***UPDATE – KEEP ALBANY LOCAL’S POSITION ON SPROUTS’ DEVELOPMENT***
Sprouts is a 150+-store corporate chain. The UC received a very strong bid from the Natural Grocery Company (based in El Cerrito) to develop a small store with expanded hours at the development site. The Natural Grocery Company is a beloved, financially thriving and locally owned grocery store that would have been an asset to the City of Albany. It is a shame that the UC and the City once again, put corporate interests before the overwhelming wishes and interests of Albany’s citizens. Please stay tuned for our next plan of action.
Keep Albany Local is a grass-roots organization of Albany residents and business owners whose aim is to procure development in Albany that:
1. Establishes a strong and sustainable tax base where 60% of consumer dollars spent in Albany, stay in Albany (when spent on local businesses) as opposed to leaving (when spent on out of state corporations, such as Whole Foods, Walmart, etc.);
2. Is in keeping with our climate action plan;
3. Protects the last remaining agricultural tract of the Gill Tract from development; and
4. Does not negatively impact our local business community.
Keep Albany Local supports the “Existing Zoning Alternative B” (page 3) which met all of the project’s goals except for outdoor seating and included “a 15,000 square foot market [that] would be located within the area designated as SPC on Block A. This market would front on San Pablo Avenue…A pedestrian path would be located along Village Creek…One mixed use building would front on San Pablo Avenue and include 16,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor with senior housing units on the second floor. This structure would be approximately 30 feet tall. The second structure on Block B would front on Monroe Street and 10th Street. This structure would be three stories tall. Combined, the buildings would include 70 senior housing dwelling units.” This development proposal was soundly rejected by the City Council.
Though some of us are activists who have worked to conserve Codornices Creek or monitor the development, the vast majority of us are political newcomers shocked into action by the City Council’s July 2012 decision. We have busy lives and politics was not at the forefront until we felt strongly that our community’s health, safety, and future were in serious danger.
In the meantime, and if you have questions, please continue to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.