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BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
SAN LORENZO VILLAGE HOMES ASSOCIATION August 3, 2000
Present, Members: David Sloan, Ron Groves, Kathie Ready, Tina Cheung, Mary Reynolds, Travis Thoms, Barry Weiss, Pat Pebelier
Residents: Keith Barros
Others: Eileen Dalton (CountyPianning), Gail Steele (Supervisor), Eric Fong (San Leandro Times),Jennie Blocbaum (AL Co. Redevelop), Greg Luey (Albertson's), Kathleen Harrigan and Nancy Van Huffel (Staff)
Opening comments - Chair Ready opened the meeting at 7:11 p.m. There were no new nominations for members.
Approval of minutes for the July 6. 2000.- Pebelier made a motion to approve the minutes, Sloan seconded. The motion passes unanimously.
REPORTS FROM STANDING COMMITEES
Summary and comments from subcommittee on redevelopment - Ready questioned whether members had read the information in the Daily Review regarding the redevelopment problems in Hayward. Supervisor Steele pointed out that the article had nothing to do with redevelopment, but rather focused on problems related to a citizens advisory group.
Groves questioned where the redevelopment moneys would be focused in San Lorenzo, he said that the paper made it seem as though the funds would be initially used on all the businesses up and down Hesperian, rather than focusing on the Village Square area. Eileen Dalton, stated that initially the funds may be used to help improve all the businesses, but as the money increased, larger projects like the Square would receive the funds needed to upgrade and improve that area. She stated that the Advisory Group would determine how these funds were used. Dalton handed out an application for membership to this advisory committee to the group. (See Attached). She stated that it would be a seven (7) member committee from the project area, with two (2) members from the SLVHA Board, two (2) merchant members; and two (2) residential members, one of which would represent San Lorenzo, and one representing the Sunset Area.
Van Huffel questioned when the funds would start accruing. Dalton stated that they would start accruing this fiscal year but would not actually be allocated until 2002.
Summary and comments from subcommittee targeting problem commercial area.- Ready announced that the cargo containers are still in the same place behind the Bockman Shopping Center. Groves pointed out that the house on Alamitos and Washington has been painted and thanked the county. Supervisor Steele pointed out that the residence is currently vacant and the county will be doing additional work to the yard.
Summary and comments from subcommittee spotlighting neighborhood businesses in the Village Briefs - Ready stated that the articles for the July/August newsletter have already been submitted to Association staff for publication.
REPORTS FROM SPECIAL COMMITTEES
Report on the San Lorenzo Village Specific Plan Process - Dalton announced that the San Lorenzo Village Task Force Report is available and copies have been given to the Association Office. Groves and Weiss stated that the report accurately reflects what the committee discussed and recommended.
Discussion regarding a church opening in the Lorenzo Theater site - It was announced that the church group will not go before the Planning Commission on August 8th, because it does not have its plans for renovations ready at that time. Barros stated that using the theater as a church would not be proper, due to the fact that zoning for a church would not fit into the Specific Plan. Van Huffel stated that she had spoken with the Zoning Administrator, who had stated that the church could be in that location under current zoning and suggested that Barros speak with the Zoning Administrator, to get clarification on the matter.
Establish procedure regarding commercial concerns and their review by the BDC - Tabled until next meeting
Make a Difference Day - Tabled until information is received.
Other (Business Developers) - Supervisor Steel, Van Huffel and Partridge had met with a developer, Eddie Orton, regarding the Village Square area. He is a well known developer who had developed areas in Emeryville and Stockton. He indicated that he would be willing to purchase an area of the Square and would develop it with live/work spaces. He suggested that the Square could be support a mix of commercial/retail spaces, but that it could not support big-box retail as many of the residents wanted. The main reason the Square could not support this type of commercial business was because of its location-between two (2) pre-existing shopping centers (Southland and Bayfair Malls). [See memo at end of minutes.]
Supervisor Steels also talked with Sherman Boish, developer from Hayward, who indicated he had no takers for his retail space by BART.
Van Huffel pointed out that Trader Joe's is a good example of a retail store that has very specific terms about the demographics of the area.it goes into. She stated she was informed they will not even consider an area if less that 30% of its population don't have PhDs. In fact, Traders Joe's was offered space in San Leandro with the understand they could have 1 0 years free rent and they declined. She pointed out that many retail stores are going under and thus companies are getting more stringent about the terms required to move into an area.
Steele stated that if there could be a mix of retail/office space and the area started to get full, then bigger retail stores may find the area more attractive. Ready stated that she did not understand why more retail stores were not interested given the high traffic volume on Hesperian.
Dalton pointed out that with redevelopment, there are available funds in place to develop the area and if the owner does not use these funds, redevelopment allows immanent domain and the possible purchase of the property by another developer who will utilize these funds.
Thoms makes a motion that the Board forward the community's interest in considering retail/office space for the Village Square Area to the Bohannon Organization. Reynolds seconds the motion. The motion carries unanimously.
Thoms stated that it would benefit the community if the committee had some general guidelines and/or a brochure to hand out to interested business persons. Groves suggested that a summary of the specific plan be presented to brokers or potential business. Dalton stated that she could get a summary of the specific plan which could be incorporated into the brochure that the Committee had drafted several months ago. Van Huffel stated that she will work on incorporating the Specific Plan summary into the pre-existing brochure.
San Lorenzo Business Association - Ready reported that she, Van Huffel, Groves and Reynolds had met with Tom Guarino with the San Leandro Chamber. The meeting was to discuss how to help San Lorenzo businesses.
Van Huffel pointed out that the San Leandro Chamber has a professional brochure that it hands out to their customer base. They also sponsor several seminars for their members. It was pointed out that a survey needs to be taken by volunteers going business to business to see what San Lorenzo retailers need. At the same time, the Association, in conjunction with the chamber could invite businesses to a marketing workshop discussing customer relations.
It was also discussed that we should sponsor a "broker breakfast" and invite brokers, businesses, the School District, Association Board members and other interested parties. The purpose of such a meeting is to let brokers know we are seeking retailers for the area. Dalton pointed out that a broker breakfast would be coming up with Ashland and Cherryland businesses and that San Lorenzo businesses should also be invited.
Van Huffel stated that Tom Guarino from the San Leandro Chamber would be attending Business Development meetings. Eric, from the San Leandro Times stated that he would be willing to help businesses in San Lorenzo advertise in the Times and wants to increase the coverage of San Lorenzo businesses in the Times.
Ready suggested that someone from the Business Development Committee should attend the San Lorenzo/San Leandro Chamber meetings. Groves volunteered to do this on behalf of the committee.
Announcements/Adjoumment - Groves suggested that someone from the county come to the next meeting to discuss rental properties in San Lorenzo. Steele stated that she would get Margaret Eliot from Building Inspection to discuss this with the committee.
The meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by
Date: July 14, 2000
Present: Supervisor Gail Steele; Eddie Orton, Presidew Orton Development Management; SLVHA: Dorothy Partridge, Chair, Nancy Van Huffel, Administrator
At Supervisor Steele's request, Eddie Orton came to inspect the "Village Square" for the purpose of offering suggestions for development. Mr. Orton has developed part of the Emeryville retail area and many other projects. He offered the following comments:
Date: July 14, 2000
Present: Ray Ericson, President Castro Valley Chamber of Commerce; Ron Grove, Kathy Ready, Mary Reynolds, Dorothy Partridge, Nancy Van Huffel
Mr Ericson believed that an anchor tenant would help bring in smaller businesses to the development. Stores review the average family income in the area, employees that would be available to work and want a "need and buy product".
If a space is vacant too long, its either too expensive or not a good location.
Rents can be somewhat subjective, that is, large stores have better terms because of the length of their lease (10+ yrs with renewals); 95% or more of leases involve a common area maintenance fee.
There are many requests from Dot.com companies needing brick and mortar space.