Letters | February 1, 2013 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

Spectrum - February 1, 2013


Keep the status quo

This story contains 401 words.

If you are a paid subscriber, check to make sure you have logged in. Otherwise our system cannot recognize you as having full free access to our site.

If you are a paid print subscriber and haven't yet set up an online account, click here to get your online account activated.


Posted by Roland Hsu, a resident of South of Midtown
on Apr 18, 2013 at 9:52 am

In reply to the recent letter about the demise of the new grocery store at Alma Plaza: I suggest that it is more helpful to examine the facts. The neighborhood of Midtown/South of Midtown recently benefited from:
1. Removing the eyesore of the abandoned Alma Plaza lot
2. New construction and employment
3. Retail open for business
4. A grocery store ("Miki's") that offered the finest produce, cheese and wine, delicatessen, and in-house bakery, and dedicated, knowledgeable employees
5. Respectful and supportive employer-employee relations
6. New neighbors (residential and commercial) eager to make friends

All of this was brought to our neighborhood, all within a short walk of our homes.

The reasons for the failure of Miki's Farm Fresh Grocery store are:
1. Undercapitalization of the business, without corporate franchise backing to weather a full business cycle
2. Property owner and developer failed to open in time the walk way from Ramona St. to ease and attract local shoppers
3. Design for car traffic ingress/egress controverts the typical model of acres of asphalt parking in front to attract car traffic from Alma.

While it is true that the developer -- McNellis -- contrived a concession to rezone, reduce the viable commercial space, and build too close to Alama Street, I suggest we face the fact that the buildings are built, and nice neighbors are trying to bring their lives and livelihoods to join our community. Residents are bringing their families to the housing, and proprietors such as Miki's (and the next grocer) are trying to bring outstanding value to our walkable shopping neighborhood center.

Instead of the predictable complaint from those who insist on viewing new neighbors and neighborhood development through the clouded lens of anit-government, anti-social, libertarian ideology, it is more helpful to come together, face facts, and support the next grocer who -- although not likely to be as dedicated to fresh market goods and knowledgeable employees -- at least will be trying to attract new friends and neighbors to come and meet at our local community center.

Roland Hsu

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields