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on Jul 8, 2009
YES! I would like to see this retail area updated and developed. It is long overdue. Since the closing of Mayfield Mall, Sunnyvale Town Center, and the downfall of Cupertino Square (Vallco Shopping Center), a modern shopping center is needed to serve Mountain View and Sunnyvale residents. I am in favor of a pedestrian friendly outdoor mall.
This sounds much nicer than Home Depot and the existing set up. Like the pedestrian friendly idea.
"the closing of Mayfield Mall, Sunnyvale Town Center, and the downfall of Cupertino Square (Vallco Shopping Center)" ... umm maybe that is a sign that we do not need and cannot support yet another shopping center?
"We would like to put the buildings up to the street and make it a more pedestrian-friendly area" -- Developer-speak for "we are going to squeeze every dollar out of the property even if it turns El Camino into a concrete canyon.
BTW, how does putting the building up to the street make the property more pedestrian friendly? No matter that is built there, walking along El Camino will never be pleasant.
MVer -- Wasn't the rallying cry against Home Depot that it would create too much traffic? I imagine that adding retail space and cutting parking would make traffic worse, don't you think? Besides we have more illegals hanging out on El Camino at San Antonio than any Home Depot ever had.
It currently is a concrete jungle. Ever tried to walk across that vast parking lot? I think if there were pathways then people would be able to move from shop to shop More freely without having to drive and repark. I am for any redevelopment of that outdated eyesore. Home Depot would just perpetuate the current ugly box store environment there now. Unlike Vallco and Sunnyvale, this center does attract shoppers despite its clumsy layout so I don't see the risks in making it modern and attractive. Maybe we need to see the plans though before we hash it out too much on here.
Don't close the Sears! I love the Lands's End and also have been an avid shopper in recent years. The rest is okay with me!
USA - what does a plan to modernize an outdated shopping center have to do with legal vs. illegal residents?
" ... umm maybe that is a sign that we do not need and cannot support yet another shopping center?"
San Antonio is an existing shopping center. A plan to improve it and make it more pedestrian friendly is welcome news. The rallying cry against Home Depot was that it wasn't the type of store that our neighborhood needs or wants. It didn't make any sense either. The Home Depot in East Palo Alto is not that far away.
"Kohl's (which replaced the bankrupted Mervyns) "
Is this for sure? The Mervyn's site still looks vacant to me.
I was pleased to see that a new shoe store has reopened beside the Sport's Authority. That new shoe store is within the area described in the article.
We do need a Starbucks in the neighborhood, but Quizno's is already located directly across San Antonio next to Rasputin Records.
Trader Joe's and Daiso could definitely use some more parking. A garage is a good idea for this site. Hopefully San Antonio LLC would help fund that with a reciprocal use agreement.
Any chance we can see those "conceptual drawings" somewhere?
USA: #1 The problem with Home Depot was the TYPE of traffic it would have added - trucks - as well as the amount. #2 Buildings at the sidewalk are obviously pedestrian-friendly because you don't have to cross a parking lot to get to them. #3 Dayworkers ("illegals") hang around Fresh Choice and other open parking lots. Building to the street will further discourage them from SA Center, where I've seldom seen them. I think most of us in the San Antonio neighborhood will be happy with the changes proposed.
BTW, Sears as a whole is in trouble and may not be in business much longer. I'll miss that store, too, but better something than nothing.
Thanks for reminding me. I've uploaded a couple images into the story.
Quizno's across the street from the shopping center is shuttered for failure to pay the lease according to the notice on the door I saw over the weekend.
There is a sign on the Mervyn's building saying that a Kohl's will open in the fall - September I think.
Looks great to me! Can't wait to enjoy a coffee and croissant under one of those yellow umbrellas.
Any improvement to San Antonio Shopping Center is a plus. Thankfully Home Depot is not part of the picture any longer, thanks to the MV City Council.
As far as comparing this to Vallco, that project has been mis-managed for years, it used to be a nice mall but no longer. If a shopping center is well managed and has the right mix it will do well.
I hope a local coffee business opens a cafe, not Starbucks. Would be cool for Clocktower, Red Rock, Neto or Dana Street to open another location...support local business owners!!
The flat facades facing the streets are overwhelming and unattractive. Would like to see stepbacks with many plants. Surely the architects/designers can and will do better.
I love Sears and LandsEnd,loosing them would be a loss. Some grass and flowrs like Stanford Shopping Center has would be lovely. no more cement please. And parking garages are scarry.
Sears, if it survives, could be in the new development. I don't understand what the bridge is going to cross, San Antonio?
Love this plan! I would actually see myself hanging out here, unlike the current center which looks, well, totally run down and ghetto! Here's hoping this all happens and we have a really cool shopping destination in Mountain View.
I agree with Windowman; it looks like another blocky Santana Row - hideous. I guess they're replacing an old, run-down eyesore with a new, modern eyesore.
This plan looks very promising. It is exactly why we fought so hard against the Home Depot idea. Home Depot would have been a repeat of the typical failing suburban design: huge parking lot surrounding a huge building. This plan moves the cars to where they belong inside a garage away from the pedestrians.
ka - the pedestrian bridge goes across the entrance driveway which is above the Hetch-Hetchy aqueduct.
This is an important development to both Mtn. View and Los Altos, and I hope that a lot of consideration is given it. If the best of Santana Row, Stanford Shopping Center, downtown Los Gatos and Burlingame can be taken into consideration, we might have a winner.
Instead of palm trees, how about some substantial shade trees? And solar pv panels on the rooftops?
Keep Building! Keep building !!
Below is what I take issue with...
"There will probably be a grocery store, some service retail, boutique shops," he said. There will be "actual restaurants" along with some smaller food retail, like Quiznos or Starbucks. But he noted that so far, "We don't have tenants lined up."
OK Mountain View already has its fair share of grocery stores. We do not need any more. Trader Joe's is already at the Center, but no more grocery stores needed. WE have THREE Safeway stores in the city already, along with Ranch 99, Nob Hill---you get the picture.
Also I am old enough to remember the Mayfield Mall as I used to hang out there as a teenager and in my 20's. Then I hung out at The Old Mill, then Sunnyvale Town Center when the Mayfield Mall closed down. And all three are closed down. Driving and shopping at Vallco Mall does not appeal to me as a Mtn. Viewer. So what do we have left; San Antonio Shopping Center. I rememeber how that center looked in the late 60's and early 70's, BEFORE the first remodel. When that remodel happened, there was no way to DRIVE THRU the center. Now whomever thought of that idea was stupid. Then the center was remodelled again to what it looks like today. At least you can drive thru the center. One thing for certain, I hope Lucky restaurant stays at the center; The lunch crowd finds its way there, and so do I.
Also Kohl's will open up at the center where Mervyn's was in late September---per what the sign says.
"---totally run down and ghetto!" "---run-down eyesore!" Comment like that must come from spoiled crybabies that cannot shop in plain buildings or drugies that see holes in the floor, walls, and ceilings of the buildings.
We tare down good buildings while claiming to be green. I just watched a PBS program showing forest in Africa being over logged (legally and illegally) to satisfy the western greenies to replace eyesores with fancy agricultural convoluted wasteful structures. The forest destruction around the world is contributing one-fifth of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.
It is better to get ride of eyesores so that we can destroy the world we live in. Level the Old mill, level the Mayfield/HP building, and level the San Antonio center for a "GREEN" Mountain View.
Grocery store? Didn't Albertson's already fail in that area?
I agree with the person who posted "no more palm trees"! And I'd like to see a mix of housing units (affordable and not-so-affordable) built in to the project somehow. That's part of what makes Santana Row "work" - they have people actually living there that frequent the restaurants. (Obviously the people with the affordable housing units might not be doing that, but it is close to several bus lines, which is good). If that's part of the plan it's not obvious.
For housing they could pull Target, Safeway over and extend the residential portion of California Ave up a few blocks. I don't think the Santana Row model of housing/retail shared space works outside of the upscale, luxury setting. No one wants to live above grocery stores and Quiznos.
Wanna bet there won't be enough parking and we'll need to drive around looking for spots? The main reason I go to the current San Antonio Center is that it's so easy to get in & out and park.
Has any shopping center built in the last 25 years had enough parking? Santana Row is usually a big hassle.
"I don't think the Santana Row model of housing/retail shared space works outside of the upscale, luxury setting. No one wants to live above grocery stores and Quiznos."
That's quite a suburban and limited worldview. In our country's most livable cities and newer suburbs, mixed use of housing above shops is being included in developments of all income levels. And doing well, because people like the convenience and the vitality of having destinations within a short walk of their homes.
For a recent, nearby example of housing above smaller shops NOT in an upscale Santana Row-like context, check out the Avalon Apartments on The Alameda in San Jose, or the North Park Apartments in north San Jose -- both of which include a Quiznos below residential. Or how about Park Place Apartments on Castro Street -- a little upscale (rental rates) but nothing like Santana Row.
Recent, nearby examples of housing above grocery stores:
The 88 (condos) above a soon-to-open small-format Safeway in San Jose, and the condos above the Safeway directly across from the Caltrain station in San Francisco. These are both higher-rise developments -- we could only get these done in Mountain View with some real vision -- but they disprove your assertion that "No one wants to live above grocery stores."
In a housing crunch, people will live where they can. I accept that truth. But why not offer something better here when there exists better alternatives? In this area, I am just suggesting that they move Target and Safeway to the Sears location then build the housing over on those lots which are closer to established residential communities. Mountain View is a much smaller city than San Jose, and dare I say more "suburban" ( which is not a negative word to me) too. I think it would be out of character for MV to adopt these more urbanized mixed use communities. Besides San Antonio Center is just a short walk from the apartments on CA Ave.
I'd like to see mixed use with housing in the mix. It is the perfect location for very high density housing. It is near Caltrain, along a major bus route (22/522), and near groceries and retail. The Avalon tower is a good example of very high density in that area. I'd personally consider living there.
I what i see, more setback would be great, sidewalk cafes, would like to see more of a connection with the rest of the center, but then again this is just a pic of one idea. Anyway much better then what is there now. I remember the Co-op Food Store.
Why not at least leave the Sears building? I agree that change must occur, but I am so sick and tired of city councils not caring about preserving anything ... unless there is enough of an outcry from the public. The Sears building is a landmark.
Same for that brown shopping ceter sign on the corner.
City Councils only care about their own special interests; often times not even soliciting a wider range of opinions/critiques from the public, many of whom are people who voted each member in.
I am just so tired of people not caring ... we saw it with the Grant Road open space, and now the endamngered status's of both this and Palo Alto Bowl!
Gobble Gobble Gobble, all the above comments are worthless self serving crap. The bottom line here is that the developer who took
this project on is about to work with the stupidest, most inconsistant,idoitic, non-compliant bunch of Council Members ever
assebled to represent a City. Particularly, Macias, Segal, and Bryant.
They will Bankrupt him trying to ply their surreal expectations on him just like all the other developers appying to Mt. View. They will suck him dry as they try to understand their own meaningless interests, like "not being invited on a tour" or express their view of habitability, livability and sustainabilty to which they themselves cannot opinionate clealy. I give him 3 years before he goes belly up.
I think the Sears building is a keeper too. Love the sparkling sidewalks!
I love the concept. I especially love the pedestrian walkway. I would like to see native CA trees used. No more palm trees! How about Manzanita? Red bark, green leaves, low water usage. Solar arrays on the rooftops, too, would be great to offset energy usage. Electric car plug-ins. I really would love to see more independent shops and restaurants, similar to Castro so there's a community feeling, not a going to the "mall" feeling.
I agre with developers underlying point ... that the council is really bad. If you read in between the lies, he agrees with my last post.
City councils, including ours, need to wake up. Quit being selfish.
And lemme just add that back in the day, before Wal-Mart used its evil powers to destroy things, there was more of a community feeling. We need to bring that back.
And not let just a handful of selfsh, special interest-serving enablers in city hall decide the centers fate.
Im with you "HOPE". Let the Sears Bldg. and sparkled sidewalks remain. We need to preserve the history of Mountain View. I'm a lover of old architecture. This is a very unique bldg which makes a statement of the period in which it was built and designed. It's an icon. I am sure it can be integrated into the design of the new shopping center.
The building should really be considered for historic landmark status.
Meets the criteria.
Sears as a historic landmark? That is crazy talk. We'll wind up with an empty, useless shopping center like Edgewood Plaza in Palo Alto. Daniel, are you sure you aren't from Palo Alto? Our City Council has been doing a great job lately.
Ask for sparkling sidewalks in the new development. Those won't be very hard to recreate. Sidewalks in cold climates get that same effect when the frost hits in the winter. Walking around the Sears always reminds me of that.
It sounds like the majority of the comments here don't want palm trees like the ones that already exist within the eaves of the Sears building. However, no palm trees means that In'N Out Burger won't be allowed. Bummer.
What makes the Sears building a ladmark, we cannot save everything, beside where were you when the big Globe went, what about the Castro home, i can name a bunch of stuff, but sometimes progess can be good or bad, in this case i think most people wont miss the Sears store, will miss the Grant Rd farm do miss the Bug Globe, someone bring back.
I am from MV ... many city councils are developer-friendly, to be blunt. The Sears building is a unique, historical piece of architecture. It is a standing reminder of a glorious time; it is where this city came from; it is a reminder of what once; its spirit is a reminder of simple times; of what can be again. We must preserve history ... if we take the time to knit-pick what we want to save based on personal interest, then what does that really say? More things in this city and others have sadly been destroyed than saved; it is in the best interest of this and future generations that all remaining living pieces of history be saved.
True, some progress is good; but, to what extent? Sadly, much of society has been conditioned to believe that all development is good, even if that conditioning has been on more of a subconcious level.
We must realize this; we have to speak out.
City councils "are" full of special-interest-serving politicians; not all members are like this, but there are sadly enough to affect destiny.
Sorry I really think the Sears building is ugly. However I agree that it is very wasteful and environmentally damaging to smash and trash existing architecture. Maybe they could just spruce it up, get a more updated 'Sears' sign, and add some landscaping around it.
Like how it originally looked.
Just because some people might think a structure is unattractive doesn't mean that it's any less historically significant and should be torn down. If that were the case, then why preserve hotels from the early part of last century? I know people that don't think they're terribly attractive buildings.
In a fair America, more people would care about preserving history; instead, we demolish buildikngs and pave over battlefields, Naive American land and open space/farmland. The MV City Council is doing a great job? That's a laugh. Their only real legacy is approving more and more housing.
We need to start caring about our cities and their well-being, and not just us in the present day.
Anyone that thinks Sears would be part of a new development there should put down the crack pipe immediately. I'm told that, for example, the rents at the new Best Buy center are something like 3-5x what a Sears-type store would ever pay.
Daniel - you're running into a debate that's going to become increasingly common as millions of post-WWII sprawl structures like Sears hit the "50 years or older" threshold for landmark status
From a historic preservation perspective, Sears is a good example of 1950s architecture. From an environmental sustainability and city planning perspective, Sears is a terrible example of urban form. Sometimes planning and preservation are good partners, but in an era when it's becoming increasingly clear that we need to get people out of their cars and on to their feet, bikes, and in transit, a one-story 1950s big box store surrounded by a sea of lifeless parking lots is the last thing you want to preserve.
Sure, I have found memories of MV's Sears. I like the building (it's not unique though - there's one just like it in Hayward). A creative architect might see some inspiration in elements of its 1950s-facade (the palms poking through the awning at the corners, for example) and try to incorporate them into the new buildings. Advocating for something along those lines would probably gain more traction than calling for whole-sale preservation. As a gateway and mass-transit node, the location is ripe to become a mixed use development that welcomes people to stroll, shop, dine, and yes, live in. This early proposal seems to be on the right track and I'm eager to watch it progress.
(...I'm all for keeping the sparkles in the sidewalks though, that'd be an easy and cool homage to the site's past.)
I didn't mean unique in the sense that it's the only one left, but in the sense that it's one of the last few. Sorry for the confusion.
And the structure itself could be preserved, perhaps with a few minor changes to insure its long-term preservation; that's part of my main underlying point. I'm not referring to the parking lots; just based on common sense, it wouldn't "make" sense to leave those totally empty.
Preserving the building with minor changes and even new tenants/restaurants ... it says so much.
"So", Daniel-- nobody's building anything there unless they can achieve income like they did on Charleston.
How about getting Safeway to move from Cal Ave into a new bigger location and being able to give us the type of store in Redwood City or Menlo Park. I would love a full service supermarket with space to buy coffee/lunch and able to sit and eat before buying groceries. I would love a much bigger store with a better wine selection, better deli with more hot and cold choices and a better cheese selection and more imported food choices and ... well you get the idea.
The old Safeway location could then be used for ... well more housing since it is near the Caltrain station.
Anyone have old pictures of downtown and San Antonio area Mountain View, please post them online. I have great memories of Mayfield Mall, as a kid, waiting in the parking lot and looking at Old Mill across the road, then the old San Antonio Center, before Wal-Mart and the 'big remodel'.
What is actually more common now in City Councils along the Peninsula (and Mountain View is no exception) is not developer-friendly politicians, but No-Growth "I Got Mine" politicians that represent older people in aging communities. They believe that it is not in the interests of existing residents to have any growth in the community, and who like things the way they are. That keeps housing prices going up and traffic down. Unfortunately it also means keeping out younger couples and families, and pushes growth out into the Central Valley and lengthens commutes and increases carbon emissions. Why do you think that Menlo Park and Palo Alto still have run down sections of El Camino with tons of vacant properties, when that should be prime real estate?
When will this project start. Cannot wait, its much needed. Not enough garbage bins/recycle bins. There's trash in the bushes, on the streets, near the recycle area, walmart. (people throw the burger king garbage at the parking lot, hangers from walmart etc).
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