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A Different Kind of Bay Area Startup: Asian-Themed Retail

Photo via the <a href="http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_24897244/milpitas-developers-plan-100m-asian-themed-mall">San Jose Mercury News</a>
Photo via the San Jose Mercury News

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In these parts, we're accustomed to hearing about hundreds of millions of dollars going towards a single startup project—usually of the technology variety. But they're not the only game in town: Four Asian-focused retail projects in the Bay Area have attracted more than $400 million dollars, according to the The Oakland Tribune.

One customer told the newspaper: "We're looking for unique items, vegetables and juice. Compared to Walmart, the prices are more expensive, but we can find the items we want here."

The projects include the $200 million Globe mall in Fremont, the $100 million Pacific Mall Silicon Valley in Milpitas, the $100 million Vietnam Town in San Jose and the $16 million renovation of Cupertino Village in Cupertino. The Tribune says Asian retail is hot across the board. In addition to the malls, the 99 Ranch grocery chain, which sells Chinese and other Asian products, has expanded to 37 locations, 15 of them in Northern California. Ten Ren Tea now has five Bay Area outlets. In Fremont, Gateway Plaza has attracted a cluster of Indian-focused restaurants and other outlets, including Big Cinemas, a theater complex that features movies from India. Move over iPhone apps, here comes Bollywood!
· More than $400 million Asian-focused retail in pipeline in South and East Bay [San Jose Mercury News]
· $100M Milpitas Mall: 100% Asian-Themes Mom and Pop Stores [Racked SF]
· Makeup Forever Coming to Silicon Valley [Racked SF]