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Could California’s Shopping Centers Be a Housing Fix?

El Camino Real is a 600-mile historic thoroughfare that once linked Spanish missions in California, running from San Francisco to San Diego. Between Daly City and San Jose, the road is a nearly 45-mile corridor of suburban offices, fast-food outlets, auto parts stores, and other businesses slicing through Silicon Valley, tying together some of the nation’s priciest residential neighborhoods. Like so many other shopping-center laden strips of pavement that ribbon California, this segment is, for the most part, devoid of homes. 

…In a state that needs 1.3 million more affordable rental units, according to the California Housing Partnership, such conversions could “take major bites out of the state’s housing crisis,” DiStefano says…