“Please keep the bar high,” board member Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft said at a recent Planning Board meeting about Alameda Landing.
Ashcraft and Lorre Zuppan were concerned that the new Target coming to Alameda Point would scare away potential high end retail. The shopping center is going to be 285,000 square feet, with Target taking half of the space.
Catellus’ vice president of development Sean Whiskeman wasn’t able to provide any examples in his 26 page update of the retail strategy for Alameda Landing; nevertheless he did assure the council that he was trying to market the area to high end retailers, but wouldn’t name any names.
The retail assessment report Catellus presented was update to their original 2006 report.
“The retail market has changed, so this is an adjustment that reflects this new market,” Whiskeman said.
The study showed that the City of Alameda was among the lowest in the Bay Area in terms of the sales taxed earned from retail revenue.
“I’ve found that the retail leakage is very high, meaning residents are spending their money outside of Alameda,” Amy L. Herman, Principal at ALH Urban & Regional Economics said.
Herman conducted the study update on behalf of Catellus and presented the findings to the Planning Board.
The study looks at consumer spending at different income levels to predict how they will spend and creates a profile in order to determine what the best mix of retail will generate the most revenue.
The three areas where retail leakage is the highest:
- General Merchandise is losing $137.2 million;
- Motor Vehicles & Parts Dealers is losing $124.1 million
- Building Materials & Garden Equipment is losing $68.9 million.
Alameda Landing will definitely have a grocery, although Catellus is unsure of whom it will be at this time.
Board member Mike Henneberry cautioned Whiskerman on being selective on who takes the spot.
“I hope you’ll be sensitive to the fact that Alameda has high wages and benefits for its employees,” Henneberry said. “I think we’re on the right path. As long as we’re going to protect Alameda grocery employees we’ll be okay.”
Whiskerman assured the council that was one of Catellus’ priorities.
“Whatever we do we’re looking to add and not take away.”