Sears grand re-opening (?) Around Town, posted by Shopper, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jun 30, 2007 at 7:03 pm
Went to Sears today and was surprised that they announced today was their first grand re-opening. It was about as busy as it ever was and looked pretty much the same. They do have some odds and ends of furniture and their shoe section is much improved. Apart from that, couldn't see much of a difference.
Posted by Confused, a resident of the Charleston Gardens neighborhood, on Jun 30, 2007 at 9:44 pm
Now I am confused, the PA Daily had an article on it's front page today about a day worker job center possibly being located at the new Home Depot. It states: "Home Depot aims to tear down the old Sears building in the San Antonio Shopping Center and build a home improvement store in its place."
What is going on here has the PA Daily got it wrong; is Sears leaving or staying, or is a Home Depot being built in it's place?
Posted by resident, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Jul 1, 2007 at 2:19 pm
The main change I noticed was a new "Lands End Shop" within Sears. There were employees dedicated just to this area and they were very knowledgeable regarding the products and ordering procedures for items not stocked.
Posted by Residents, a resident of the Green Acres neighborhood, on Jul 1, 2007 at 6:14 pm
I buy kids clothing at Sears, I think the new layouts are much improved. I think they have mostly made browsing easier, it's a lot less cramped.
If Home Depot is locating at that site in 3 years, the decision to delay may have been partly because large trucks will have to bring merchandise from 101 (over roads, incidentally, that belong to Palo Alto, but Palo Alto will not be getting any of the sales tax revenue because the store is in Mountain View) -- trucks would have to cross that bridge over Alma which was slated to be retrofitted/repaired and has not been. Perhaps part of the concern was this bridge which would make access to that location by large trucks shipping in supplies more difficult. Perhaps it was even prohibited in the bridge's current state, I don't know. Palo Alto owns part of that bridge as well, and would therefore have some leverage if Palo Altans didn't like paying to keep up the roads for HD's trucks -- perhaps by delaying three years, HD avoids this issue as the bridge will have to be repaired by then regardless.
Another consideration may be that Home Depot corporate was in transition of late, and may have decided to wait on any new stores, especially controversial stores. After all, the city of Mountain View soundly rejected a Home Depot at Grant and El Camino, which in many ways is a far better location than the San Antonio Mall, and far more accessible to the freeway. Putting the HD then on the other side of Mountain View, in a location that is less accessible and more residential would have sparked controversy. Perhaps HD thinks by waiting 3 years, opposition to putting the store there will die down.
Posted by Anon, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jul 3, 2007 at 10:44 am
Actually, Mountain View had a vote on the issue. The majority of MV residents were against having a Home Depot in Mountain View. If only 5 neighbors had been opposed, Home Depot would be located at Grant and El Camino today, as Home Depot poured a lot of money into its campaign. The site is now a major PAMF medical facility.
Mountain View has plenty of retail and clearly they are not against big retail or even big box stores. But they did not want a Home Depot for many concrete reasons. The San Antonio location is even worse than the Grant and El Camino location in regards to the reasons the majority of MV residents rejected Home Depot in the latter location in the first place. And Palo Alto and Los Altos will be negatively impacted and incur significant expenses without the benefit of the tax money as the store would be in Mountain View. We also don't need a HD there as we have one just off 101 in EPA. That store and community would likely be negatively affected by a store in MV, as the HD shoppers that would go to MV are currently going to the EPA store.
Clearly, Mountain View residents considered the quality of life aspects impacted by a Home Depot store, which are significant. This is why there are moves to keep HD out in residential areas around the country, not just Mountain View. Home Depot has put more and more emphasis in recent years on large material sales to contractors, magnifying to those aspects.
As a Palo Alto resident, I prefer neighbors who debate too much than who care too little. I did not appreciate your dig at Palo Alto, which was ill-informed anyway, as Mountain View residents clearly do not obstruct large business in their borders, they just didn't want THIS large business -- hard as it is for you laissez faire types to understand, they JUST rejected Home Depot.
Posted by eric, a resident of Mountain View, on Jul 3, 2007 at 12:20 pm
Anon, the majority of MV residents--myself included-- voted against a Home Depot at a specific location. There were some very good arguements about the other site that have nothing to do with replacing retail with retail at SASC. There was also (my reason for voting against it) a competing proposal from El Camino hospital to expand at that site. MV voted to eschew some very significant tax revenue in favor of an expanded hospital (fortunately the cities financial picture made that a real choice).
So, it is YOU who is uninformed. There was no referendum on Home Depot as such, but on the land use permitted for a particular piece of dirt-- I dont have the text of the ordinance that we voted on, but I'd assume it referenced zoning, not a specific tenant. Several big box stores have opened in MV since, and the zoning change there did not recognize specific tenants-- Home Depot was free to lease space at what is now a Best Buy (Im guessing that the lease rate was too high there, however)
To call a location at the intersection of two of the busiest roads in the region a residential area is ludicrous. The difference in impact between a Sears and a Home Depot is certainly not zero, but the site is large enough in my opinion to properly address issues of loading, ingress/egress and parking. There are other high-traffic users in that shopping center and good traffic management plans have kept the impact on the surrounding streets to almost nil (and the Home Depot would have completely different access, there is no issue with adding the tenants together)
The opposition to this new Home Depot has come from a few neighbors of a small residential pocket nearby and a couple of council members. The community at large, I believe, is either in favor or unconcerned. It IS an appropriate location for a big box, and it will put a lot of money into the city (and some into the Los Altos schools, too, as that property is within the Los Altos school district boundaries, not to mention MV-LA high school dist)
Has Palo Alto ever considered the impact on surrounding cities of a development project? I doubt it. Ever driven by the Howsner (sp?) school coming in and out of Los Altos/MV? I doubt PA gave the traffic impact into adjacent cities a passing thought. THe ill-conceived changes to the Charleston corridor hurt traffic into Los Altos-- did that come up? Stanford Shopping Center traffic kills MP-- anyone in PA care?
Posted by Curious Observer, a resident of Mountain View, on Jul 10, 2007 at 9:38 pm Curious Observer is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
The "re-opening" of Sears is a result of reversing the decision to close the store. Earlier this year, the store had already reduced its merchandise and let some employees go. The store received a new lease on life and as such has restocked its shelves and rearranged its layout.
As for the Home Depot issue, the location at 85 and El Camino was not ideal as it backs up against a residential area. With 24-hour operations, this location would have seriously affected the residents. I thought the Sears location was a better choice. I'm a bit surprised to see PA residents complaining. I don't remember seeing any complaints when the new Whole Foods store was built on El Camino, especially since there is already a Safeway and Trader's Joe in the area. People going to Whole Foods are using San Antonio Road, same as those who would be going to Home Depot.
Posted by Fred, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Jul 10, 2007 at 10:05 pm
I'm from PA and not complaining. I would say thank you to MV, but I am sure my sales tax dollars are thanks enough. I am only half tongue-in-cheek though in saying that if MV and LA were not there, with good stores and libraries, life in PA will would be hard to put up with.
Posted by News Junkie, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jul 21, 2007 at 9:48 am
Home Depot killed off the deal in Mountain View because MV wanted Home Depot to be solely responsible to provide shelter ( ie provide housing to) the workers who gather in their parking lots hoping someone will pick them up to work. I don't blame Home Depot for backing out of a "deal" that saddled them and them alone with a societal issue.
Another place in southern California was trying the same gambit, and Home Depot said no to that also. They can go to more welcoming communities.
The real losers are the city for losing an incredible tax base, employees who are not going to be employed there, and the day workers who won't have a place where they are likely to pick up work.
Posted by SHOPPER, a resident of the Palo Alto Hills neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2007 at 8:57 pm
I must say I was very impressed with the improvements in the re opened Sears MV. The layout is very nice, I love the new enhanced Lands End department with their own customer service. The level of service I recived through out the store was wonderful. Sears is finally getting it right with the right merchandise and people.
Posted by bikes2work, a member of the Santa Rita (Los Altos) community, on Dec 3, 2007 at 4:42 pm
The Mountain View City Council will discuss whether HD's proposed store is consistent with the San Antonio Center Precise Plan. This will be the second of two topics they will discuss in a session beginning 6:30, so maybe around 7PM. No formal decisions are made at a study session but usually there is a time for public comment, limited to 3 minutes per speaker.
The study session package is over 50 pages long but here is a link (hope it works): Web Link