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Town Square

Fitness center to replace Grant Road businesses

Original post made on Jun 27, 2013

City Council members struggled to keep a bagel shop in business as a shopping center owner proposed to replace it and several other businesses with a new fitness center aimed at serving "the upwardly mobile."

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, June 27, 2013, 11:24 AM

Comments

Posted by Deb, a resident of Whisman Station
on Jun 27, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Terrible -


Posted by Litsa, a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 27, 2013 at 1:30 pm

The city council is out of their damn minds. They are the ones ruining the fabric of Mountain View.


Posted by ChrisH, a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 27, 2013 at 1:48 pm

Rush Hour traffic on Grant Rd is a disaster as it is, one problem: Huff parents driving their kids to school, blocking lanes because of the necessary left/right turns. Fitness Centers traditionally cater to Professionals, going before and after work. Has anybody looked into the impact of these extra cars for local traffic patterns in the morning and evening?
Has anybody looked at the packed parking lots on weekends? While the Rite Aid definitely needs an upgrade, we should not lose anymore small businesses in MV.


Posted by Observer, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 27, 2013 at 1:50 pm

The city council pays to move illegal immigrants out of la Costena, but won't pay to move a business? Sounds about right.


Posted by lynn, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 27, 2013 at 1:52 pm

wow! that Rite Aide has been there for years it was a Payless attached to an Albertson's - at one time there it was a Greyhound ticket area where kids would catch the bus to go to S.F in the 60's. Shame that they couldn't upgrade the current area with the current stores.
They'll be chasing away all the seniors that sit out front of the bagel shop, closing down the Chinese restaurant and all the other nice little shops in the area.


Posted by Terry, a resident of Castro City
on Jun 27, 2013 at 2:24 pm

"for upwardly mobile, affluent clientele" with "disposable income"


Posted by mv resident, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 27, 2013 at 2:25 pm

We have two 24 hr. Fitness gyms in Mountain View and two more in Sunnyvale,and a Gold's Gym, and El Camino YMCA in Mountain View. We don't need another gym! More retail space would provide sales revenue for the city.


Posted by Jim, a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 27, 2013 at 2:40 pm

City counsel members can't help a 20 year business? I thought the purpose of being elected was to help your constituents? Maybe its just constituents who are large, wealthy property owners who "cater to the upwardly mobile"? The counsel wants to change Rose's, Pete's and now the Bagel shop? What is wrong with people sitting out doors enjoying a meal or coffee?


Posted by GG, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 27, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Why one more Fitness center..we already have some around the city...we have the YMCA who is great also why destroy all small business we need. So nice to go over there and to catch a quick lunch between shopping...the city wants only to satisfy two parties the landlord and the owner of the fitness...only money..please think about human been..the couple of the bagels place is surviving and is living with their business and they do not make a lot of. Money on it....I am so sorry to see the degradation of MV..I go every day over there and enjoy to see all those small shops....it is a life and you want to transform this place as an industry..robot...and I love to exercice but prefere to see happy people around me..stop and please reconsidere your decision...upgrade all retail spaces and parking..


Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 27, 2013 at 2:45 pm

It is not the city's job to dictate who a landlord should or should not rent to as long as it is within the city's zoning regs.


Posted by Tiny, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 27, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Our city council SUCKS! I say we ALL get off our backsides and vote every single one of them OUT!


Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 27, 2013 at 2:48 pm

ChrisH - traffic? No problem. They are gay friendly, unlike Chick-fil-a


Posted by Lydia Pena-Sherrill, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 27, 2013 at 3:06 pm

Oh,no. I stop in to the Better Bagel at least once a week. My siblings and I have been going there for YEARS. What is happening to my home town? I'm sad and disappointed that a family-run business (a well-loved one!) is being replaced by a fitness center that isn't even allowed in the current site's zoning. We have enough gyms in Mountain View. It would be a huge shame to lose this business and I pray that it can be saved.


Posted by Kathy, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 27, 2013 at 3:06 pm

I am sure the "upwardly mobile, affluent clientele" will want to work out at a strip mall.

The city can do nothing to help out a long time small business yet they are at the beck and call of Google.

Would love to see Better Bagel relocate to intersection of Sylvan and El Camino (there is space available at the old Office Bar location). We need local coffee shop in that area!


Posted by Kathy, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 27, 2013 at 3:06 pm

I am sure the "upwardly mobile, affluent clientele" will want to work out at a strip mall.

The city can do nothing to help out a long time small business yet they are at the beck and call of Google.

Would love to see Better Bagel relocate to intersection of Sylvan and El Camino (there is space available at the old Office Bar location). We need local coffee shop in that area!


Posted by In Her Own Words, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 27, 2013 at 3:06 pm

The exterior of Bryant's house is, in her own words, "badly maintained and very unpleasant."

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!


Posted by Kathy, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 27, 2013 at 3:06 pm

I am sure the "upwardly mobile, affluent clientele" will want to work out at a strip mall.

The city can do nothing to help out a long time small business yet they are at the beck and call of Google.

Would love to see Better Bagel relocate to intersection of Sylvan and El Camino (there is space available at the old Office Bar location). We need local coffee shop in that area!


Posted by Kathy, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 27, 2013 at 3:07 pm

I am sure the "upwardly mobile, affluent clientele" will want to work out at a strip mall.

The city can do nothing to help out a long time small business yet they are at the beck and call of Google.

Would love to see Better Bagel relocate to intersection of Sylvan and El Camino (there is space available at the old Office Bar location). We need local coffee shop in that area!


Posted by Chick-fil-haaay!!!, a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 27, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Every single person on the city council should be removed. This is asinine.
As some people above have mentioned. There are plenty of fitness center. Especially a if it's catering to "affluent clientele". This is Mtn. View. Not Los Gatos.
As for poster, USA. I love gay people. Even you.


Posted by Anne, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 27, 2013 at 3:40 pm

This is awful! We have tons of gyms around the area already.. Why does this gym have to be built at the expense of family-run businesses?


Posted by someone who enjoys the current fabric of our community, a resident of Waverly Park
on Jun 27, 2013 at 3:44 pm

My teenage children just shrieked at the thought of "a big fitness center catering to rich a**holes" moving there. There's a thing called the YMCA down the street. NY Pizza is VERY popular (read: safe place for teens to hang out after school). The council is willing to throw mom and pop under the bus for what, another big business, this time in a space that is not even zoned for that?

Guess my family will start eating a lot more bagels now...

Why does Jac Siegel always express reservations about a big change, and then proceed to vote in favor of it?

Who is Ronit Bryant to say what is or is not very unpleasant?

Why did John McAlister ("residents first") vote to put a small business out of business?

Mountain View used to have a lot more charm...the farm on Grant, the water tank off Bryant, the little mom and pop stores. Now it's just more big retail and big Google.


Posted by HEY! Not so fast, a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 27, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Fix this so the mom and pop don't have to give up 4 months pay. I'm pretty sure this affluent expendable income crowd can pony up 4 month's revenue to compensate them while they are shut down. 1.5x revenue for every month past that.
FIX THIS!!!


Posted by BvP, a resident of another community
on Jun 27, 2013 at 4:15 pm

USA: "It is not the city's job to dictate who a landlord should or should not rent to as long as it is within the city's zoning regs."

But from the article: "The Fitness Center is not a use allowed by the site's zoning, requiring the council to vote on a provisional use permit."

No problem. The council will simply issue the permit until they change the zoning. Oftentimes they won't allow small exemptions to home owners, but they'll change the zoning on a whim.

I'm very relieved to see so many opposed to this stupidity. This city council sucks...that's not news.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 27, 2013 at 4:42 pm

"It is our jobs (sic) to keep the fabric of Mountain View intact" - Jac Siegel.
If that is, indeed their 'jobs', I've never seen a group so pathetically incompetent at work. Unless 'fabric' is a new slang term for money...


Posted by MVmom, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 27, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Don't understand our city council and their determination to get rid of all our small businesses. That Bagel Shop and New York Pizza are some of the best places around. Is there still a possibility we may loose the other small businesses (Rose Market, Pete's, Alteration place etc.) on Castro and El Camino as well as Milk Pail Market being driven out by the developer of our new shopping mall? We should be striving to keep these places. They are what make Mountain View unique. Why do we need another huge gym? I am so disappointed in you council members and in myself for voting for some of you. Not happy with a lot of your actions lately.


Posted by OMV Resident, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 27, 2013 at 5:04 pm

I'm not going to weigh in on the decision to allow or dis-allow the fitness center, but I will say that I agree whole-heartedly that the side of that building facing Pamela Drive needs to be improved. I walk there frequently from Old Mountain View (taking Phyllis to Pamela) and that little stretch along the back of the Rite Aid is about the worst part of the walk. The building and sidewalk are dirty, the lighting is poor, the trees are overgrown, and there are often RVs/campers parked on that stretch where people appear to be living in their vehicles. That area definitely needs some improvements!


Posted by S. L., a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Jun 27, 2013 at 5:11 pm

S. L. is a registered user.

An UNBIASED Traffic IMPACT study!! Where's the council's interest towards that!?

Grant traffic conditions and the ridiculous "traffic management cameras" installed a few years back are examples of terrible execution by our city "leaders". When in session, the vehicular traffic feeding into Huff Elementary (Phyllis/Martens Ave. - located near the shopping center) traffic 2x daily M-F is legendary. Continue onwards down to the hospital or MVHS and enjoy the lengthy bumper to bumper drive.

Squeeze out mom and pop stores and make conditions more congested and miserable for Mountain View residents while making concessions for big business interests: Way to go MV Council!!


Posted by the_punnisher, a resident of Whisman Station
on Jun 27, 2013 at 5:25 pm

" Do as I say, not as I do " seems to apply when history and common sense is needed vs $$$ waved in front of your government chairwarmers..

The fact that you MUST CHANGE ZONING means LIARS AND CHEATS run Mountain View these days!

I think that too many chairwarmers at City Hall have too much " disposable income ". You TAXPAYERS need to fix that....


Posted by John, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jun 27, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Where is the charm of small shops? Your are eliminating the places that seniors can readily reach. Without RiteAid, I will have to go to Los Altos for all my needs. Grant Road makes it difficult to go all the way to the Riteaid in Sunnyvale. Too many bad experiences at CVS.
Big money seems to be the only thing that is important.

We always avoid Grant Road and come in the back way because of all the backups. Wait until school starts again . No school buses means most students will be driven to school.

PLEASE don't do this.


Posted by City Crier, a resident of another community
on Jun 27, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Looks like there might be another zoning change at the Americana Shopping Plaza (TJ Maxx to replace Lucky?)

Web Link


Posted by Weatherman, a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2013 at 12:07 am

I think I'm seeing a trend in these comments. The city we loved and supported, and that supported us is being "developed" in ways we fund undesirable.

Who profits from this? MV residents? Outsiders?

It seems that businesses (groceries, a drug store, dining places, etc.) that are convenient for many people are being removed, with no suitable replacement being provided. Those of us with limited means and limited ranges of travel will have to use more resources to accomplish what we now can do locally.


Posted by Eric, a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2013 at 1:00 am

Google must want it.


Posted by Judy, a resident of St. Francis Acres
on Jun 28, 2013 at 8:16 am

Small businesses are one of the things that make a town exciting. Keep the Bagel Shop and Rose Market in Mountain View.


Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2013 at 9:02 am

How about getting a food truck with tent for a seating area? Just need to set it up for 4 months. With all these high density units would think the residents would love to see Bagel Shop, Rose Market, Milk Pail, True Value and all those little businesses. Just right out the front door.

Yes the owner could get a large retailer needing frontage on Grant Rd. Something about that car door to store door without any other businesses to draw you away.

That was the fun thing about Payless/Rite Aid was those small businesses in a corridor. I think we do better then a gym but then we could do worse. How about a Wal Mart grocery store.


Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2013 at 9:11 am

Meant to say towards the end. We could do better then a gym.

The other thing about traffic, haven't ever seen large traffic jams around fitness centers.


Posted by Rodger, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 28, 2013 at 11:58 am

We need Rite Aid, we don't need a fitness center in a shopping mall. There was no need to change the zoning to allow this, it's silly. Let's back up and start over the idea that a third grocery store would locate here sounds like an empty threat. Let's get proof before we make this change


Posted by City Crier, a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2013 at 12:55 pm

@Roger - if there is such a "threat" of a 3rd grocery store, why is there talk of replacing Lucky by a TJ Maxx on the other side of 85?

Web Link


Posted by Donna, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 28, 2013 at 3:21 pm

How sad to see more small businesses be replaced by large chain stores. Maybe we should change MV name too.


Posted by Watch it dissappear , a resident of Jackson Park
on Jun 29, 2013 at 5:55 am

Why do I get the feeling that this gym will have a Chinese focus with English language being secondary? There is a trend going on in that direction in that shopping center if anyone has noticed.


Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Jun 29, 2013 at 5:57 am

Rite Aid which nearly went bankrupt in 2012 has been closing stores to reduce their debt. Rite Aid is the 3rd largest drug store in the US, behind Walgreens and CVS. Wal Mart, Costco, and Safeway have taken customers away.

The owner of the shopping center should find a way to keep the bagel shop open or the gym customers should learn to use that corridor. Why every business needs to face a parking lot is beyond me.


Posted by dc, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 29, 2013 at 8:22 am

Land is privately owned Zoned for retail The city can only object to changing it to a gym. Saving a store front 12 x 40 is a nice thought but small change to a multimillion dollar deal. How can rite aid even stay open? Yes the parking will be bad once 100 cars are added.


Posted by dc, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 29, 2013 at 8:34 am

TJ Max at the Lucky store? Just a block down is an old Sunnyvale rite aid lot waiting for retail to move in. (Better foot traffic) Maybe the Gym should take over Luckys?


Posted by letsgetreal, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 29, 2013 at 10:57 am

Does the city council read this blog? Is the city council just saying "screw all of you, we know better"? This is unbelievable!! I'm from Mountain View, you know, the place that use to be so charming...


Posted by Taxpayer, a resident of another community
on Jun 29, 2013 at 3:18 pm

I don't see so much wrong with switching out Rite Aid for a Gym. The Gym is not what is displacing the bagel shop. It's the desire for the frontage of the Rite Aid space to increase, however it is used. The parking lot there is 50% empty if you just look at the back. None of the existing businesses have a door that opens to the back and if there's a Gym there with a door, surely people will park in the back, for the first time. There is a loading dock for Rite Aid, a very large one. Surely the Gym won't need one. You can put windows in concrete walls. For example, the loading docks need to be reconstructed away anyway, and you could just replace the roll up doors with large windows. The key thing is the door.

I don't understand why the don't just remodel the former garden area right away, so that it can be ready before the Rite Aid moves out. Probably Rite Aid would object, I guess. Anyway, it would make a good spot for the Bagel place.


Posted by citizen, a resident of another community
on Jun 29, 2013 at 11:17 pm

Its all about money. The Fitness Center will be paying more for the Rite Aid location than what Rite Aid wants to pay. Good Bye Rite Aid. Too bad. The Plaza is surrounded by senior living apartments and need a good pharmacy. New York Pizza will move next to Una Mas. Guess what... they will be paying more money for that location.
Parking in the back of the Plaza is too dangerous. Tons of homeless people sleeping back there.
Better Bagel staff and their clientel are like family. Everybody knows each other.

No Rite Aid, No Bagel Shop...Looks like I won't be visiting that area anymore. Hope the landlord rots in hell.


Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Jun 30, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Rite Aid doesn't want a increase in rent while other businesses have seen their rents rise. The owner of shopping center has paid for up grades and is trying to find places for the tenants. The space where Rite Aid has one big design flaw. That I'd no frontage along Grant Rd, interior space.

A gym, I have seen many with rear entrances and in places that are hard to fill.


Posted by Rainbow, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 1, 2013 at 8:11 am

Closing Rite Aid would leave Walgreens with its smaller inventory as the only general merchandise store for a large area. Traffic, which is already at gridlock, would increase because upscale clients won't use public transportation to get to the gym. The area isn't upscale, there are quite a few gyms in the area, and many companies have their own gyms. This isn't a good fit for this community - a bowling alley that provides family entertainment would be a better fit. The garden area of Rite Aid is large enough for both Better Bagel and NY Pizza. With a shared seating area and restrooms, the cost of construction, rent and utilities would be reduced for both stores. There would be room for an outdoor eating area also for the enjoyment of all including customers who have dogs.

The fact that this proposal requires re-zoning seems to indicate this is far more beneficial to the shopping center and gym owners than for the people who live in the community. The fabric of the community is being shredded by Mountain View City Council's poor decisions.

The decision to re-zone will adversly impact a large number of people and may lead to more inappropriate re-zoning decisions. The City Council needs to seriously reconsider the options.


Posted by incognito, a resident of Waverly Park
on Jul 1, 2013 at 10:51 pm

Rainbow, would you please run for City Council? You make a lot of good points. Your foresight and common sense is much needed.


Posted by NoToGentrification, a resident of another community
on Jul 2, 2013 at 3:52 pm

How many more of these fitness things does the area need? Do people really need them to the point that they are popping up all over?

I'm not surprised that Rite Aid would leave the site as it is very large compared to newer, more focused Rite Aid locations.

Sad to see Rite Aid go, and a grocery would normally be many times preferable to another fitness thing that takes up huge space and only a small segment uses.....but in this case a fitness thing is preferable to a grocery with two already in the same center. Probably the best option is to tear down the Rite Aid and Marshall's building and put in a new one that isn't so out moded and could be configured for more attractive businesses.


Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Jul 3, 2013 at 11:53 am

We can't decide what retailers or services people want to see, provide or even use. Gyms are a popular, having a good gym nearby is a plus, having a great one is better.

Retail market has changed, they are all struggling to maintain shares in the market, even grocery stores. T.J.Maxx which is trying for the Lucky's site owns Home Goods, soft goods selling.

We have lots of Apartments going up, people are going to need to buy stuff. Maybe Home Goods should switch we Club Sport in sites.


Posted by DC, a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jul 5, 2013 at 11:20 pm

I forgot the main reason the city likes redevelopment. New property Tax base (prop 13). New rent rates and higher sales tax if all goes well. Just recall how long it took the old Hardware store, book store, Batting cage, Circuit city and now Nob Hill took to Develop. (Nob Hill almost went under)