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Alma Plaza Planning (More thoughts)

Original post made by Rick on Apr 9, 2007

It's possible that Albertsons could come back after they get their act together and reorganize, etc.. The store on Mathilda at Maude in Sunnyvale is really a nice store. If they don't want to come back to Palo Alto I suspect they would loosen up on the 18,000 sq. ft limit on a grocery store. The other nearby stores were probably open when they put that limit in the sale contract..

If a good, competative, large store dosen't come to 'Alma Plaza the south and west Palo Alto residents need to get together and demand bus service to the Mt View, SanAntonia shopping area. Demand it from the VTA and/or city of Palo Alto and or city of Mt View or all working together to get a frequent shuttle service for maybe a small fee. It would save car trips, lower traffic reduce CO2 ,etc.

The Safeway in Midtown is a nice store ,but is small, limited parking and miles from south and west Palo Alto.

Comments (10)

Posted by Parent, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 10, 2007 at 8:44 am

Safeway in Midtown is not what I would call a "nice" store. I go there frequently for trips of $50 or less. Yesterday, for example, I was there mid morning. There was no yellow top milk, no burgers and no brocolli, all items I had to buy on that trip. The parking is bad, I wasn't sure which white lines I was to use in the only spot I could find in the direction I was driving, and I had to contend with delivery trucks blocking the exit as I left, and as for the amount of blockages in the aisles. There were several shelf fillers blocking the shelves I was looking at and what I can only call impulse buy displays destroying the flow of what was a busy Monday morning of shoppers.

How can other stores (even other Safeway stores) get their acts together so that the store is left for the shoppers and get the deliveries done before the rush.


Posted by Not so fast, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 10, 2007 at 8:58 am

I doubt that Albertson's or any major chain supermarket will want to come into Alma Plaza because of the size and location. The market that you will get (if you can get one) will be some kind of specialty market, that will probably be overpriced and not carry all the essentials. AS for other stores in the new Alma Plaza--who knows?? The neighbors want "neighborhood serving" shops, but who knows if anyone will wantto take the financial risk to open in Alma Plaza.
The neighbors blew a chance big time a few years back to have a nice sized Albertson's at that location thanks to their nitpicking and the efforts of a "neighborhood leader" who managed to get Alma Plaza included in a Charleston corridor building moratorium.
The question is will the City Council be willing to finally make a decision on this matter at the meeting this coming monday or will it be postponed yet again due to either: 1) the council not wanting to upset anyone or 2) it is not about climate change so the mayor is not interested (can't deal with city issues, I have to run to another photo op says Yoriko)


Posted by Phil Lanthrop, a resident of Community Center
on Apr 10, 2007 at 9:45 pm

Why not throw in another persian rug store...it would be nice to have
one in south palo alto too...not just cal. ave and university...we like to
fly around with the best of em as well...another starbucks is always okay,....
never can have to much coffee...what else might be good....maybe a pet
food depot, for all those pet lovers around town, and perhaps somewhere for
the ladies to get their toes cleansed...


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 11, 2007 at 10:56 am

"get their toes cleansed" is a euphemism for what?


Posted by Phil Lanthrop, a resident of Community Center
on Apr 11, 2007 at 11:55 am

No metaphors here old sport....
simply a nice, quiet place to get those high maintenace feet cleaned....
I believe its called a pedicure....


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 11, 2007 at 2:50 pm

Thank God! I was afraid I was slipping away from au current.


Posted by Rick, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 12, 2007 at 1:00 am

A few years ago a couple dozen neighbors objected to a large Albertson. This was a excuse used by the council to not allow anything to be done obviously with the intention of driving Albertsons out of town (Its not a local developer with the right connections) and the connected developer could buy it and would be allowed to develop whatever he, they, wanted to make the most profit. This is my opinion. When does a few dozen neighbors ever have such control over a regional shopping area or anything else that happens in the city? Did a few dozen neighbors stop the 800 High St. project? Housing has long been planned for the Hiyett (sp)Motel site. It was rezoned to housing long before the issue of losing the Motel came up. The Sun site was rezoned to essentiall a high density housing site without any consideration of using the site as a Auto Dealership (s), tax generating site. Moving the Alma Substation at a cost to utility users and the city of possibly $10 million dollars to make way for $1000 sq/ft low cost/income housing for the minimum wage workers in downtown Palo Alto is apparently in the process without any public notice/debate/input. I wonder why the utility rates are going up.

Alma Plaza must be zoned retaill!!! on the ground floor with all ground floor for shoppers use!!! 1000's of residents will be affected if it is not kept as a shopping center.


Posted by stephen levy, a resident of University South
on Apr 12, 2007 at 8:01 am

What are the bounds on "what the neighbors want"?

If the neighbors want something that isn't feasible in the marketplace, then what?

What if the neighbors don't want Blacks or Jews in the neighborhood (it did happen once in America) then what?

What if the town needs a new police station and no neighbors want it next to them, then what?

I thought the general process was that the concerns of neighborhoods are balanced against the concerns of the City and, soemtimes, the broader region. I think the neighbors are always "heard" in PA by the City Council.

Are the rules that the Council always should do what the neighbors want? Are there any bounds?


Posted by Citizen, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 12, 2007 at 9:05 am

I was always under the impression that if you buy a home near a school, you know what you are letting yourself in for. Likewise if you buy a home near a railroad, you expect noise, etc. Shouldn't it be that if you buy a home near a shopping plaza, you expect it to change and affect you in some way. Some people may think any of these things are pluses when buying a home, others may feel they are a minus but their house prices probably reflect this. If you want to live in an urban area, then you get pluses and minuses all the time.

So I say, tough luck Alma residents. You knew what you were letting yourself in for when you moved to the area and if you didn't like it why did you move there?

A thriving residential area by definition changes. If it is stagnant in any way then it can't be considered thriving. Yes, new homes will be built to replace the older homes that are deteriorating. Yes, more traffic will appear on our streets, that's life. And yes, shopping areas will change to reflect the needs of society and the changes that time brings to retail markets.

Alma Plaza cannot stay in the 1950s in the same way that San Antonio, downtown and Stanford Shopping Centre have changed. It is life. Get used to it. You don't want to live your life with 1950s home appliances, so don't expect the neighborhood to either.


Posted by eric, a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 12, 2007 at 9:16 am

I'd put money on the developer tossing in the towel and doing a conforming project, which will likely attract a small Hispanic market and a few shops of benefit to locals, but mostly low budget specialty shops that will generate a lot more traffic then the neighbors expect.


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