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Moved from thread "Superchargers in Northern California (location speculation)

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by cpa, Apr 26, 2017.

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  1. cpa

    cpa Active Member

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    I yearn for the days when the real estate proximate to what we now know as SR85 and I280 was covered with beautiful apricot, nectarine, pear and cherry orchards. The old Del Monte cannery on Auzerais in San Jose used to fill the air with the gentle aromas of peaches or pickles during the summer.
     
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  2. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    #2 Ulmo, May 7, 2017
    Last edited: May 7, 2017
    You mean the one my shareholder communications comes from? Yes, I've seen that address. No, it doesn't exist. It's a figment of your imagination, and mine, too.
    Doubtless things my grandmother, grandfather, and father all knew (father's side). I miss a lot of what they lived through. We should make the best of our world; we have no excuses (in the end, only along the pathway there, but there's always a way).
    That is my favorite mall for movies if they happen to play my movie. (I watch about one a year.) The architecture is beautiful, wonderful native semperviron trees, driving through and under buildings and boulevards, and half the stores are shuttered, so it's not full of people and cars on top of each other all the time. The theaters are relatively not busy. It's just a really nice experience for movie watching. It would similarly be a nice spot for SuperCharging: a few amenities (not much; most stores shut), and a nice area.
    Prettymuch everything nice gets torn down, I've learned, at least while baby boomers have any say in it. I figured something like this would come up. And, I figured it'd upset me somehow. But, from my reading of what you said, the "citizens voted down redevelopment", so, does that mean they are leaving the beautiful mall the way it is? I'm in favor of that. And why the heck would they ever want to redevelop it? All they have to do is get off their duff and find out what kind of tenants like that kind of space and rent it to them. The only exception I'd have to that is if the construction is sub-par safety-wise.
     
  3. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    I grew up in Cupertino. Before Valley Fair remodeled and brought in Nordstrom and the other high end retailers that made it THE shopping destination in the South Bay, Vallco was a thriving mall. Vallco has been in decline for more than 20 years. The fundamental problem is that there were too many land owners for there to be a focused effort to revitalize the mall. AFAIK, the anchor stores Sears, Macy's, JC Penny, were all separately owned, not just leased. So, a developer bought up all of the mall parcels to put together a comprehensive redevelopment plan and put it through the planning process. The Mercury News had a good pre-election story describing what led to Measure C and Measure D being put on the November 2016 ballot. Both measures were defeated. So, now the project is in limbo and will likely get even more "blight-y" as time goes on.
     
  4. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    #4 Ulmo, May 9, 2017
    Last edited: May 9, 2017
    Thank you for this information. That's exactly what I wanted to know. The following is merely my experience and opinion, and is in no way a fully studied truth, but it is close to what I know to be true:

    Those mixed use plans look like the awful monstrosities that cause high density neighborhoods where people spill out of their own homes like overcrowded infestations of insects do. Just today I was near one such overly dense development, Cahill, at the Cahill Park, and the poor park looked completely soiled and overrun with dogs and people. Unlike the "popular bustling social gathering place" that this would seem to offer as a positive, it seemed much more like a collection point for illness and disease to me, and a complete failure to offer a way to escape the high densities. The park isn't even visually interesting. As far as the park maintenance goes, it looks decently maintained, but it just fails at being good, big, interesting and high capacity enough for that area. Furthermore, big developments like the mixed-use Cupertino one proposed described by the SJMC often are so complex, unwieldy, expensive, and wrought with bad projections that they end up being very compromised when finished. And finally, big developments like that often have inadequate transportation, clean air, visual beauty, and peace and quiet. They almost always install low class East Coast trees that are piss yellow, short, die for some random half of the year, and lack any of the splendor of native species. I've tried parking at some of those developments, and it's like a fight. I don't think anybody wants to use the mass transit based developments, because mass transit has roving gangs of violent thugs beating up the passengers, causing brain damage, sometimes death, just so they can steal and win fights.

    So, in reaction, I think the voters voted well. What Cupertino is left with, however, is a private property owner that should see what assets they have and find a way to bring in more tenants without trying to write it off in taxes as a total loss or a way to prove that it isn't working. I.e., while keeping standards up, lower the initial rents, and perhaps have a gross and net income sharing agreement with the renters so that if business is light the rent is lower and if business picks up then the landlord can get enough money to maintain the heavier use of the property. Maybe it's still not enough to pull the numbers into good shape (financial mostly), but I'm still optimistically pessimistic about their true attempt at this so far.

    I'm wondering what blight could occur to concrete buildings with beautiful mature trees and asphalt parking lots; most of those items maintain themselves without interference, and are sturdy and last a long time. The main blight that could occur is in the tenant spaces where the comings and goings of various stores would cause some amount of messy leftovers as stores fail to completely move in or move out properly. However, the extent of that is usually just more painted plywood, something that's already a fixture in that mall, so I don't see it as a huge detriment. Little things like maintaining sewers and other items are things landlords have to do anyway, and the existing tenants should give just enough money for that to continue. The main problem I could imagine is the government demanding that the property have a certain tax value that it doesn't have (for whatever reason), but those usually can be mitigated by reassessments, waivers, and adjustments and changing of the local tax laws. Like I said, this is assuming the structures are sound. If the structures aren't sound, then my entire calculus goes out the window.

    As much as I don't think it's the intended "ideal" outcome by the citizens, I'm given to conditionally rezoning the existing mall to be multi-use; just rent out former storefronts as offices first, and failing that, apartments second. In both cases of offices and apartments, they should be done sparingly and well (such as not putting homes and offices near noise, not subjecting them to high density problems, etc.), not shoe-horned. Pick the best unused available spots for each type of tenant, and don't do a huge amount of construction, just a fair amount of tenant improvements for each. Don't go hog wild; try a few here and there and see how it works out, and continue with it as appropriate. The conditional part of the rezoning would be to say that as "preferred" zoning uses pick up (such as retail), that attrition of some of the prior tenants could have a slight pressure to replace them with the preferred uses, depending on simplicity of remodeling the tenant improvements.
     
  5. cpa

    cpa Active Member

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    I had no idea my nostalgia would precipitate a discussion like this! :)

    The south bay area was really cool in the late '50s-early '60s. It was a perfect mix of urban, industrial, agricultural and rural.
     
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