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May 28, 2010 > Seasons Marketplace grand opening

Seasons Marketplace grand opening

By Jo Ann Brause

A traditional Lion Dance, a Coin Drop, a $75 Shopping Spree, free balloons for the kids and appearances by celebrity Filipino musicians are a few celebratory events planned between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday (Memorial Day weekend) as part of the grand opening of the 75,000 sq. ft. Seasons Marketplace, Milpitas' newest mall, located at 1535 Landess Avenue. The mall opens for business on May 27.

Over the past 14 months, the efforts of the City of Milpitas and Mountain View-based project owner/developer Ayalafil Management, LLC, have renovated and transformed a former Home Depot, on the southern edge of town, into an attractive structure with tower element accents on its facade. Home Depot relocated to Great Mall because it needed bigger premises.

"The Landess site had been vacant for more than five years. We saw an excellent opportunity to revitalize retail by having a pan-Asian retail mall with food court and professional offices," explained City of Milpitas' Assistant Planner Cindy Hom.

Opening this weekend are the center's first stores, with a score of others to follow in the weeks ahead. Cafes and eateries include Coffee Adventure, Tokyo Tokyo, Chow King, Gabucan Family Dentistry, a U.S. Bank branch and the center's anchor store, a near-44,000 sq. ft, full-service supermarket called Seafood City.

Los Angeles-based Seafood City with 17 stores is the largest Filipino-owned chain supermarket in the U.S.

"Seafood City people looked at Milpitas - 68 percent Asian with large Filipino and Taiwanese populations. A traditional but very modern grocer seemed to be an ideal match and this concept straddles both mainstream American and Asian customers," said Letty Quizon, spokesperson for Ayalafil Management, LLC.

The store is spacious, extremely well-lit with spacious check-out areas, wide shopping aisles and a broad selection of meat, produce and packaged goods with a strong emphasis on imported Asian products.

Seafood City lives up to its name; almost a quarter of the store is devoted to seafood with nearly 100 varieties of fish. According to season, that number can rise to around 120 varieties. Product is flown in from the West and East Coasts, Asia, Oceana and even Brazil.

Unlike other grocery competitors, where seafood is either sold in the rear of the store, either plastic-wrapped or from behind a service counter, this seafood is displayed prominently near the front of the market in several large, gleaming stainless steel, ice-packed, self-serve tables where customers select the actual fish themselves. A rarity.

The seafood freshness is maintained in the wide-open display by the store's Eco-Save water-oxygenating system which weaves its magic by forcing ozone into the ice as it freezes.

"As ozone is captured in the ice, it kills all bacteria and eliminates any odors that would otherwise arise from bacterial development. The technology is 100 percent environmentally-safe and is part of today's 'Green Technology'," explained store manager Jackie Santos.

"The ozone process was invented in 1835 but was only approved for use with foods by the FDA in 2001. Eco-Save's systems, patents pending, are on the leading edge of the Green Revolution and are being tested by Whole Foods and Cheesecake Factory," added Mike Elliot, President of Los Angeles-based Eco-Save.

The meat department surrounds the seafood and has an emphasis on pork and pork products. Health and beauty aids, exotic imported packaged groceries and produce occupy the balance of the store space.

In a nod to today's mobile lifestyle, Seafood City offers a sizeable "Hot to Go" section where cooked dishes such as Krispy Pata (pork knuckles or hind leg, fried to a crispy texture), Lechon Kwali (slow-cooked, deep-fried pork belly), grilled salmon and tilapia will be sold. Standard fare, such as chicken and pork barbecue-on-a-stick and roast chicken, complete the selections.

"We like to think of ourselves as a kind of Raley's or other supermarket in the deli area," concluded Santos.

Seasons Marketplace Grand Opening Celebrations
Saturday, May 29
Sunday, May 30
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
1535 Landess Ave., Milpitas

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