Hillsdale – all about entertainment and dining

Bay Meadows’ neighbor, the Hillsdale Shopping Center, is about to undergo a massive transformation. You might say, this won’t be your grandmother’s (or mother’s) mall.

While Hillsdale, located at Sixty 31st Avenue in San Mateo, has always been a welcoming shopping destination boasting the likes of an Apple Store and a Paul Martin’s grill, the venerable center is about to embark on one of its most ambitious and visionary renovations yet.

In a league of its own, the Mall is among the few that has long been independently owned and operated, by a family-run company. Last month that company, Bohannon Development, released exciting new plans for a massive 21st century upgrade to the mall. They anticipate starting construction in early 2016.

With entertainment and food being the name of the game in attracting today’s shoppers, Hillsdale’s renovation includes a luxury cinema, a contemporary bowling and bocce arena, as well as gourmet food options.


With the mix of interesting retail in store at Bay Meadows, the additional 200,000 square feet of entertainment and dining options at Hillsdale will make for an exciting new hub in San Mateo.

“It’s very complementary to what we’re doing at Bay Meadows,” noted Wilson Meany’s Janice Thacher. “Although we have a retail component, it’s not what they’re doing. It’s very appropriate to the demographic changes in the area.”

The 12.5 acre north block of the shopping center, currently home to Sears, will be transformed into smaller restaurant and retail buildings and centered around an open plaza. In conjunction with current retail and shopping design trends, the focus of a renovated Hillsdale will be more on mixed uses, open areas, a plaza and with a more pedestrian friendly design.

HillsdaleCentral Plaza

The vibrant Bay Meadows Town Square will be the ideal gathering place with ground floor retail, outdoor dining, pop-ups and more. Modeled after European plazas, it will include a large central fountain as the focal point and will serve as an energetic and dynamic urban core with plenty to keep you occupied. Once Caltrain is electrified, the platform will be elevated and grade separations will be installed on 31st and 28th Avenues, which means the Town Square will be the perfect place to relax outside for a glass of wine or an ice cream after a day of shopping at Hillsdale Mall.