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Plans for Park Street – And How to Get All Your Alameda News at Once

Submitted by on 1, March 17, 2008 – 7:26 amNo Comment

About three dozen people traded away half their Saturday this past weekend for pastries, coffee and the opportunity to lay out their personal vision for Auto Row during a design confab at the new main library.

There was a lot of talk about trees, sidewalks, mixed-use development and water stuff. I focused in on the shopping.

“Somebody said it – I can’t buy men’s clothes in Alameda,’’ longtime resident John Oldham told the crowd when it was his turn to lay out his group’s ideas.

Someone else mentioned more upscale options like Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma, and I had to wipe the drool from the corner of my mouth. We’ve already got great restaurants, bookstores and more grocery options than you can shake a stick at. Could it be possible that someday, I may never need to leave the Island again?

Granted, this was just a “visioning” event. While the auto dealerships are vanishing – and with them, much of Alameda’s sales tax base – there’s still a lot of other stuff there that isn’t Pottery Barn and won’t be disappearing anytime soon. But one of those former dealerships – the old Cavanaugh Motors site, which sits next to the Alameda Marketplace – could become a retail center, if the city and the site’s new owners get their way.

“That’s what the city wants, and the potential is really good,” Linli Lee, who bought the property with husband Bill Phua six months ago, told The Island in a phone interview. “The whole street is coming up, and we just want to push it to the (Park Street) bridge.”

The couple ought to know a little bit about such things: Their Oakland Flower Market sits right at the edge of Jerry Brown’s massive residential redevelopment of downtown Oakland.

Let’s hope a big, fat recession doesn’t stand in their way.

Wanna get all your Alameda news and views in one convenient place? Check out http://alamedans.com/, a brand new site featuring some of Alameda’s best-known bloggers and a whole lot more. The site provides a convenient link to Lauren Do’s Blogging Bayport Alameda, John Knox White’s Stop Drop and Roll, Eve Pearlman’s Alameda Journal blog, Alameda High teacher Rob Siltanen’s School 94501/94502, BikeAlameda co-founder Dan Wood and yours truly. You can also catch school board meetings online for the first time, link to Alameda Currents and this week, catch photos of parcel tax proponents standing in garbage cans. (Long story.) Anyway, it’s probably fair to say that Alameda has more bloggers per capita than any other place in the Bay Area; you can get the best of them here.

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