Town Square

Downtown Pleasanton needs our help

Original post made by Jeb Bing, editor of the Pleasanton Weekly, on Jan 14, 2011

We keep hearing that the recession is on the wane. To measure the sales reports of several of the major department store chains, holiday sales were indeed favorable. Business also picked up in downtown Pleasanton, but not by much and only at certain stores. Others didn't make it, including the Stork's Nest and Euphoria. The once popular Thriving Ink and Your Stage Toys closed their retail outlets earlier.

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Posted by Stop the hypocrisy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 14, 2011 at 11:18 pm

I find the idea of 800 high-density, low-income sudsidized units added in Hacienda, a truly terrifying concept ! Stop, overturn, that is the most twisted thing I've heard about destroying Pleasanton. Anything that stupid, certainly couldn't have come from anybody who cares about Pleasanton. Don't tell me there are hypocrites among us !

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Posted by mellow fellow
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2011 at 11:10 am

I remember talking to the Hospice group before they vacated. The landlord had raised their rent to $20,000 a month. So, it seems the problem are the landlords who gouge their renters. S/he rents to other gougers (banks) and everyone is making money ... oh, except for the ambiance of Main Street.

One other note. I just ate lunch at a Main Street restaurant. $80 for wine and appetizers. I don't know if that's a rent thing, but it's not something I can support regularly.

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Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2011 at 5:57 pm

"I remember talking to the Hospice group before they vacated. The landlord had raised their rent to $20,000 a month."
WHAT are you smoking?!? I knew the now deceased landlord and the manager of Hospice. The rent was $4,000 per month for 2,000 sq feet, which was half what he could have gotten and one third or less of what other landlords were charging.
Yes, there are some very greedy landlords in town, just look at where the vacancies are. But don't throw around ridiculous numbers when you have no clue about the actual truth.

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Posted by Here we go again
a resident of Downtown
on Jan 16, 2011 at 9:11 am

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Until the city puts together a marketing plan with money behind it that includes acquiring land etc... NOTHING will change downtown. 3 property owners dominate ownership of downtown area real estate, and own the properties at such low cost that can afford to wait for someone who will to pay the much higher than market rates or simply leave them empty. Without building and property ownership we can wish all we want for what might or could happen. Reality is it won't.

Livermore's downtown revitalization happened because it developed a master plan that included acquiring property, cooperating with developers and provided incentives and advantages to new business being recruited to the area.

Pleasanton has never nor will liely ever has ever have such a plan. Unfortunatly Mainstreet will remain as is or continue to decline until such time as a master plan with budget behind it exists.

It is a joke that we spend any money from an economic vitality committee working to bring new businesses downtown because they have no power since the city doesn't control the properties.

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Posted by resident
a resident of Grey Eagle Estates
on Jan 16, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Pleasanton has a no growth Mayor and City Council. Main Street died a long time ago. The resaturants are inconsistent and mostly mediocre, parking is not always available,and "historic building" means run down and architecturally insignificant. What Pleasanton downtown needs is significant re-development. I am afraid that like the rest of California, Pleasanton has seen it's best days.

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Posted by Just Shop in Livermore
a resident of Birdland
on Jan 18, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Sorry, but it's true! Their main street is thriving and lively because it's not full of used clothing shops and overpriced restaurants. When Main St. Pleasantonlooked like a ghost town this past weekend, Livermore's was hopping. And there's a movie theater at one end! Can you imagine?! I want to keep the money here, but there's only a handful of places that I frequent. Tully's, Cafe Main, Gourmet Works, Hi Tech Burrito....that's pretty much it sad to say.

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Posted by R Lou
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jan 18, 2011 at 6:02 pm

To Just shop in Livermore, You should walk to the north end of Main street. There you will find Towncenter Books, Clover Creek home decore, Sincerely Yours Cards and Gifts, Ricks Pics also plenty of parking and a nice Park on Peters Ave. I was on Main Street Saturday afternoon and there were Happy people walking all around town.

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Posted by Reality Check
a resident of Downtown
on Jan 19, 2011 at 8:35 am

Walked downtown yesterday at lunchtime. Literally a ghost town feel. Has anyone looked at how many run down old empty buildings that are vacant? I spotted at least 10 spaces not including Domus and the empty lot that used to be a bar. Those buildings have been owned by the same ownwers for long enough that they don't mind them sitting empty until someone willing to pay the inflated rates for sub standard spaces comes along. Even though the old Koln building is finished and occupied by a bank, it looked sterile and empty and has lost its charm. No one ever mentions The Wine Steward, but it is has been here for over 10 years and seems to be ok. The British Pub also seems to have its act together. Why doesn't the city look at what is working and try to build on it?

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Posted by Sad scene
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 21, 2011 at 10:32 am

I walked along Main Street, yesterday, from Del Valle to Old Bernal at about 3:30 PM. This was quite a revelation. Not many people walking, so many run-down, closed properties, and just an atmosphere of a failing zone. And no less than three piles of dog feces. Not sure what the laws are, or what can be done about that, but a sign of the times, I guess.
We need a good urban planner, for sure.

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Posted by Maria
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 21, 2011 at 6:18 pm

The only stores of interest (for me) are Towne Center Books, Heroes and Villains Comics, and the Berry Patch. One can only do so much clothing shopping/ eating in a single outing, after all, and I wasn't impressed by the last two downtown restaurants I went to...

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Posted by Lisa
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 27, 2011 at 11:09 pm

A Crate and Barrel would be great....
a Crabtree and Evelyn...
A good Jewish or Italian Deli....
A Bakery.....
I love the Wine Steward..they are so helpful...and Our Towne Centre Books....That new Indian Restaurant is lovely...
bring the car show and parades back to Main Street too!

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Posted by Steve
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Feb 3, 2011 at 7:04 pm

I went to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and it is a great example of downtown revitalization. The old "head shops" and run down buildings were completely replaced by modern retail and dining. Yes this means chains. However, SLO was able to balance the new with the old and everyone benefitted. It is consistently rated one of the best downtowns in all of the U.S.