Sunday, July 20, 2014

Stores closing to make way for development: Centennial Village Project includes housing, shopping, offices


At El Camino Real at Spruce Avenue, in South San Francisco, stands an old strip center that long ago was the White Front Department Store, a kind of 1960s Walmart that had everything, and it's own gas station.  The White Front chain makes an interesting chapter in retail history. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Front)  I remember when they had the grand opening of the South San Francisco White Front, it was a big deal, the whole family went and there were big crowds there.   Just a few years later, the White Front went out of business, replaced by the Treasury and some other stores, and now its going to get torn down for new retail and many apartments, to be called, "Centennial Village".  By the looks of the drawing in the article, we'll certainly try to visit, it looks like it will be a happening place!   Can this happen here in Pacifica with one of our underperforming shopping centers?

59 comments:

Steve Sinai said...

Economic development everywhere on the Peninsula, except for Pacifica.

Anonymous said...

Pacifica will never have economic development. It will go broke, fall into the ocean and be un-incorporated. But no economic development!

Anonymous said...

That's how we roll in Pacifica.

Handouts and begging for money to pave the roads.

Tom Clifford said...

I have a lot of problems with how Pacifica is run but finding a way to get Linda Mar Blvd. paved is not one of them.

Anonymous said...

Poor silly council. They've had to talk out of both sides of their mouths about development for years and years. Afraid of losing the enviro votes that got them elected. Spent millions they didn't have, but claimed poverty prevented them from hiring an economic development director. It was fear that held them back. Even San Bruno, pop 40000, has an EcDevDir. So now what? Disgraced and still broke and the enviros are really pissed. They want those seats back. The seats you did nothing with. That development window could close, again. Good job council. No growth on your watch.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't White Front over by Colma Bart.

Anonymous said...

San Bruno has:

Tanforan
The old national guard property that turned into 1000 apartment and condo units
Towne Center
Auto Dealers

Pacifica Has:

Nothing!

Anonymous said...

9:47....You are confused with ALEC which became a Pak n Save before being torn down for Colma Bart

Anonymous said...

The old enclosed Fairmont Mall was torn down years ago;rebuilt and is always packed with people spending money.I think that Eureka Sq has economic potential,as example.Housing would fit there,also.

Anonymous said...

We can dream. KIMCO or some other developer does a real, from the ground up makeover of LM. Mixed-use retail and condos/apts? We need the housing and 1950s-style LM Shopping Ctr has so much wasted space. And, someone finds a way to tackle the hodge-podge ownership at Manor, rebuild the whole mess for mixed-use and Pacifica is transformed more effectively than any Palmetto nonsense. No more shitty Manor Strip Mall seen from the highway as the face of Pacifica. These spaces are already retail which you'd think should make development less of a dogfight. And they are the face we present to visitors and residents. If only we were serious about revenue producing projects we might have an expert on staff to pursue such things and much more, but we're not serious, are we? Look at this council. Safe on the sidelines whining "Daddy, buy me a library" while pouring hundreds of thousands into that hole on Beach Blvd. Near a million in 10 years down a rat hole. They may not be the old extreme enviro council, but they're worse than useless.

Chris Porter said...

I have heard rumors of a live-work area in the Eureka Shoppong Center which could be the jewel of Pacifica if true. Maybe the Chamber can look into this more and maybe I will nominate myself to do so. That center is surrounded by apartments, senior assisted living and three schools within walking distance. I keep saying that would be a perfect place for an ice cream store and a ton of other village serving shops. The grocery store is great and I shop there at least once a week. I will try to find out something and report back!

Anonymous said...

Chris, is the rumor about live-work like we see on Palmetto or true mixed-use with retail/services and housing? I'd love to see the later and an ice cream store and that market, but anything would be an improvement.

Anonymous said...

I am sure a national developer is going to tell trade secrets to the Pacifica Chamber.

sarcasm 101 said...

Chris Porter and others will be happy to know that Mitchell's Ice Cream is now served at the new "Jeff's" coffee/tea place at Eureka Square where the coffee shop used to be. Just opened.

Anonymous said...

544 They wouldn't tell you either, but Chris Porter may get better gossip than you. Woohoo Mitchell's ice cream served at Jeff's in Eureka Square. Hope the place defies the odds and lasts awhile. I'll try it.

Anonymous said...

Pacifica is more tainted than a super fund site in the national developers eyes. Thus the reason why Tramell Crow was sent packing. After Peebles only a hand full of developers have looked at the quarry site. They came looked sniffed around and ran like hell.

Anonymous said...

Pacifica has had how many ice cream shops that went out of business. I count at least 3 from recent memory.

Maybe you people should eat more carrots and celery, Ice Cream is full of sugar.

Chris Porter said...

I remember two ice cream shops, May Gee's on Francisco that went out of business because she closed it down and Baskin and Robbins in Fairmont that went out of business because the franchise was pulled for a myriad of reasons. Stone Cold is still open in Linda Mar. What did I miss? I remember Mitchells from I think 24th Street in Sf. Great ice cream. I agree that I should probably eat more celery and carrots but on a warm day nothing is better than great ice cream and on any day school kids love ice cream.

Chris Fogel said...

Lucy's Sweet Delights was next-door to Kenny's on Crespi (now Waves hair salon). She shut down in late 2009. I loved that place. She made a mean milkshake.

Anonymous said...

More ice cream and less sour grapes!
I remember 2 more ice cream shops. One was a recent shop next door to Kenny's on Crespi. Lasted a couple years I think. Long before that I think there was one in Linda Mar right about where the donut shop is now or close. It was still there in the very early '80s. Had typical ice creme parlour decor, pink and white striped wall paper and cafe style tables and chairs. I think it had a long run there and closed around '82 or '83. People love ice cream. Cold Stone has been in LM probably 10 years or close and even Rite Aid has lines for cones at their ice cream counter. Ice cream sells. All it needs is foot traffic.

Anonymous said...

625 Yeah, Pacifica has a bad rep. Booting a big glamour name like Peebles didn't help. We've done absolutely nothing to change that reputation. A little dog and pony show staged with the planning commission and some tweaks behind the scenes. A little payback, but not too much. Pretty wishy-washy public statement. Means nada. Hire an economic development director? Council's deficit spending knew no bounds, but did not include an EDD because that would upset the nimbys as well as the little closet nimbys on council. Could there be anything more ludicrous than council's library? Parking a public bldg on it will sure save it from producing any revenue. Without voter approval it'll go no where. The land will sit empty until the ocean takes it. Saved from development once again!

Tom Clifford said...

Chris Fogel;
Rock-in Rob's makes a mean milkshake and really good Hamburgers.

Anonymous said...

Adobe Shopping Center had an ice cream shop for awhile. Between the Adobe store and Beach Monkey.

Anonymous said...

Tom

If you keep eating at Rock N Robs you will never get back to your fighting weight.

Chris Fogel said...

Thanks, Tom, I'll have to check Rob's out and give one a try.

Right now, the crown for Best Milkshake goes to Buck's of Woodside. Daly City's Boulevard Cafe is a close runner-up.

While excellent, Cold Stone mixes too many goodies (oreos, heathbars, cookie dough, etc) into their shakes for the purist in me to consider them "true" milkshakes.

This has been Milkshake Chat for Monday, July 21.

Anonymous said...

We had visitors who declined Nick's for burgers and shakes at Rockin' Robs because they liked the malt shop decor. Good food and fun. Next night, excellent dinner at Puerto 27. Full house. Two breakfasts at the Breakers were also very good. Nice to see these places doing well.

Anonymous said...

And how 'bout that little Beach Monkey? Great coffee, tasty dinners. Wish they were a bit bigger, but I think they're making it work.

Steve Boyardee Sinai said...

Well, as long as we're doing restaurant reviews, I went to that new Italian place in Manor - Paisanos Trattoria.

I was expecting a pizza parlor with benches, but it was a white tablecloth kind of place, and was fairly crowded at 5:30 on a Saturday.

Went with a group of 5. The two kids liked the pizza and meatballs. Other than not being able to have my favorite Italian food - SpaghettiOs, it wasn't bad. I give it two forks up.

Chris Porter said...

The Beacb Monkey was a big hit at Taste of Pacifica.

Anonymous said...

Must be lunch time. I'm hungry. Believe I'll dine out.

Kathy Meeh said...

With all the great ice cream comments, and the potential of a real Mitchell's ice cream shop (such as the SF store Chris Porter 1016 also recalls), I dropped into to Jeff's Tea Shop, in Eureka Square, which advertises Mitchell's ice cream.

Current rating (my opinion): two small spoons (or thumbs) down. No cones, half-melted ice cream, delivered in a paper cup with a small tasting spoon, one-scoop $3.49. Jeff's Tea Shop may do better at tea, tea drinks, shakes.

Anonymous said...

I did the same.
Sad to predict that Jeff's Teas will be out of business in 3 months.
I felt like I was buying something illegal. A barren lobby with a tiny counter. No yummy ice creams to look at. No shopkeeper to intermingle with.
Too bad Jeff didn't consult with someone to learn the basics about retail/marketing before blowing his savings.
Waste of money.
Waste of opportunity.
Most importantly........
Waste of good ice cream.

Anonymous said...

Kathy, that's a bummer about the ice cream. No cones? Intrepid reporting in the finest journalistic tradition.

Anonymous said...

That's someone's dream. Hope they get it together.

Hutch said...

Not that it's a restaurant, but as long as we're rating I give Stuckeys Sustainable Seafood on Francisco and Clarendon one star. Charging $20 a pound for local Salmon you can buy in Princeton for $11 is not going to fly in that bad location.

Anonymous said...

City might sell ice cream in $30,000,000 library for revenue.Plus city says one library will save on books.

Molly's Buddy Still Lies said...

6:16...you don't understand the asian peoples. many move up the hill in manor, westview, fairmont and come down to eureka for food expression. dinosaur, the vietnamese sandwich is a draw of asian people from all over to eureka square, including some of there SF customers who happen to be in the neighborhood. after having a tasty viet sandwich, they like to chase down with a cool fruity drink like jeff serves. construction going on in the old bank. new shop from san mateo opening second location here... eureka square is filling its cavities. yoga shop expanded. let's celebrate we might not have a half-vacant shopping center to whine about anymore.

Anonymous said...

1009 You jest, but already the insidious sales pitch begins. They'll save on books and staff, paper clips and rubber bands. And those hours cut from the branches? Why, we'll get them all back with one new library, won't we? And now, you say ice cream, too! I smell a new 30 million dollar library, I do, I do. Hey, if they throw in keeping the Sanchez branch open (even briefly), they can sell this sucker without the ice cream.

Anonymous said...

1012 The Asian Peoples?? Come on down folks. Plenty of boomers bailing in the next few years. Pacifica needs your business acumen, pride in home and your tax dollars. Especially those tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

Hutch, are you pro business or pro bargain?

Hutch said...

What I can't be both?

I've seen a half dozen businesses fail in Stucky's location. It's a tough spot. I think we owe it to these business owners to say what we think. It's up to them if they listen and take action.

Anonymous said...


That's someone's dream. Hope they get it together.
July 22, 2014 at 6:49 PM

That's what makes it so sad. It is someone's dream and it will so obviously fail because of it's terrible design and execution. If I were the Leasing Agent for Eureka Square and wanted businesses to succeed in my shopping strip I would be paying close attention to business and marketing plans of would be tenants.
Now if I just wanted to manipulate the townfolk to let me raze the place and build housing then nothing would serve me better than a shopping area full of failing businesses and empty storefronts.
Wise up Pacifica.
Quit playing the game. Get to table with the few investors we have left in our city and come to some mutually beneficial agreements on land use and development.
Pacifica does not have to be a third world dump by the sea.

Anonymous said...

956 Why would the property owner need to play such games in order to build housing there? Thought we were pro-development these days. You sure you know what you're talking about?

Anonymous said...

Check out Stuckey's Sustainable on Yelp. Lots of glowing reviews from happy customers. People are buying. Maybe they can revitalize that ratty corner. We do want that, right?

Anonymous said...

http://www.yelp.com/biz/stuckeys-sustainable-pacifica

Anonymous said...

Hutch, Is that your 1 star review on yelp? You ask why the guy is charging more than buying it off the boat? Because he can, because he has overhead, because people are crazy for salmon. Because he can. More power to him and the fish lovers willing to pay. Just what we need in Pacifica. Not just dollar stores and bargain bins.

Steve Sinai said...

If it added Fish & Chips, I'd be going to Stuckey's every week.

Anonymous said...

Imagine how good those would be with such fine fish to work with.

Hutch said...

I wouldn't call 8 reviews "lots" (mostly out of towners)

Anyway, they have a right to charge what they want, I have a right to not like it. In the end the market will decide who's right.

Anonymous said...

2 5-star reviews from Pacifica and 1 1-star (Hutch)
2 5-star reviews from San Bruno
1 5-star review from San Mateo
1 5-star review from SF
1 5-star review from Seattle (who said she hadn't visited the store but buys from their booth at the farmer's market)

Hutch - minority of 1

Anonymous said...

Out of towners shopping in Pacifica is what we need more of. That awful location must have been the bargain.
Let's hope fans of Stuckey's Sustainable can find them and that the group grows.

Kathy Meeh said...

341, there is no question the fish and meat is fresh. So, we're only talking about product cost, distribution and location of Stuckey's Sustainable Seafood and Meat market.

341, if you missed that, here's the comment Hutch made at 719: "Charging $20 a pound for local Salmon you can buy in Princeton for $11 is not going to fly in that bad location." So the points Hutch made were: 1) cost is high, and 2) business location is not so good. Whereas, the Yelp 3) "Yummy fish and meat" comments were not equivalent.

Those other Yelp reviews may be genuine, or may be written by friends, or even purchased by Stuckey's Seafood. We all know that Yelp reviews may be purchased, don't we? Examples, a couple of the comments look professional. Then, that Seattle review is of interest since Kerri R. apparently lives in Pacifica.

403 made a good point that customers are needed (in town or out of town). Its also possibe that Stucky's distributes to restaurants, or others looking for sustainable fish and meat product.

At 752 (in a follow-up comment), Hutch said, "I've seen a half dozen businesses fail in Stucky's location. It's a tough spot. I think we owe it to these business owners to say what we think. It's up to them if they listen and take action." That follow-up concern about competition, location, and business survival are points well made by Hutch!

Anonymous said...

Love Stuckey's, love fish, quality excellent and when taken as a whole the prices are fine, but that location is low-rent awful. Maybe as close to the ocean as they could get? Hard to overcome such a bad location.

Anonymous said...

I see it's Amateur Hour on Fix Pacifica again. Never knew so many temporarily-embarrassed millionaires posted in these parts.

Yes, what a terrible location for Stuckey's. A corner spot where thousands of cars drive past it each day to get on and off Highway One. They obviously should have located back in Park Pacifica by the horse stables.

And apparently they should be giving their fish away for free because everyone totally just hops in their cars and drives twenty miles to HMB to haggle with Captain Ahab on the docks.

Sorry about your head injuries.

Tom Clifford said...

Back in the seventies I went to an auction in S.F. at what I believe was a White Front store on 16th St in S.F. I was lucky enough to get a gold plated faucet and shower fixture set for $60.00. even that long ago they were worth between $2,000 an S5,000 Best return on investment I have ever had. And no I am not going to tell you how much I sold the for.

Anonymous said...

Am I missing something Tom?

Anonymous said...

Tom, I want to know what you bought with all the loot!

Tom Clifford said...

Collectable Comics. Which are now worth more then my house.

Anonymous said...

Bud's Ice Cream used to be in the spot where El Toro Loco is now on Francisco. That was back in the early 80's.