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Plans for Alma Plaza finally approved

Original post made on Jun 6, 2008

A plan to convert the boarded-up former shopping center Alma Plaza in South Palo Alto into a mixed-used development of stores and homes was finally approved by the city's Architectural Review Board.

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Comments (18)

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Posted by Senor blogger
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 6, 2008 at 1:58 pm

At Last,
Deborah Wu Park is no longer

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 6, 2008 at 2:41 pm


Not so fast, it still has to be approved by the city. But please, hurry up.

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Posted by Not so fast
a resident of The Greenhouse
on Jun 7, 2008 at 6:58 am

Not so fast; doesn't this still have to go through the Planning & Transportation Commission and then the City Council?

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Posted by Resident2
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 7, 2008 at 11:54 am

I don't know but I sure hope so. They are the only board that isn't a shill for developers.

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Posted by Just what we need?
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 7, 2008 at 2:44 pm

Great. Just what south palo alto needs,
50 new families to overflow the already overcrowded schools.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 7, 2008 at 11:23 pm

And what about food to feed all these new people?

We keep adding to the population, but we have no good places to shop.

We are running out of space, water, and now we have to drive far for affordable groceries.

I can not afford to shop at speciality markets.

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Posted by So. PA Resident
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 8, 2008 at 10:13 am

Resident, Old Palo Alto: Don't worry about food for these people, they can drive to Whole Foods or Safeway in Mountain View like the rest of us.

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Posted by It's getting to be ridiculous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 8, 2008 at 5:16 pm

We need more retail for people who are not quite so affluent as some Palo Altans. We have to travel far to get our groceries at somewhat reasonable prices. Mountain View is getting all of the tax revenue that Palo Alto should be getting. Forget any more housing, city fathers, and supply us with more places like Kohl's, etc.!!

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Posted by Mike
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 9, 2008 at 12:09 pm

More people will be driving farther in greenhouse gas generators to buy their essentials in other towns. Palo Alto never did take Green seriously.

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Posted by Tired of the fighting
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jun 9, 2008 at 4:22 pm

Look,this is a major eyesore as it is. We can't turn it into a park like most of you would probably like. The options are few. You cry about affordable groceries, yet when another store there was an option, no one wanted the traffic and noise. You can't have it both ways. Do we need another apartment complex? NO. We need nice shops and an attractive replacement to help the neighborhood values and PA economy. People need a place they can walk/bike to. We will soon be unable to afford the gas to drive to our out of PA on grocery runs.

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Posted by JP
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 9, 2008 at 10:39 pm

This is going to be a major pain in the A**!!! Traffic is already bad enough as it is. I live on the 3100 block of Alma and sometimes it takes me 20-30 minutes in the morning to get to the freeway on- ramp on Charleston. I have to drive southbound to 85, otherwise I would take Oregon and now this!! I can imagine it is going to be as bad as the intersection of San Antonio and Charleston which sometimes gets backed up forever. This really sucks!

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Posted by laura
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 10, 2008 at 5:40 am

I have lived here for 35 years and this is just another example of bad planning. What other affluent city has such poor library facilities - really an emabarrassment given the high use of the libraries and the educated populace - and no stores!!! Remember the All American Market and Lucky? At least they were moderately priced and we could walk to them!!! Piazza's is nice but expensive. With gas at $4.50 and up and destinced to go to $5.00 by July the city planners should be looking at the future - not more apartments!!! Idling cars on Alma sitting in traffic does not help our environment not to mention our blood pressure!!!

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Posted by Not so fast
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 10, 2008 at 8:22 am

Laura--you can thank a group of individuals for the loss of Alma Plaza as a viable shopping center--Jay Hammer who lead the opposition to Luckys/Albertson's plans to build a larger grocery store. Deborah Ju for getting Alma Plaza incoporated into the "Charleston Corridor" building moritatorium and most recently "The Friends of Alma Plaza" for playing the "grocery is too big, the grocery is too small" game.
But most of all you can thank our city councils over the years for failing to provide leadership and being unwilling to take a strong stand against a minority of "vocal neighbors" and doing something for the good of the city as a whole.
We lost the Hyatt to housing, that people complain about and now we have lost Alma Plaza to housing also. Edgewood Plaza is next

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Posted by laura
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 10, 2008 at 8:47 am

Not So Far is entirely correct. The citizens of Palo Alto are not being heard or advocated for by the city council. Palo Alto used to be a walkable city with neighborhood stores and hang outs. Now it resembles New York City!!

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2008 at 8:55 am

Palo Alto is quickly becoming a dormitory town. The residents move here because of the schools, or possibly to be close to jobs, but very little else. The residents, if they are here for jobs are close to where they work, otherwise they have to sit in traffic because instead of making the roads move traffic more efficiently, roads are reduced in size. Affordable shopping is taken away and more expensive luxury stores are brought into Stanford Mall to take the place of the family orientated toy stores that used to be there. Family dining is non existent, the only affordable restaurants to take kids is McDonalds, as I am not sure that any of the rest have kids menus, since Fresh Choice at Stanford was closed down. Downtown is a joke, as no one wants to go there unless they have to, because of the smell from the homeless and panhandlers. Our libraries are secondclass and our roads are full of potholes.

I mean it, why do we continue to live here? I am beginning to ask myself that question as apart from the taxes on my property, I spend very little in PA both in money and time out of home.

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Posted by Tom
a resident of Professorville
on Jun 10, 2008 at 11:34 am


There is a pithy remark going around that Palo Alto once was a community, but it became a commodity. Only recently a reasonable place to live and raise a family with decent schools services and retail, it is now a capital-A Address for the status conscious and a place to make boocoo bucks in real estate. Services and shopping have no place in this scheme.

The original Palo Alto has fallen to excessive success. It is what it's become and it won't change back anytime soon. If you want to walk to your grocery store, or even to have reasonably priced staple groceries for sale in your community, you need to relocate somewhere else. But you will get a good return on your real estate when you leave.

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Posted by Judith
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 10, 2008 at 5:42 pm

Laura -
I don't think you've ever been to New York City. It makes you sound silly when you say that.

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Posted by Not so slow
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jun 10, 2008 at 10:13 pm

I see Mike and Not so fast have returned after an absence. And NSF has taken up Mike's dirty work by disparaging good people in this forum.
It's good to know who you are and for whom you speak. You are very consistent.

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