New Panera Development Emblematic Of How Emeryville Subverts Its Own Goals
If you listen to City Hall and the politicians ensconced therein you might think the ubiquitous suburban style strip mall development they've approved for the past two and a half decades is a thing of the past...they've gone to great pains recently to tell us that anyway. But who are you going to believe; the politicians or your own lying eyes?
|This 'fact file' from the company is two|
years old. Now there are 1562 stores.
NASDAQ traded, St Louis based Panera is a fast food national chain with stores across the US and Canada. There are 1562 company-owned and franchise-operated stores total.
The corporate headquarters says they prefer to locate their stores in suburban strip malls and their business model is auto-centric vs pedestrian oriented. With its warren of suburban malls, they see Emeryville as a perfect fit. Our Planning Commission and City Council agree.
|Here's the real deal: Does it |
look like 40th Street? Is that a
Panera Bakery in that building?
Panera will directly compete with San Pablo Avenue's Arizmendi Bakery, a locally serving worker owned collective that pays a living wage to its associates unlike Panera's $8.06 per hour wage. Since Emeryville lacks affordable housing for its legion of low wage service workers, Panera employees will commute to Emeryville from all over the region.
Arizmendi's opened several years ago with support from former councilman John Fricke and as such might be considered the Fricke model of development for Emeryville, it could also be called the General Plan model of development since it dovetails so nicely with that document. Conversely, Panera might be called the Nora Davis/Kurt Brinkman model of development or the anti-General Plan model.
We challenge the Planning Commission and City Council majority that approved Panera; how, precisely is this creating a memorable place? We think this was just another in a long string of development approvals where the city employs its 'hands off developers' ethos. It's pretty obvious they've forgotten memorability.
|Let's see...Is this Emeryville or Concord or|
Daytona Beach or Rancho Cucamonga or Peoria
or Kankakee or Sheboygan or Springfield? I don't remember.