Keep Alma Plaza as Primarily Retail
Palo Alto City Council and Planning & Transportation Commission
Neighbors of Alma Plaza
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South Palo Alto neighborhoods need this retail. Alma Plaza is one of only four neighborhood-serving retail centers in Palo Alto. There are numerous reasons to retain Alma Plaza as primarily retail space. Many people depend on walking to meet their retail needs, especially for groceries. Neighborhood retail meets this local need, encourages walking and biking, and reduces car traffic. And with significant new housing development in South Palo Alto, convenient neighborhood retail will be even more critical.
The City overall needs the tax revenue. Many South Palo Alto residents shop for groceries in Mountain View, especially after the loss of Albertsons and the All-American Market. Its of critical civic importance to provide a grocery store and other retail options to residents in Barron Park and in the projected new South Palo Alto housing developments who otherwise might spend their tax dollars in Mountain View.
Once housing, forever housing. We are very concerned about the impact that more housing in South Palo Alto will have upon our already crowded schools, streets, parks, and our financially challenged city services (police, fire, libraries, etc.). Changing present zoning to allow market-rate housing on a significant part of Alma Plaza will cost the City and the taxpayers for the long term. And this land will be lost as retail.
The primary type of retail tenant we desire at Alma Plaza is a QUALITY, AFFORDABLE grocery store. Specifically, we seek convenient shopping for high quality and reasonably priced fresh produce, dairy, and bakery goods. JJ&F, Trader Joes, and Milk Pail Market are good examples of this type of mid-size grocery store. Examples of additional retail services desired include a U.S. Post Office service, ATM, cafй/coffee shop/restaurant, dry cleaner, bakery, and sewing service (such as Jacquies Sew & Sew).
We need and value local, quality retail and are enthusiastic about patronizing new retail in our neighborhood. We maintain that the focus for any redevelopment of Alma Plaza must follow the Citys Comprehensive Plan to provide neighborhood serving retail that also benefits the tax base of the entire community.