Santana Row Looks Back at Disaster

Usually for a milestone anniversary, you want to look back at the good times. But sometimes it’s important to look back at the hard times, too. Take Santana Row: what started as a massively ambitious project in 2000 opened in a state of near-disaster in 2002. Just a month before it was slated to open a fire tore through the halls of its largest structure, doing $130 million in damage and destroying 538,000 square feet of retail and housing space. It nearly left the owners’ plans in shambles, but despite the odds the center went on to be extremely successful.

So this month, ten years on, the center is looking back and counting its blessings. One of those blessings is the San Jose Fire Department, which faced down the largest structure fire in San Jose history on that fateful day. The center is dedicating its 10th anniversary celebration to the department, contributing to its Public Education and Community Relations Trust.

Many of Santana Row’s retailers are dedicating 10% of their sales over the weekend celebration to the trust. Others are celebrating by offering shoppers food and drink specials, deep discounts and more. Left Bank Brasserie has created a specialty cocktail called “Noces D’Etains” which translates into “10th Anniversary.” Pizza Antica is taking toy donations for the San Jose Fire Department and offering up free dessert in exchange.

Is there a better way to celebrate good fortune than to share it with those who helped you get there?

  • Cynthia Gonzales

    I remember the day of the fire.  I was driving home on the freeway to South San Jose from work which was in Campbell.  I could see the smoke coming from Santana Row.  I didn’t know Santana Row was on fire until I watched the news at home.

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