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by Tango , Vineyard Avenue,
on Oct 6, 2011
I think that the market morphed into a fence.
Is there a Zelda joke about the market?
Without directly answering your question I recently had an enlightening conversation about the property that may provide some insight into the delay. My discussion was with a very successful store owner as I asked him why he didn't jump at the location.
First, the place is too big for a small expanding store and too little for an established store. Although the demographics of the surrounding area seem ideal in terms of income level and density, there may not be the raw numbers to keep people coming through the door. One look at Main Street and the point is illustrated beautifully. Next, with margins low in the grocery business, they have to have a very, very large through-put level to make it work. Having a prosperous neighborhood doesn't mean that when the essentials are needed a fast trip to Raley's or Safeway is not a better bet. There goes the numbers again. High prices aren't the answer, nor is niche specialty necessarily. Ohhh, everybody luuuvs organic food. Well, as I understand it that's not true. They may love to have a go at some lactose free coconut juice but again a fast trip to Safeway gets the same thing for less. Trader Joe's you say. Hummm ... right by the freeway, a name recognized brand established in highly populated and dense urban neighborhoods prior to expansion into the burbs.
Anyway ... I'm no expert. I would love to bounce down and grab some half-and-half for my morning coffee, okay through in some bagels. But, at least these could be some reasons for at least the slowness.
??? Just a thought ???
Stop by Ally's coffee shop in that shopping center - she told me it had been approved.
The real reason is the absentee owners demand unreal rents for a place that they kept as a total dump/ fire hazard for 10+ years - they just recently did the bare minimum to keep it legal. They have had numerous offers over the years, but cannot "come to terms" with anyone, because they won't accept a market value offer. I am shocked the City of Pleasanton has allowed this white elephant to exist for all this time.
This was posted in the Pleasanton Weekly early September regarding the anchor store, "New Leaf":
Grocery shopping for those home-cooked meals this Labor Day weekend couldn't get much better in Pleasanton where nine supermarkets are vying for customers and more are coming. Safeway will open its new Lifestyle supermarket Nov. 17 at Bernal and Valley avenues, next to I-680 and across from the Fairgrounds, adding another store to the Safeway market at Santa Rita Road and Valley. Wal-Mart is seeking a Pleasanton city permit to open one of its new "Neighborhood Market" grocery stores in the vacant 33,000-square-foot supermarket space once occupied by Nob Hill. This week, Santa Cruz-based New Leaf Community Market announced it plans to open its first East Bay store in the long-empty old Romley's supermarket in the Vintage Hills shopping center.
And from their website:
The New Leaf Story
Scott Roseman came to Santa Cruz in 1977 to attend UCSC. While a student, he joined Our Neighborhood Food Co-op, located on the Westside of Santa Cruz. In the summer of 1984, about three years after he was hired onto the Co-op staff, Scott was diagnosed with leukemia. It took a year to go through the necessary treatment, but towards the end of that year, as the Co-op was floundering, he made an offer to purchase its assets. An agreement was reached that included a process for the store to repurchase Co-op members’ shares through a discount, and on October 20, 1985, the Westside Community Market opened.
The original 3000 sq. ft. store was located on Ingalls Street, in a warehouse building in a mixed residential/light industrial area. With a focus on offering great organic produce and supporting the community, Westside Community Market grew sales. In 1989, Rex Stewart, who had been operating a consulting business for natural foods stores, joined with Scott to begin planning the move and expansion of the business. In May of 1990, Westside Community Market on Ingalls Street closed its doors and three days later, New Leaf Community Markets opened two blocks away on Mission St., more than doubling its size. 19 years later, the store moved back to Ingalls Street, to a new building, three times larger. Now with six stores, Scott and Rex continue to work together and grow New Leaf with innovation, community giving and the best selection of local and organic food on the Central Coast.
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