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Community News

Plaza de Santa Teresa Update -- March 2, 1999

by Elizabeth Cord - Santa Teresa Citizen Action Group

Sheri Langlois & I drove up to Lucky's Corporate office in San Leandro yesterday and met with Ms. Mary Davi (she was at our 1/25/99 meeting) and Mr. Phil Pichulo, Vice President for Real Estate (her boss).

They seemed prepared to listen to our comments. They share our concerns about the deplorable conditions at that center; they intend to look into what it will take to get it cleaned up; they seem committed to finding a quality tenant, although non-grocery.

They reiterated their position of having absolutely no intention of ever reopening at Plaza de Santa Teresa; also, they will absolutely never release the "food exclusive" and let any other grocery store in there.

That bad news aside, they will try again to see if they can get Smart & Final; they feel that it was a major concession on their part to consider allowing S&F into that site. Some neighbors didn't seem thrilled about S&F; personally, I shop the one on Monterey Road at Tully, it is very clean and nice. As S&F seems to be the only grocery-related business that will ever be allowed in Plaza de Santa Teresa, perhaps we should take a closer look at them.

Although we all want something great in there, realistically we will never get a Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Zanotto's, or anything else while Lucky's holds the "food exclusive;" Mr. Don Keperta, General Manager of Lucky's, told me that in his 30 years in the business, they have never, never released a food exclusive and their policy is never, never to do so. Surprisingly, this appears to be legal.

An interesting parallel was turned up by Heidi Grothus, a neighbor, who discovered that the Dublin City Council is having a substantially similar problem with Lucky's/Duckett Wilson. It is in the Dublin City Council minutes from 10/20/98; scroll down to halfway through the minutes and you will find their discussion of their situation. It is at

http://www.dublinca.org/html/102098.html (link no longer available)

They have their Mayor and City Attorney working on the problem; perhaps Mayor Gonzalez (277-4237) and City Attorney Gallo (277-4454) could do the same for our city.

We are meeting with Councilmember Powers (277-4282) tomorrow (3/3/99) and hope to have more answers after talking with her.

Keep passing the word about the 3/18 community meeting, 7:00 at the Santa Teresa High School gym. Our strength is in our numbers. We want to convince the players involved here that they are underestimating our neighborhood. They think we don't care and won't be involved. They seem to be hoping we will lose interest and go away; then they can return to business as usual, which is ruining our neighborhood.

So turn out and show your support, and pass the word to as many neighbors as possible. We will be getting a new flyer out after our meeting with Councilmember Powers.

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