After reading the Editorial this week about the Vintage Hills property, I'm sure I'm not the only one who drives by that center and fantasizes what they'd like to see there (or not see there). Right now, I have a couple of ideas for the big store building portion.
My mom lives in an area where she gets to shop at Lunardi's and Molly Stone grocery stores. She's always telling me about the beautiful produce she gets for a reasonable price at Lunardi's and Molly Stone as well as the good meat departments at both stores. My intuition is that Lunardi's would fare better, given that my mom mentions Lunardi's more than Molly Stone. Besides, I think Molly Stone's upscale prices are a turn-off, even to people who have the money...As is evidenced by the failure of the Molly Stone at Blackhawk. I wouldn't recommend another Ranch market because the property is in the middle of a neighborhood and the Ranch markets seem to get too busy. The same is true for Whole Foods, which I think has the same problem that Molly Stone's would have. I think Lunardi's would be the best as a neighborhood market that would draw people from around town who are drawn by hopes of finding even more good produce, good values, and good quality food.
Another idea I have is to use that building as an independent theater, like the Landmark-style theaters in San Francisco, showing independent films. We don't have anything like that here. It's just down the street from the downtown; so, we could participate in the Independent Film festival that they have in Livermore; and, people could combine a night out at a Main St. restaurant with going to the flicks. People participating in the film festival from out of town could come and stay at our historic hotels and appear at our theater just down Vineyard Ave. That would also be a fairly low-key use that shouldn't interfere with neighbors. People bringing dogs and kids to the park across the street won't have to worry about tons of traffic going in and out of there during the day. Yet both uses could be commercially; and, from the point of the movie theater, culturally viable.
That's my current fantasy for the property at Vineyard.
What's your fantasy?