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Saturday, January 7, 2012

How Great Is The Redevelopment Agency? 7-11!

Taxpayers Pick Up The Tab:
Redevelopment Agency Provides Junk Food, Mattress Stores

Gotta love it: 37 different types of chips.
Oh thank heaven! 
Need a shot of fat and salt?  The Emeryville Redevelopment Agency's got your back!  Or maybe 'had your back' is more fitting.  As developers line up their forces to combat the Governor's recent rescinding of redevelopment agencies state-wide, we should pause to acknowledge all the good works the Emeryville Redevelopment Agency has done for us, the residents.
The opening this week of the new Seven Eleven on the corner of 40th Street and San Pablo Avenue provides just such an opportunity.  Emeryville residents who crave cigarettes and processed garbage food will have yet another outlet to satisfy their cravings.   And it's all thanks to the enlightened vision of the Emeryville Redevelopment Agency and it's chief apologist and huckster, City Manager Pat O'Keeffe.

Wanna wash that
down with a 3
liter Slurpee?
Consider all the sublime, neighborhood enhansing retail brought to us over the years: in addition to the shiny new Seven Eleven, think Mattress Discounters, Little Caesar's Pizza, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Sleep Train and the like.  It's all done to bring maximum livability to Emeryville according to Mr O'Keeffe and the city council.  In addition to the swelling sense of pride Emeryville residents must feel at the opening of the new Seven Eleven, Mr O'Keeffe and the council have given us the opportunity to pig out on junk food and then sleep it off on a new mattress; all with millions in taxpayer subsidies handed out to the developers.

It's all been done with us in mind, mind you.  Emeryille's Redevelopment Agency said all the big box malls and fast food and franchise chain retail is an essential ingredient to a livable town and they pursued it with great alacrity; we've been the lucky beneficiaries of that forward thinking vision.
Failed municipality: Not one
Seven Eleven in Piedmont.
But we're left feeling just a touch of pity for the City of Piedmont California, the hometown of Emeryville City Manger Pat O'Keeffe.  It's remarkable that Piedmont has been left high and dry; they've received none of these vital ingredients to livability.  It seems Mr O'Keeffe has selflessly worked for Emeryville's benefit, leaving his own town without so much as a single mattress store.  Even as we bask in the glow of the civic pride engendered by the new Seven Eleven, we wish our neighbors well and we hope Piedmont will be able to leverage it's clout and bring to it's impoverished citizenry a new Seven Eleven and all the social benefits that flow from the 37 different types of chips on offer.


  1. Why didn't you write about this before the Planning Commission meeting when we could have actually done something about it? Now it's old news. I don't give a hoot because there is nothing I can do, but at least they only took half the space. Shows just how bad the commercial real estate market is.

  2. I kinda like 7-11 ... and have been known to buy Hawaiian pizza from Little Caesar .... but your point is well taken that the San Pablo stretch of E'ville does seem to be getting a lot of junk food places.

  3. To Mr 4:21-
    You're correct that Seven Eleven took only half the storefront retail space available in the new building on San Pablo Avenue. Perhaps we'll get a Mattress World for the other half.

  4. The saddest aspect about the food being offered these residents is that there is very limited healthy food available in this neighborhood. Think obesity, diabetes, cost and payment of health services and poor quality of life. Let's not forget who profits from this wonderful diet at expensive prices.

  5. Brian did warn us about this development in his jaw dropping statement of their actions are "ghettoizing" our neighborhood with this project. All the phoney councilmembers gasped and scholded Brian. This was about a year ago. San Pablo Ave should be the jewel of Emeryville, but our politians have only the idea that a nice city hall, police and fire dept, and a new arts building and Park St. is what makes a fine city. For them it is all about their names on plaques and for us, the residents, the people who live here, we get nothing.

  6. I think O'Keeffe lives in Danville, but this is one of the funniest, saddest, and "truest" posts in a while. Keep 'em coming.

  7. As someone who lives right around the corner I find this new 7-Eleven to actually be to my benefit. Sometimes you need a quick something and don't want to run to Pack and Save or go to Berkeley Bowl. Frankly I find it to feel safer than the liqueur store across the street and it's cleaner and more open! As an Emeryville resident I wouldn't want a 7-Eleven on every corner in Emeryville but I'm glad I have one as an option.

  8. This also likely puts some hurt on the proprietors of Black & White Liquors, across the street from the 7-11 location. OK, perhaps another purveyor of unhealthy lifestyle victuals - but an independent businessman, and a longtime feature in the neighborhood.
    Also, regarding the argument of limited healthy food availability : while this is certainly an issue in some urban neighborhoods, there is a Safeway right across the street on San Pablo, for produce and real food selection.

  9. The Crown Jewel of Emeryville's Champs-Élysées. City leadership should indeed be proud.

  10. It's amazing after all the blight clearing in Emeryville that Black and White hard liquors, toxic waste dispensary and ground zero for street crime is still standing. Perhaps there will be a silver lining. If 7-11 can take away enough of that fine establishment's business, Black and White might finally move on to new killing fields. Did I hear someone sugggest Piedmont?

    Thanks Brian for telling it like it is on this one.

  11. To 7:09-
    Pat O'Keeffe's hometown source information: a city council member who shall go nameless.

  12. Everyone should go there and assess the physical situation. It won't take you long to see that Black and White Liquor sits on the most valuable piece of commercially developable property in town. The "city" has wanted them out, for years. Screw B&W. What have they done for us lately? Then you will understand where this is going.

    As long as 7/Eleven suffers from restricted signage, it, too, will not do well. Their customer comes from traffic, and shops there as an impulse. Good signage is essential, and they don't have it. For them, it's an uphill battle.

    Our Planning Dept. knows better. They have the Power and Authority to make merchants miserable.

  13. If black and white wasnt such a nasty establishment i'd have some sympathy for them. You mean to tell me after all these years they haven't made enough money to give the place a fresh coat of paint?
    At least the 7-11 will be clean and well lit.
    Besides, racist white people think blacks should only eat junk food to keep them fat abd stupid.

  14. If you haven't heard, the Redevelopment Agency will be shutting its doors as of February 1, 2012. The California Supreme Court has ruled that ABX1 26 can stand (while its counterpart, ABX1 27, is unconstitutional), so all redevelopment agencies in California must close. Once a successor agency is named (most likely to be the City), they'll start winding up the existing transactions. Hopefully this will put an end to all of the development that really doesn't add much value to our residents.