San Antonio Shopping Center revamp up for council vote

Redeveloped shopping center would include new Safeway, rental apartments

The City Council could give final approval on Tuesday for the most ambitious redevelopment of San Antonio Shopping Center since it was built in the 1950s.

San Francisco-based Merlone Geier has proposed the redevelopment of one-third of the 56-acre shopping center, a 16.3-acre portion that extends from Sears to Rite Aid at the corner of San Antonio Road and El Camino Real.

A new Safeway grocery store, replacing the California Street location, and Rite Aid would anchor more than a dozen smaller stores and 350 rental apartments on the site in five-story buildings. There would be 311,000 square feet of retail, an increase of 88,000 square feet over what is there now.

A new one-acre piece of open space bisecting the project into northern and southern halves, dubbed the "San Antonio Green," would include bike paths and a dog park.

It has also been suggested that Target may wish to move from Showers Driver into the northern portion of the site, where there would otherwise be space for three 40,000 square foot retailers.

The development would boost the city's general fund with $1.2 million a year in sales taxes. The city would also receive a one-time parking-in-lieu fee of $5.5 million.

Planning Director Randy Tsuda said the project has not significantly changed since the City Council discussed it in September 2010, when a council majority did not reject the project despite being "underwhelmed" by similar plans in a May 2010 study session.

The Environmental Planning Commission has recommended approval of the project, but under several conditions, including new requirements that buildings face public streets and that there be a limit on the number of housing units on the site, which does not effect the current project. Architects on Mountain View's Design Review Committee also recommended added detail for the simple contemporary design of the project's apartment buildings and turning the driveway in front of Safeway into a street.

The developer proposes to install electric-car-charging systems somewhere on the site, and employees of any retailer there will receive subsidized transit passes for three years -- a first for such a project in Mountain View.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the City Council chambers on the second floor of City Hall at 500 Castro St.

Related stories:

San Antonio 'pipe dream'?

Grand Plans for San Antonio

General Plan meeting focuses on San Antonio

San Antonio proposal includes 400 homes

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Like this comment
Posted by Carlito Waysman
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 26, 2011 at 10:41 am

>The development would boost the city's general fund with $1.2 a year in sales taxes. The city would also receive a one-time parking-in-lieu fee of $5.5 million.<

Does this money will cover for all the services that the city must provide for the new 350 apartments tenants, year after year?

Like this comment
Posted by coooper
a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2011 at 11:03 am

I'd rather have the parking than have the developer pay off the city so he can stuff the property with 5-story buildings.

Like this comment
Posted by Look at the transportation impacts
a resident of South of Midtown
on Apr 26, 2011 at 11:40 am

The article fails to mention that the project is in Mountain View and so it is Mountain View City Council, not Palo Alto's City Council, that will make this decision. It is Mountain View's city coffers that will be affected (one way or the other)--except for the sales the new center sucks out of Palo Alto and the traffic that it will dump on Palo Alto streets.

Like this comment
Posted by traffic
a resident of South of Midtown
on Apr 26, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Traffic on Palo Alto streets is mostly going to be Palo Alto residents doing their shopping in Mountain View since NIMBYs would never allow a deluxe sized supermarket in Palo Alto.

I just hope that those bike paths they are talking about will connect to Palo Alto's bicycle boulevard so not everyone will be driving cars there.

Like this comment
Posted by Still Miss Mervyn's
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Does anyone know if Sears is planning to come back to San Antonio when it is rebuilt? They are presently having a closing down sale, the second in a couple of years.

Sears has taken over from Mervyn's for our family's needs and we do not find Kohls any better than Target or WalMart.

Like this comment
Posted by bob
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 26, 2011 at 3:52 pm

The meeting is at 500 Castro St. so cannot be PA City Council meeting.

As of now Sears and Rite Aid are planning to occupy some of the new buildings.

Like this comment
Posted by Love It
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Apr 26, 2011 at 4:17 pm

This looks like a huge improvement for San Antonio and a big win for Mountain View (and Palo Alto... and Los Altos.) Our "value" shopping center has long needed an overhaul to improve the retail experience and better use all those empty acres of asphalt.

Now, if only we could get a decent movie theater in there.

Like this comment
Posted by AboutTime
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 26, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Of course this will get approved with no hang ups because it DOES NOT have to endure the dreaded "Palo Alto Process". Looking forward to see more of NIMBY's/PA's sales tax money go into our cities coffers.

Mt. View < Palo Alto

Like this comment
Posted by Midlander
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 26, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Seems like a great project. I only wish it were happening in Palo Alto!

Like this comment
Posted by rem
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 26, 2011 at 8:23 pm

rem is a registered user.

Why don’t we have a honest City Council that will honestly say “Developer (Contractors) Lobby, Developer (Contractors) donate and we will approve!!!!”

It would be great if the City Council and all the other “Councils” and “Work Shops” learned a new word – NO or new phase – DISAPPROVED….

There is no sane reason for this “Redevelopment” except MONEY, MONEY, MONEY and not care about the people of Mountain View/Palo Alto or ANY of the other communities …..

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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