Editorial: For now, a required 'public benefit' slips away
Original post made on Mar 29, 2013
Read the full editorial here Web Link posted Friday, March 29, 2013, 12:00 AM
on Mar 29, 2013 at 6:34 am
The editor seems intent on laying the blame for this fiasco on the developer, John McNellis.
They state that after buying the center in 2005 he withstood numerous efforts by neighbors and city officials to create an upgraded neighborhood-serving retail center with a decent-sized grocery store.
It is not until the end that you find out that in 2003, Albertsons offered a plan that included an enlarged store, and rebuilding the center's retail area. What happened??? the city council did not go along. Why???? The Weekly does not tell us, but shift back to blaming McNellis
The editors skip the rest of the story--Albertsons got fed up and sold the center to McNellis with a clause limiting the size of any new store that would be built.
So isn't the City Council to blame? Do not forget the Charleston Road moratorium that was decided on by the council in the dead of night, even though it was not on the meeting agenda. That was also a nail in the coffin of Alma Plaza.
on Mar 29, 2013 at 6:45 am
The biggest issue with Miki's is that unless you live in the complex itself, you will drive there. There won't be enough business to sustain a store like Miki's as a walk-in location.
The second biggest issue is size-- we now know, based on success and failure of other grocery stores, that a full-service grocery store needs 24,000 square feet.
The third issue though was the business plan. The owner sounds like a great manager, but, it usually takes two years to establish a new business firmly. With only six months of operating expenses in the bank, it was a pretty big gamble from the start.
on Mar 29, 2013 at 8:12 am
My take is that I blame the City and the NIMBY attitude of several local residents.
The City should lead, take note from the people but not the vocal minority. There should have been surveys of all local residents and market research, not just listening to who was making the most noise.
The City needs to reach out to the community to hear what we think. We can't all spend hours on Monday evenings waiting for the opportunity to give a couple of minutes opinion. We can't all be expected to come to a one time community outreach meeting on a midweek evening. But, we can be reached by telephone surveys and mail surveys, and these would reach everyone within a proposed catchment area to a proposed development.
Rather than spending money on experts, spend the money on old fashioned market research by those who are expert in surveying the public.