In about the last year-and-a-half, residents of Santa Clara’s Rivermark neighborhood have seen a number of valued tenants leave Rivermark Village, the business plaza next to the neighborhood. These businesses have included Yo Yo Sushi Bar & Grille, The Prolific Oven, Posh Bagel, and most recently, Jamba Juice and Smashburger. At this time, new tenants have not yet assumed the former spaces of these businesses.
“I don’t see how it could be a good thing for the property owners to have all these empty spaces,” said Elizabeth Morris, a Rivermark resident. “I was saddest about Smashburger closing. This place has always been my kids’ first choice when we decide to eat out for dinner. The story I’ve heard from a variety of places is that the businesses are getting pushed out because they’re raising the rent.”
Jennifer Kau, a Rivermark resident, misses Yo Yo Sushi and The Prolific Oven, which she and her family used to walk to from home, an environmentally-friendly approach to getting around.
“I miss having places where we could walk to for Friday night dinner,” Kau said. “Now we have to drive out of Rivermark to go to dinner.”
Carol Troll, a Rivermark resident, has lived in the neighborhood for about 17 years. She misses Yo Yo Sushi, among other businesses.
“Right after returning from a trip recently, my family wanted to go to Smashburger but we saw that it had closed down,” Troll said. “So we decided to walk over to Jamba Juice for drinks. And we saw that Jamba Juice had also closed down for a good two minutes before we got there. All these businesses are leaving our neighborhood. And we’re wondering, ‘what’s wrong?’”
Signage announcing the future opening for The Kebab Shop recently appeared on the doors of what was formerly The Prolific Oven.
“I can confirm that The Kebab Shop is planning to open a restaurant at Rivermark Village in 2020,” said Heath McCue, Regional Director of Marketing for Vestar, Rivermark Village’s property management company. “We don’t have an opening date to share just yet.”
When asked about whether prospective new tenants at Rivermark Village would be able to offer new services and products to replace what a former business offered — for example, a new juice bar to replace Jamba Juice — McCue replied that replacing what was in a space previously is not necessarily the goal.
“When we look for new tenants, we look for opportunities to enhance our tenant mix and provide offerings that will be exciting and valuable to our shoppers,” McCue said. “There are many factors to consider when deciding which new tenants to invite to join a shopping center, decisions that our leasing team uses its considerable expertise to make. We do not have a timeline we can share with you just yet, but good things are coming this year.”