The Pruneyard in Campbell

The Pruneyard in Campbell

Located in the heart of the picturesque city of Campbell, California, the Pruneyard Shopping Center is more than just a commercial hub. It’s a vibrant community space that combines urban conveniences with suburban tranquility.

Geographical Location

The shopping center is strategically located at the intersection of Campbell Avenue and Bascom Avenue, just east of State Route 17. This makes it easily accessible to residents and visitors alike.

Architectural Significance

Built in the 1960s, the Pruneyard Shopping Center is a sprawling 250,000 sq ft (23,000 m2) open-air shopping complex that includes retail shops, a DoubleTree by Hilton inn, a movie theater, and three office towers. One of these towers is the tallest in the area outside of downtown San Jose, adding to the architectural significance of the center.

Historical Overview

The Pruneyard Shopping Center, originally known as the PruneYard Shopping Center, was developed as part of a mixed-use development project on the site of the Brynteson Ranch by Fred Sahadi in 1968.

It was designed to be an upscale shopping center and was completed in 1970. The ownership of the center changed hands in 2014, when it was bought by Ellis Partners and Fortress Investment Group LLC from Equity Office.

Renovations and Expansions

A significant renovation and expansion of the center began in 2017. The movie theater, which was the first business to open in the mall in 1969, was renovated at the turn of the 21st century. It was closed in April 2017 and reopened in April 2018 as the Pruneyard Cinemas, offering a unique experience with cocktails delivered to patrons’ seats.

The Pruneyard Case

The shopping center also has a historical significance as it was involved in a landmark free speech dispute in the late 1970s. The dispute, known as the Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins, was ultimately decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1980. It established two important principles in American constitutional law:

  • Under the California Constitution, individuals may peacefully exercise their right to free speech in parts of private shopping centers regularly open to the public, subject to reasonable regulations adopted by the shopping centers.
  • Under the U.S. Constitution, states can provide their citizens with broader rights in their constitutions than under the federal Constitution, so long as those rights do not infringe on any federal constitutional rights.

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The Pruneyard Neighborhood

Beyond the shopping center, the Pruneyard neighborhood is a charming blend of urban and suburban living. It offers residents a range of conveniences including grocery stores like Whole Foods Market, coffee shops like Starbucks, and retail outlets of UPS, Chipotle, and Barefoot Coffee, all within walking distance.

Outdoor Activities

For those who love the outdoors, the Los Gatos Creek Trail and Campbell Park are close by. Here, residents can enjoy picnics and leisure walks. Additionally, the historic downtown of Campbell, where frequent community events take place, adds to the neighborhood’s charm.


The neighborhood offers fantastic transit options, making it a commuter’s dream. The VTA light rail provides efficient transportation to different parts of Silicon Valley, while major highways like 17, 880, 280 & 85 ensure easy access to other nearby areas.

Community Spirit

The Pruneyard is not just a shopping center or a neighborhood—it’s a community. With a majority of senior-friendly residents, the community is inclusive and lively. It offers a wealth of amenities, proximity to nature, great transit options, and a warm community—making Pruneyard an idyllic place to call home.

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