruno, dedicated to keeping our community informed of community engagement for the City’s planning process.