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Home Depot at Sears San Antonio site?!!

Original post made by Concerned Neighbor, Green Acres, on Jul 26, 2006

Is everyone aware that Home Depot is planning on moving to San Antonio Road near El Camino when Sears vacates next spring?

I posted this on a local email list, and people were incensed. The citizens of Mountain View voted to keep Home Depot from moving to the old Emporium site on Grant Road, which is by far a better location than San Antonio and El Camino. But I guess San Antonio is not as close to Mountain View residential real estate, it's just close to far more expensive Los Altos and Palo Alto homes.

Where do they think the trucks with all the lumber are going to come from? Palo Alto residents (and their property values) all along San Antonio will be negatively affected. The neighborhood will be negatively affected. Sorry to say, construction brings crime (according to the Palo Alto police) and this type of business will negatively alter the character of the neighborhood.

I know someone who works in another Silicon Valley location where a Home Depot was built nearby -- she says the crime went up and the neighborhood character really suffered. Home Depot is a good business, but it doesn't belong in the middle of such a highly residential area. (Of course, if they move there, I will never shop there again.)

There already is a Home Depot nearby in East Palo Alto near the freeway -- are they going to vacate that store to move across the freeway and away from East Palo Alto?

I am not normally NIMBY about businesses, but this is just too much. If anything, if Sears won't stay, that site really needs a family-oriented business.

Comments (37)

Posted by resident
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 27, 2006 at 6:59 am

How did crime go up due to Home Depot? I just wish they were building it in Palo Alto- so we could get the sales tax!! Another place to shop outside my city.

Posted by Jay Thorwaldson
editor emeritus
on Jul 27, 2006 at 8:11 am

Jay Thorwaldson is a registered user.

FYI, as background, the Palo Alto Weekly and its sister paper, the Mountain View Voice, printed the following story by Jon Weiner at the end of May this year:

Home Depot taking Sears site

Home Depot is formalizing plans to take over the current Sears site at San Antonio Shopping Center. Sears' lease is expiring in March 2007.

The proposed store has approximately 130,000 square feet of floor space, counting a mezzanine level, according to company spokesperson Kathryn Gallagher.

In early 2005, Palo Alto-based Thoits Brothers took over direct control of the land at San Antonio Shopping Center and quickly began looking for a new tenant to replace Sears. Talks with one retailer had fallen through when Home Depot representatives came up with an offer.

Fred Thoits said the new store would restore San Antonio's status as a regional shopping center.

"What we have seen is that the center has taken a sort of tired look, a run-down look," he said. "It's not a vital and active center, and we think it has a lot of potential."

Gallagher said that Home Depot is planning a community meeting for residents of local neighborhoods. Though the site is already zoned for commercial uses, the city will hold hearings on design and traffic elements.

One issue, according to city economic-development director Ellis Berns, will be ensuring that the new building, in particular its lumber storage, fits in well with the existing stores.

"We want it to look clean in terms of design and appropriate for the community," said Berns.

Though the city cannot reveal the sales-tax revenues generated by individual businesses, Berns said Home Depots in the region generally produce between $225,000 and $450,000 a year. Sears stores tend to come in at about two-thirds of that, he said.

Gallagher said the store will employ about 150 full- and part-time workers.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 27, 2006 at 8:12 am

This has been in the news for months. The original post is a perfect example of the Palo Alto NIMBY attitude,also it is a great example of the spreading of misinformation and 3rd or 4th hand rumors.
I did not know that Mountain View had to consult with the exalted residents of San Antonio Road about this. I am sure that the original poster would love to put this Mountain View issue through the Palo Alto Process--that way the Home Depot would not be moving in for 10-12 years.

Posted by Resident 2
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 27, 2006 at 8:26 am

I'll tell you how crime goes up when HD moves in. And this was told to me by more then one Home Depot Employee over in the EPA store. You end up with more day laborers hanging out looking for work and with it comes more trash and vehicle break ins. Again, these are the words of a HD needs to only spend a short while in their parking lot and you can see why there are concerns.

Posted by Ray
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 27, 2006 at 9:13 am

Palo Altans' selfishness is the reason why so many businesses have left town, driving away much needed tax revenues. Auto dealerships and supermarkets are shutting down in increasing numbers. Fry's almost got axed. Ford dealership just announced its closure.

Surrounding cities like EPA and Mt View are the direct beneficiaries of this foolishness. Palo Altans still need to shop and where do they go? EPA and Mt View.

That's why more and more businesses are sprouting around Palo Alto. And guess what that will mean in the long run. Mt View and EPA will have more money available to service their citizens, while Palo Altans can only whine and complain about less and less services.

Posted by Concerned Neighbor
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 27, 2006 at 10:34 am

Can we please discuss the original issue and stop with all the petty sniping, baggage, and bitterness about the way Palo Alto operates?

This store is going to go into a Mountain View location on the Palo Alto/Los Altos border. It will bring an industrial/construction character to the neighborhood, which WILL negatively impact property values, rents, foot traffic and existing family-oriented businesses nearby, and yes, crime rates -- this is WHY Mountain View residents went to the trouble of getting a vote on the ballot to keep a Home Depot from taking over at Grant Road.

To answer one of the questions above, while most construction workers are law-abiding, unfortunately the construction industry does come with this problem (increased crime), and it's not just unrelated people seeking easy targets. When the Glenbrook extension was built -- far out of site from any through roads, tucked into our neighborhood and not visible or apparent to most residents OR casual criminals -- crime in the neighborhood (especially of existing homes on the way to the construction site) soared. Unfortunately, there is that element associated with construction, just talk to the police if you doubt it.

This is not a NIMBY issue about business -- I would like that whole commercial area to thrive. Putting in an anchor store with such an industrial character will hurt the other family-oriented businesses nearby, not improve retail. And it will hurt nearby property values -- in Palo Alto -- which WILL hurt our tax base, if you're worried about that.

I live on the side of Palo Alto that will be affected, am house-poor, and yes, my family would suffer if property values decline because of increased crime and an industrial-character, partially blighted (re:impact on other small businesses nearby) area nearby. Yes, my quality of life will suffer if I no longer feel safe to walk over there with my family.

I do not want to see the negative impacts that WILL happen to that area if Home Depot moves in. Trucks with lumber going up and down San Antonio at what time of morning or night? Do people think all the lumber and supplies, plus early-morning contractors and extra day laborers (and trash that people who do not live in an area inevitably drop everywhere) will appear and disappear nicely as if by magic?

Imagine the improvements to that area if, as they did on Grant Road, something like a nice Palo Alto Medical Foundation campus went in there, or virtually ANY family-oriented or non-industrial business! If HD goes in there, it will not be conducive to getting people in the existing (and planned) high density housing on the other side of it to get out of their cars and walk, it will do the opposite.

If people are so anxious for a Home Depot in Palo Alto, why not woo them with a site closer to 101, in a more industrial part of Palo Alto?

Posted by Craig
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 27, 2006 at 11:17 am

There seems to be a lot of worker-type people that sit in the parking lot of the San Antonio center, kind of near the Chili's. I think these guys are day-laborers. On the other hand, I've never seen anything like that at the EPA Home Depot or the San Mateo-Bridgepoint Home Deopt. So, I don't think bringing a HD to MV will have much of an impact on an activity that already takes place.

Posted by Concerned Neighbor
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 27, 2006 at 12:03 pm

So you think if you see a few prostitutes somewhere, adding a huge brothel behind them won't change the activity that already takes place? I've lived in this area a long time, and that San Antonio retail area has always been a little precarious and could go either way.

It needs pedestrian-and-family-friendly retail to improve it, not a huge industrial-construction store to make things worse for all the other businesses and residences (and community center) nearby.

There are plenty of other efforts around the country besides the one on the other side of Montain View to preserve the important character of neighborhoods because of crime and business issues -- precisely because of the negative impacts that come with this kind of industrial business and what it entails.

Please read about them (and the facts). The character of this area -- and the viability of the neighborhood and existing businesses and residences -- is the primary concern here.

Posted by Concerned Neighbor
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 27, 2006 at 1:00 pm

I did not mean to make this sound like a Palo Alto vs. Mountain View problem -- many Mountain View residents are just as unhappy about the potential effects of a Home Depot at the Sears site on this end of Mountain View as the other. I have already heard from one MVw resident who was active in publicizing the NO on Home Depot at the Grant site who is planning to be just as active about this location, which for so many reasons is even worse.

For everyone who has already posted pretending to be so concerned about retail in Palo Alto -- this is a MOUNTAIN VIEW location we are talking about, right on the Palo Alto border. What do you think is going to happen to the remaining neighborhood hardward stores IN PALO ALTO when Home Depot opens in Mountain View right on our border?? Not to mention how the viable design and home improvement businesses all over Palo Alto will be negatively impacted. And even the Home Depot store in East Palo Alto (kind of makes you question their commitment to staying there).

Posted by claire
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 27, 2006 at 1:11 pm

With all of the problems this store will bring, Palo Alto should have some say in whether Home Depot is allowed to open in Mountain View!

Posted by Concerned Neighbor 1.8 beta
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 27, 2006 at 1:15 pm

I'm sure Home Depot's commitment to East Palo Alto is at least as strong as, say, Best Buy or Trader Joe's when they open a store near an existing site. Do you think that Whole Foods will move out of Palo Alto because another one is opening a block or two away from San Antonio Center?

Or, for that matter, should Sunnyvale be worried about the Mt. View site? I think it's just a matter of supply and demand.

I live a block or two away from the San Antonio Center myself, and don't find the area quite as "precarious" as you state. While Home Depot isn't my first choice for that location, I don't see how it will so thoroughly damage the neighborhood - which already has at least one lumber yard nearby.

Posted by Voter
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 27, 2006 at 1:35 pm

I vote for Home Depot or any other business moving into the space to be vacated by Sears.

I also vote for Concerned Neighbor and claire to move out of my neighborhood.

Posted by David
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 27, 2006 at 1:56 pm

I really fail to see how a Home Depot at the Sears site is going to be worse for Palo Alto business or crime than the existing Bruce Bauer Lumber & Supply on San Antonio Circle a couple blocks away.

Posted by Concerned Neighbor
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 27, 2006 at 9:50 pm

This is to David -- think about it -- we have a few neighborhood hardware stores IN Palo Alto. To answer your first concern: how will HD be worse for Palo Alto business than Bruce Bauer. Bruce Bauer is a not a Big Box hardware and home improvement store like Home Depot, and its presence does not compete with the neighborhood hardware stores, they augment each other. A Home Depot, by contrast, does directly compete with the neighborhood hardware stores and will in all likelihood put the hardware store on Middlefield in Palo Alto out of business, for example.

Bruce Bauer Lumber and a few other construction businesses are indeed a few blocks away, but they serve very specific needs, they are in a circle of industrial/construction stores all together, and they are tucked out of the way. I don't see ANY foot traffic there, that type of business and foot traffic / family shopping just don't mix. The San Antonio Sears site by contrast, is in a mall surrounded by family restaurants and businesses, and needs something that will improve not discourage foot traffic and families. Also, Bruce Bauer was frankly in that out of the way circle before the apartments and everything else moved in by the community center and is not an anchor store for a residential mall area. In this case, a few blocks and a different location are worlds away.

To Voter in Green Acres who threw out the ad hominem attacks: I know a lot of the neighbors in this neighborhood, especially the active voters, why don't you identify yourself so we can discuss it like civil human beings. (I hope you're not the neighbor who puts out negative material about every Palo Alto library and school improvement measure...)

I am raising my family here, and frankly do not want to see a Home Depot do to the businesses in that mall and the character of the neighborhood what it has done in many other areas in this country. I agree with Claire, Palo Alto should become involved and have some say in this!

Posted by Craig
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jul 28, 2006 at 12:20 am

I think this is a lot of hoo-ha over nothing. Home Depot is pretty much a consumer oriented home and garden store, not a "industrial" or "construction" store. Most of the stuff they stock is for regular everyday home-owners looking to buy things for everyday maintenence or small-time projects.
They also sell tools and appliances. You know who else sells tools and appliances? Sears!

The day-laborers will probably still come around. If we want to change that, we're going to have to enforce anti-loitering laws and possibly immigration laws.

I like shopping over at San Antonio because they have some decent stores - TJ's, Walmart, Bev-Mo, etc. I don't shop there because its nice - frankly it looks like a dump. If you really want it to be "nice" you'd have to knock it all down and start over.
Bridgepointe in San Mateo is an example of a place with several large stores that's actually nice.

If I were to design something from the ground up, I would like to see a new "center" with a home depot, a brand new target, and then some good big family restaurants. I know its cheesy, but that stuff is just convenient. You know what else we need? Movie theaters! I would love to see a nice, clean, big, safe multiplex theater there.

Posted by Kevin
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 28, 2006 at 2:06 am

Why doesn't Palo Alto have ANY big box retail stores? Think about it. Does the acronym NIMBY come to mind? We are now completely outflanked by Mt. View, EPA, and soon...maybe Menlo Park.

Palo Alto is beginning to reap what we have sown for the last two decades as we made it difficult for business to do business here.

Palo Alto is now completely outflanked by big box retail; the only thing left in the way of no-brainer revenue generators is for us to build an auto mall. We've been wanting to do that, and know that it should be done, but NIMBYISM has done its best again to delay, defeat, or diffuse the effort.

By the way, get used to seeing small retail businesses in Palo Alto (like the hardware store on Middlefield) go the way of the dodo bird. Retail rents here are climbing, and climbing fast. We're on our way to high end restaurants and specialty retail. Not necessarily bad, just different. This means that a lot of 'functional' shopping for necessities will eventually migrate away from Palo Alto.

We need a new kind of thinking about retail attraction, and new business attraction. If we don't do that, local services are going to take a BIG hit in the coming years.

So, where's the new thinking?

Posted by Voter
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 28, 2006 at 7:37 am

Glad to see Concerned Neighbor is being out-voted. It goes to show that there are enough Palo Altans out there to fight the NIMBY sentiment hurting Palo Alto's long term interests.

I still vote for HD but would prefer its better cousin, HomeExpo.
I still vote for Concerned Neighbor to move because that is the only way he will find peace for himself and bring peace to my neighborhood.

Posted by Concerned Neighbor
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 28, 2006 at 9:30 am

This is not a NIMBY issue about any of the issues the last two posts have brought up, nor am I writing this to vent any bile about Palo Alto retail squabbles as they are. It's about what a Home Depot would do to the neighborhood and even the Big Box neighboring retail in that Mountain View mall on our borderl.

If that's the way this discussion is going, let me mention a few businesses that I wouldn't let out a peep about (or might be thrilled to see go into that location):

Home Depot Expo (very different in character than Home Depot)
An entertainment complex with an IMAX theatre (woudn't compete with Palo Alto theaters which are all showing independents anyway, would draw regionally as SJ and SF are closest)
Walgreens, Longs, any vanilla drugstore -- we don't need more, but at least it won't attract crime and discourage foot traffic and families
Office Depot, Office Max , Walmart (yes, even Walmart, though there is already one in that mall), Target, etc., etc.
A giant Babies R Us (no large discount baby and children shops exist for several towns over, Mvw and PA residents have to drive a long way or shop online)
Sears, Penneys, TJ Maxx, Nordstrom, (basically any department store you can think of)
A PAMF Medical campus like the one built on the other potential Home Depot site in Mvw
Any computer super store
A Mega Starbucks (okay that's a joke, but since a few disgruntled posters are trying to make this about NIMBY, I thought I'd throw that one our -- for the record, I am okay with even that!)
Since I could go on here for pages, let's just say the rest of the list of businesses I would be fine with going into that location is basically ANY store that doesn't bring an industrial character and attract crime to the mall.

I'm not outvoted in the community, not even Mtn View, or the residents wouldn't have voted Home Depot out of a much better site than San Antonio Mall. Residents AND businesses IN MOUNTAIN VIEW were against a Home Depot going in on Grant Road, especially apartments like Americana which would have seen a real and inevitable hit to their income because of the change in the character of the neighborhood and decline in liveability.

I didn't think Voter would have the courage to identify himself. (If you really are a resident of Green Acres, you can identify yourself through our neighborhood email lists, GAI or II, you don't have to do it through the town square. Are you really even a resident of this neighborhood? If you identified yourself, I think you would find yourself outvoted in this PA neighborhood which would be most affected by a HD at the Sears site. I was not aware of any uncivil voters in this neighborhood, I would be happy to come over and introduce myself and talk person-to-person. Like I said, I'm beginning to doubt you even live here.)

Posted by GSB
a resident of Stanford
on Jul 28, 2006 at 10:16 am

It seems as though everything that Concerned Neighbor just rattled off about PA not having is just about everything Mountain View has.

Maybe it's time for a relocation for you?

Posted by David
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 28, 2006 at 10:25 am

Concerned Neighbor: A drugstore strikes me as really unlikely for the Sears site; there's a Longs just across the street. If another drug store moved in at the Sears site, we'd risk trading one empty store for another.

Posted by Concerned Neighbor
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 28, 2006 at 10:59 am

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

I was making the point that I'm not opposed to retail or big box retail going in at the Sears site (hence the list of businesses I wouldn't oppose). I'm pro business, in fact, that's why I'm concerned about a Home Depot there. I'm okay with just about anything, just so long as it doesn't turn the neighborhood into an industrial no-man's-land the way Home Depot would.

I think it would be a squandered business opportunity for the whole area not to improve the neighborhood, but I wouldn't get up in arms about it the way I am about putting in something that would hurt the neighborhood character and inevitably increase crime like Home Depot would.

Like David, I think a new drugstore would be silly. We are already knee-deep in drugstores, but that doesn't seem to stop anyone from putting up more of them. My point was that drugstores won't impact the neighborhood in the negative way a Home Depot would -- that's why you've never seen Mountain View residents go to the trouble of getting a referendum on a new drugstore on the ballot. It's a lot of work to do that (having been involved in doing that on other issues myself), and people only do it when something very important is at stake, as there is here.

I am concerned about the health of the retail and residential on both sides of the border, and was making the point that virtually ANY store would at the very least not harm the neighborhood the way Home Depot would. That's not a new point, by the way, it's why the citizens of Mountain View already went through the very difficult process of getting a vote on the ballot to keep Home Depot out of what was even a better site than the San Antonio Mall. It's why citizens in a lot of other places have gone to similar efforts. We care about our communities and want to see them grow and prosper.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Richard
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 28, 2006 at 11:28 am

I like Home Depot and shop at the EPA store when the need arises.
I wouldn't mind seeing one go in at San Antonio if it where needed but I just don't think the seven minute drive to EPA is that tough that we need one on the corner of El Camino when, as noted by others, there are so many other businesses that we could genuinely use.
Not that the powers that be are going to ask my permission or approval.

Posted by Bob Gardiner
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 28, 2006 at 8:32 pm

Home Depot is playing a game of Monopoly. They already have a discount warehouse in EPA, which is within fairly easy commute distance from the San Antonio site. By moving onto San Antonio, they are trying to undercut and then squeeze out OSH, Bauer and Mintons.

Putting Home Depot on an already overbusy intersection will hurt other non-complementary businesses in that area. In addition, it will significantly hurt residential property values on San Antonio,and will trickle through south palo alto.

So voter, GSB, Richard, et al would rather see a trash hardware HD than OSH, Bauer and Mintons?

Posted by Richard
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 28, 2006 at 9:44 pm

Gardiner should read throughly befor starting to write.

Posted by Concerned Neighbor
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 28, 2006 at 11:50 pm

The voters of Mountain View already rejected a Home Depot on Grant Road because of precisely the concerns brought up by Bob. Additionally, residents were legitimately concerned about what Home Depot would cost the city in road improvements, etc.

At the San Antonio Mall site, Palo Alto will share the problems, especially the costs of road upkeep and improvements, the decrease in property values and the cost of additional crime and degradation of the local neighborhood, but Palo Alto won't get a cent of the tax revenue. Palo Alto will lose revenue because of reduced property values in the area, the increased crime, and the hit to Palo Alto businesses. The Mountain View businesses nearby will suffer, too.

According to articles in the Mountain View Voice, Home Depot behaved reprehensibly when the issue went to voters the last time. Because of that, many Mountain View residents expressed relief that Home Depot was not coming to Mountain View, yet here they are again, in an even less appropriate location.

Mountain View residents voted 2 to 1 to keep Home Depot out. I posted about this issue on some of my local email lists (some with thousands of members who are never afraid to disagree), and didn't get a single neutral email or email in favor of a Home Depot at the site. Everyone was against it, some vehemently, and they were private emails to me, it wasn't because of public consensus (like I said, on these lists, people aren't afraid to disagree anyway). [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

I believe that there are people who are neutral about it, and surely there are people who disagree. But if there were a vote on this site just as on Grant Road, I believe the citizens of Mountain View (and Palo Alto and especially Los Altos) would express the same sentiments that the voters of Mountain View expressed over the Grant Road site, which was closer to the freeway off a more major thoroughfare, less surrounded by expensive residential real estate, and in many other ways a better site. By 2 to 1, they voted against then.

What does Home Depot think has changed? The arrogance and insensitivity to the local community is astounding.

Posted by Concerned Neighbor
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 29, 2006 at 12:03 am

Before I get flamed, let me say again that I am not against Home Depot as a store, I shop there (or at least, I did), I'm not even against them opening a store in the cities I mentioned. But in a more appropriate location, that's all!!!

The store in Sunnyvale is in an appropriate location. The store in East Palo Alto is in an appropriate location. Someone from outside the area probably drove through, didn't think much of the look of that side of the San Antonio mall, saw some day laborers, and pegged the area as a non-family-oriented, industrial-type location. They don't know or care about the future of the area like the residents do. They can find a more appropriate location, which will maintain goodwill with the community (i.e., Win - Win). People all over the country are rejecting Home Depots in precisely the same way, and it's not because they hate the business (well, mostly), it's because HD chooses it's locations in the same indiscriminate way.

Posted by GSB
a resident of Stanford
on Jul 29, 2006 at 8:29 am

Actually, i am against HD being installed at San Antonio Shopping Center. It's not a good fit for the community. That area has a significant retail/residential mix, and HD shouldn't be placed in such a mix. Increased traffic will make the intersection more hazardous that it is now, and an increased daylaborer presence will not enourage people to visit the other stores at the Center.

Posted by Kevin
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 29, 2006 at 9:55 am

What none of you realize is that a MV Home Depot would increase crime in PA, MV, and surrounding cities in the following way: 1) MV Home Depot takes business from EPA Home Depot, 2) EPA tax revenue declines, 3) EPA is forced to cut back on police, education, after school programs, 4) marginal EPA residents turn to life of crime, targeting lucrative targets in nearby wealthy communities.
The progress of EPA in the last six years is entirely due to Home Depot, IKEA, Circuit City, and Best Buy. There is already competition from the MV Best Buy. It is in no one's best interests to continue this trend and return to the EPA of the 1990's

Posted by Jeremy Loski
a resident of Ventura
on Jul 29, 2006 at 1:25 pm

The resistance to HD is silly, period. What I see in all this is a desire to keep things the way they are, and use unknowns to create fear about change. This is the kind of thinking that has led to much of Palo Alto's current revenue problems.

It's a new world folks; also I would like to see a stop to the thinly veiled attempts to paint day laborers as evil, or criminals. It's really quite sad, and is another example of NIMBYISM.

Posted by Voter
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 29, 2006 at 3:13 pm

The omnipotent editor of this forum yanked my post yesterday. Perhaps my use of words like "hysterical" and "snobbish" didn't sit well with this God. OK, I got the message. Here's a self-censored version. Let's see what God does with it this time.

People like Concerned Neighbor are aggressively (ok, not hysterically) opposed to HD taking over the space to be vacated by Sears. Their reason, ostensibly, is based on a fear (unproven and unfounded, of course) that a store like HD will attract bad elements to their neighborhood, increasing crime etc. thereby negatively impact real estate values.

These same people seem to be blind to a living example of HD moving next to a neighborhood without any of the negative impacts they fear. Case in point: Crescent Park. Now, Crescent Park real estate has always been at a huge premium relative to Green Acres, my neighborhood. Furthermore, Crescent Park real estate has appreciated considerably since HD moved into EPA, just on the other side of 101. I'd say Crescent Park is a lot closer to that HD than Green Acres will ever be to the Sears location. So, what's all the fuss?

Posted by Concerned Neighbor
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 29, 2006 at 4:02 pm

Now "Voter" has just given us proof that he is not even from this area, with a completely nonsensical argument -- equating Crescent Park as being close to EPA, he's looking on a map, he has no knowledge of the area and the deep divide between the two places and the barrier of 101. Try putting a Home Depot on Lincoln Avenue, on the Palo Alto/Crescent Park side of 101 and see what happens! EPA and Crescent Park have always been two different worlds, if he lived here, he would know that.

There are dozens of successful efforts to keep Home Depot out in certain indiscriminately chosen sites around the country. I have seen web sites where people have gone to the trouble of documenting the increase in crime after a Home Depot went into other inappropriate, nearby locations. It happens. None of this is news -- read the debate over the first proposed Mountain View HD, when voters elected 2 to 1 to keep Home Depot out.

Mountain View residents were considering all the real problems, the costs associated with the heavy truck traffic, the costs to the immediate real estate of the increase in crime, litter, cost to other local businesses and real estate from degradation of the neighborhood character, etc.

If HD goes in at San Antonio Mall, Palo Alto will bear those costs, but see none of the benefits. Palo Alto, for example, has to bear a third of the local contribution for repairing the San Antonio overpass. Palo Alto has to maintain the roads from 101 to the San Antonio Mall, which will be negatively impacted by the additional heavy truck traffic, noise, and pollution. Palo Alto will get none of the property tax benefit, because the store is actually in Mountain View.

It makes me wonder why "Voter" is so intent on attacking me personally and continually boosting only Home Depot at the location (as opposed to a more appropriate location), without any real evidence or simple knowledge of the area, and what his stake in Home Depot is. He has still made no attempt to take me up on my offer to privately contact me through the Green Acres neighborhood lists and perhaps discuss this like rational human beings (if he can).

As I have said, I am not opposed to Home Depot going in at a more appropriate location, though the resident from East Palo Alto has made a compelling argument for why Home Depot in Mountain View will hurt East Palo Alto, and I agree. The East Palo Alto location for Home Depot actually made a GOOD difference.

I am opposed to Home Depot going in at San Antonio Mall because, unlike "Voter", I actually live here and care about the future of this neighborhood, the prosperity of the businesses in this area especially the San Antonio Mall businesses which are local to me, the property values, the safety of the area, etc. I would be opposed to any other business like Home Depot that would have such a negative impact and cost to Palo Alto and the neighboring residences and businesses.

I would love to see this viewed as an opportunity to bring more foot traffic to the mall and make it a destination -- outlet stores, an entertainment complex with IMAX, etc. -- but I won't fight virtually any other business, as long as it doesn't have the kind of negative impacts Home Depot will.

Posted by Voter
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 29, 2006 at 5:24 pm

I am amazed but not amuzed by Concerned Neighbor's penchant for making conclusions about things and people. Let's summarize his conclusions:

1. There are locations suitable for HD but NIMBY because...[crime, real estate depreciation, blah, blah, blah...]
2. Voter must have a stake in HD because Voter wants it IMBY.
3. Voter is not from this area because Voter doesn't know the "deep divide between" Crescent Park and EPA.

There are more but let's look at these foregone conclusions of Mr. NIMBY.

1. HD is an indispensable store for many people. That's why more of them are popping up everywhere. HD is doing a lot more good than any of the mythical bad promulgated by people like Concerned Neighbor. Palo Alto is already encircled by businesses earning our money. Another HD in the peripheral isn't going to change anything, except in furthering proof of the NIMBY sentiment prevalent among many Palo Altans. THAT sentiment is what's hurting Palo Alto. Not another HD in Mt View!!!

2. Concerned Neighbor must have a short memory. I said previously that I would prefer HomeExpo to HD, although I'm not opposed to HD because I simply don't buy his argument. HomeExpo, or even Lowe's, is better than HD because there is already a HD in EPA. The space that will be vacated by Sears is quite large. You know upscale retailers have passed up San Antonio Center forever and that is not about to change. Only retailers like HD have the business model that makes sense for them to occupy such a large space. It's a win-win-win for the shopping center owners, HD stock, and people who have less distance to travel to get home improvement supplies.

3. I know Palo Alto a lot more than most Palo Altans. How many of them can say they have been around since the mid-seventies? Crescent Park's divide from EPA by 101 means nothing. People move freely between the two sides, unlike what Concerned Neighbor would have us believe. The 101 divide is no more or less a deterrent to crime than the San Antonio/El Camino divide that separtes Mt View from Los Altos and Palo Alto. There is no evidence to support his point that HD brings more crime to surrounding areas including Crescent Park. According to Concerned Neighbor's logic, the day laborers (who are sentenced in absentia as responsible for increase in crime - now, THAT's personal attack in the utmost on a group of mostly hardworking people) are thwarted by 101 to do more harm to Crescent Park. By that logic, Concerned Neighbor, you have nothing to fear since San Antonio/El Camino should sufficiently thwart them from getting into your backyard.

Finally, there's no point in wanting to know my identity. I'm not your problem. Your NIMBY mentality is!

Posted by Concerned Neighbor
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 29, 2006 at 6:39 pm

"Voter" -- who still seems obviously not to be from this area and who perhaps has an undue interest in Home Depot (perhaps the stock that he brings up?) -- is hard to even answer because he isn't using facts, hasn't addressed any of my points with facts, and is still using mostly unfounded ad hominem attacks against me rather than addressing the issue, which is that Home Depot would be bad for the San Antonio Mall.

Mountain View residents recently decided 2 to 1 that Home Depot would be bad for Grant Road and El Camino. San Antonio Mall is even less accessible to freeways and major roads, and more surrounded by quiet and expensive residential areas, and family-oriented businesses that will suffer if the an anchor store like the Sears site becomes an industrial no-man's-land.

Notice, I haven't said one thing connecting day labor with crime in any of my posts, yet he attacks me for this. I pointed out that construction is association with increased crime -- this is a fact, call the Palo Alto police if you don't believe this. The introduction of Home Depots into certain kinds of locations is also associated with an increase in crime, that's also not hard to prove if you feel the need.

If "Voter" is the kind of person who doesn't see the point of zoning and wouldn't mind a toxic dump in his back yard, and is calling that NIMBY, then mea culpa. But if he is like that, then what is he (allegedly) doing in Palo Alto? The San Antonio Mall and businesses on both sides of El Camino are walking distance to my home and local to me. I care about safety, prosperity, and quality of life in my area. Unlike "Voter", I care about the area prospering more than insisting on moving in one inappropriate business for that location.

"Voter" says that (I quote) "upscale retailers have passed up San Antonio Center forever and that is not about to change." Now who's the snob? Family-oriented businesses like Trader Joe's, Carter's, Mervyn's, Jo-Ann's fabrics, Fresh Choice, Lucky's and yes, even Walmart, make the San Antonio Mall a good place for families to shop. Some of those businesses really helped bring life back into the mall as compared to 20 years ago. "Voter" has all but condemned the mall and the businesses in it, basically saying that no one else will have that big huge Sears site, or that if the new tenant is not "upscale", it may as well be Home Depot with all its attendant costs and problems. That's baloney.

Where's the win-win for Palo Altans who are already close to a Home Depot in East Palo Alto and can already shop there, and if another one moves onto San Antonio Road Sears site, will have to pay the costs to upgrade and maintain the roads and bridges for the Home Depot heavy trucks and traffic, and suffer the revenue loss due to the increased crime, pollution, and noise, the loss of property tax when nearby property values take a hit (especially the new housing going in nearby), and the loss of sales taxes from Palo Alto businesses across the street that will be negatively impacted?

The win-win is for Home Depot to gracefully announce that it has found a more appropriate location where a store is really needed, as it was in East Palo Alto, and for the Thoits brothers to let a more positive and appropriate tenant take over the Sears site.

I do agree with you, Voter, on one thing. A Home Depot Expo would be an appropriate business for that location. The problem is that Home Depot never staffs and stocks Expo well enough, and thus Expos aren't the money makers -- which is why there are far fewer Expos, and why HD closed the Expo in E. Palo Alto. If Home Depot put in an Expo at the San Antonio mall, actually staffed it with knowledgeable people at a reasonable level, carried a lot of stock so that people could buy things there rather than choosing things and going elsewhere to get it when they need it, then an Expo would be great there. The customer base would actually be local residents, and it would serve a need. It wouldn't even directly compete with the other local construction businesses, it might actually complement.

Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Los Altos
on Jul 29, 2006 at 7:07 pm

Home Depot is not a good fit for San Antonio Shopping Center. It will change the characteristics of the mall and the neighborhood. This is a very residential area. OSH on Charleston is a good fit for that shopping mall. Home Depot in EPA is at a good location. I don't oppose Home Depots in general, but San Antonio and El Camino is not a good location for Home Depot.

Posted by Voter
a resident of Green Acres
on Jul 29, 2006 at 7:51 pm

It's interesting to see how Concerned Neighbor promotes his holier-than-thou persona beyond his backyard.

He wasted a lot of breath on the same spiel with nothing new but shockingly had no answer on my point about Crescent Park having suffered no ill consequences from HD's presence a stone's throw away.

Heck, if he can walk to San Antonio to go to HD from his "safety, prosperity, and quality of life" in his area, then surely Crescent Park residents can walk to HD in EPA. It's debatable who will get to target destination fater. Concerned Neighbor is trying to have us believe that his "safety, prosperity, and quality of life" would be irreparbly damaged by HD's presence. Well, do you know of any Crescent Park residents who'd come out to pronounce the damage to their "safety, prosperity, and quality of life" after HD moved into their backyard? The answer is easy to find: real estate in Crescent Park is much higher today than before HD planted itself firmly in their backyard.

I mention upscale retailers and he names current tenants "Trader Joe's, Carter's, Mervyn's, Jo-Ann's fabrics, Fresh Choice, Lucky's and yes, even Walmart." Would any of these stores be accepted into Stanford Shopping Center? OK, Fresh Choice once was when it was a novelty. By the same token, would any retailer now occupying a space at Stanford Shopping Center willingly trade for a space in San Antonio Shopping Center. I know Concerned Neighbor thinks his backyard is good enough for them but, alas, upscale retailers don't think so.

Still, Green Acres real estate has appreciated and will continue to do so regardless of another HD or not. Palo Alto as a whole is an upscale neighborhood not because it lacks HDs in its backyard (when in fact there is already one, let's have another, what's the big deal???) but because of its premier Silicon Valley location and above all the outstanding school district.

Now, if NIMBY mindset continues to ruin Palo Alto by scaring away businesses, to where services need to be cut or budget shortfalls grow ever larger, and Palo Alto schools fail to impress, that'w when real estate will start to depreciate.

HomeDepot is bad for real estate, therefore deserves the NIMBY boot? It's a non sequitur.

Posted by Palo Alto Voter
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 29, 2006 at 9:06 pm

Bring on HD! Also, I believe Mt. View wants to build a five star hotel around the shoreline area too. GOOD FOR THEM! They see the need for a sound sales tax base. Palo Alto- keep building your playing fields (on prime land), forcing your hotels to close because of a few homeowners groups and having your auto dealerships close (Ford) or move (Porsche) because you have no auto row.
Sorry, got to go- off to Target in Mt. Veiw!

Posted by MV Downtown Home Owner
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 29, 2006 at 10:46 pm

My family is highly disappointed that Home Depot is insisting on being part of Mountain View in most inapropriate ways. We voted them out from the Emporium site, and we will vote them out of San Antonio for that is not a good place for construction type of business. They should have switched locations with the REI that is opening by 101 soon. Regards, Concerned Mountain View Downtown Resident who shops at San Antonio mall regularly.

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