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Developer offers Milk Pail market new space

Original post made on Oct 29, 2013

In its proposed second phase of development at San Antonio Shopping Center, Developer Merlone Geier has offered Mountain View's open-air market an entirely different kind of space.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, October 29, 2013, 10:27 AM

Comments (49)

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Posted by Pilar
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 29, 2013 at 2:22 pm

The small town flavor of MV is eroding so fast it's frightening. We're being Googled up.ngPwr


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by VickiS
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Oct 29, 2013 at 2:31 pm

A costly new site that Milk Pail would have to rent would totally destroy the existing charm and pricing that the current Milk Pail has. I do not think this is the solution. I would prefer that the developer put in a small parking lot next to Milk Pail instead of another store like the design shows now and have a parking agreement for Milk Pail - something like what has happened for years with the current Ross & Bev Mo stores parking. This is not a real solution it's a big developer bullying a small business owner and not listening to what the people of Mountain View have been asking for!!!


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Posted by Garrett
a resident of another community
on Oct 29, 2013 at 3:26 pm

I hope the MG and the owner work on a deal for parking.

Most places don't have this shared parking arrangement that lets other businesses use property owned by another. This has nothing to do with Google or small towns vs city.


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Posted by Long time customer
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 29, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Change can be good. Why not swap Milk Pail existing property for the new place. Then Milk Pail would not have to pay rent :-)


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Realist
a resident of another community
on Oct 29, 2013 at 4:04 pm

This is the new modernization plan for Mountain View. Trendy, expensive multi-use development. And for what? To cater to the newly rich, the newly arrived. Look at the registration plates of cars around and ask yourself if you ever saw so many non-CA plates. Tech companies are paying top dollar to bring these folks in and they are the young noveau-rich who will inhabit these new developments. They'd much rather like the 700,000 sq ft movie theater equipped with the latest entertainment technologies to the 40-yr old Milk Pail market. The newly arrived rarely need to shop for groceries as they enjoy 2 or 3 gourmet meals at their workplaces. And so it goes... and regular people suffer.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Susanne
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 29, 2013 at 4:38 pm

As I was the oldest of 5 children a really remember driving thru the Milk Pail for our milk, bread,eggs etc. It helped my mother do her shopping at good prices and not have to hall in the whole gang. We were sorry to see it converted to a park and shop but it still works and is a good location and great prices and service. They should be left where they are and you can build around our loved market. I understand why he does not want to move and be paying high rent prices and have to raise prices to us his patrons. Its old school and we love it that way. I am a cheese lover and they have the best selection and very good prices.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by All Good
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Oct 29, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Phew! Now everything is ok! Full speed ahead with the monstrosity!


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Posted by tommygee54
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 29, 2013 at 6:50 pm

I think that 'Rasmussen's little market' will have to move to the new building at Pachetti Way along California St. It's called 'progress'. I assume that in Phase 2, Developer Merlone Geier just does not want to deal with the Milk Pail building in the way for a totally new look. So apparently Rasmussen will just have to take the hint and move.


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Posted by Liz
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 29, 2013 at 11:06 pm

I like this place, but it needs to be in a bigger place. This is such a tight space very hard to move around. I have stopped going there it makes me feel clostraphobic. They need to be in a better location.


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Posted by Bela
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 30, 2013 at 3:00 am

Are the planning documents online anywhere? My google-fu is failing me here.

We can't reason sensibly about this offer with these few details. Please point to the underlying documents.

I did find Web Link which is a 2012 version of plans (not real plans, more of a brochure).


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Avoid like Nuclear zone
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Oct 30, 2013 at 6:50 am

GAWD how I hate and avoid this entire area of town now. If I want Valley Fair style shopping and traffic I'll go there...but I won't.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Litsa
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 30, 2013 at 8:47 am

The Mtn. View city council is in bed with all of these developers. They are ruining Mtn. View and running all of the small businesses out of town.

Welcome to Mtn. View's version of Santana Row, where small city charm is replaced by large business monstrosities.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Sialia
a resident of another community
on Oct 30, 2013 at 9:26 am

It would be a terrible mistake for Mountain View to lose this piece of unique local flavor. It should have a historic preservation designation, and plenty of parking and pedestrian access. It's a "draw" for the area that will bring shoppers to your other busiensses. I live in San Jose, but I drive to the Milk Pail because there's nowhere else like it. Sometimes I stop to shop in other nearby stores while I'm up there--but it's specifically the Milk Pail that draws me to the area.

I din't know they used to have drive through--I wish they still did--that would be awesome for folks with pets or cranky kids they don't want to leave in the car and can't take inside a store--or for handicapped or elderly drivers that have difficulty getting in and out of vehicles easily. If you not only preserved some parking but realigned things so that there could be a drive through window again, I think that would be a service to the community.

Treasure the Milk Pail for its very independence and quirkiness. Leave a habitat for small businesses--think of it as an endangered species, because it really is one of a kind.


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Posted by tommygee54
a resident of Rex Manor
on Oct 30, 2013 at 10:03 am

Is there a possibility of losing the Milk Pail Market? In just a few weeks time, Mtn. View will lose another staple of town---this time from El Camino Real; Sizzler is closing in less than two weeks time. Perhaps the corporation will consider moving to phase 2 of the San Antonio Shopping Center, or whatever the area is called now...

Sizzler has been in Mtn. View for over 40 years now...but another long time merchant leaving the city...!!!


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Old Ben
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 30, 2013 at 10:15 am

Very soon your little town will be indistinguishable from Paramus, NJ, or any other example of overdeveloped suburban blight. You are building the slums of tomorrow in the assumption that this corporate monoculture you've got here is just going to keep roaring along. You didn't learn anything from Detroit, but you will. You will.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Cheese Lover
a resident of another community
on Oct 30, 2013 at 11:31 am

I love Milk Pail Prices .The Milk Pail would have to pay The DEVELOPER, based on the Square Footage over $60,000.00 dollars a Month in Rent-So The Developer gets RICHER on the Little Guy...Keep the Milk Pail, Once you take it away it can never come back, Just look around at all of the fabulous farmland in the South Bay that is gone forever.


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Posted by LocalYokel
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 30, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Think the Owner of the Milk Pail being a bit disingenuous as the developer will be paying the Milk Pail Owner substantial funds to secure that parcel of land.
It's an opportunity for the Milk Pail owner to move to a cleaner, new facility with ample parking.
Mayhaps there are opportunities to relocate the Milk Pail to downtown Mountain View?


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Oct 30, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Let me get this right? Milk Pail owns it's site. The city wants it and want to give him a place to rent instead?

How ridiculous is that? Stay where you are, as soon as you move, they will put up the rent annually until you can't afford to stay there.


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Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 30, 2013 at 5:17 pm

Phase II does not include the Milk Pail site. The problem is that the owner needs parking because he doesnt supply sufficient parking on his site. Its a code enforcement disaster. The current parking agreement will eventually expire and MP will be surrounded by new development. My inside sources tell me that MG has made offers but the owner has refused to negotiate. He thinks the council will bail him out but after last nights SS he needs a reality check. He is stubborn and willing to let his "gold mine" come crashing down. Its a sad situation using his customers has pawns to play a silly game of chicken


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Rodger
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 30, 2013 at 5:29 pm

How can we lose Milk Pail to the big unwanted development. The City Council should just not let all of that unwanted development happen. Mountain View is starting to go away, I don't think the people who live here want any of this stuff, large buildings, hotels, etc there must be away to stop this. I call on each member of the City Council, except the current mayor who thinks anything goes, to stop all this, draw a line now before it's too late!


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Hmmm...
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 30, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Sunnyvale:
The "Cherry Orchard Shopping Center" has a produce market right in front on the property. There are chain stores and restaurants behind.

Palo Alto:
The high-rent outdoor shopping mall Stanford Shopping Center has a produce market, called "Sigona's Farmers Market".

Why do these developments have space set aside for produce markets?

What is wrong with Mountain View that they can't work it out with this Developer?

We are living on top of old farmland. Let's not forget our roots and try to provide access to fresh, local and inexpensive fruits, veggies, cheese and all the rest...


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Posted by The Milk Pail
a resident of The Crossings
on Oct 30, 2013 at 10:03 pm

Hello Political Insider,
I own both the Milk Pail site and the business. This evening I noticed you contributed to the VOICE online comments to the article above.
For the past many months I have seen your nomme de plume several times in this online dialogue section of the VOICE. You have often indicated that you have "inside sources" somewhere in the City.
I would be delighted to treat you to a cup of coffee at the San Antonio Train Station cafe. It is a very pleasant small business that was recently acquired by new owners.
I noticed that today you made some assertions about the Milk Pail and our situation as a business located in the San Antonio Shopping Center. I would like to learn more from you about your thoughts about how we should best move forward with our popular business as the landscape around us is changing.
Perhaps I could also shed some light on details that may interest you as well.
I would be happy to honor your privacy by not revealing your true identity.
I welcome the opportunity to meet.
I can be reached by email thru the Milk Pail website; www.milkpail.com
Many thanks,
Steve Rasmussen


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Posted by Mom & Pop
a resident of Slater
on Oct 31, 2013 at 3:04 pm

The Milk Pail needs to stay put. It's almost the last "mom & pop feel" store Mountain View has! I'm tired of seeing the same new construction in almost every city. It's blah and repetitive! No character or charm @ all!


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Posted by mom
a resident of The Crossings
on Oct 31, 2013 at 3:22 pm

The Milk Pail should stay - it will outlast this development, which will probably be redone in 30 years anyway.


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Posted by hunkydory
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 31, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Big Money vs NoMoney. Guess who wins. City council members are crook just like everywhere else. They work at the benefit of Google, facebook, Big Developers because they are the ones who will be hiring them once they get out of city council. common people will have no say irrespective of how loud we get. Money speaks and unfortunately people in city council are sycophants of the big money. people who are going to pay millions in that complex to ilve there don't want see ordinary people in their neighborhood walking around with vegetables and fruits in their cloth bags. They want Tiffany's , Neiman Marcus and Jewelleery stores or expensive high end Liquor shops. enough with my frustration and outrage. Stop reaching me about free market and capitalism, you rich greedy crooked morons.


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Posted by MVmom
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Oct 31, 2013 at 3:43 pm

City council members need to step in and make sure we keep the Milk Pail. People come from all over to shop there! Which means they are coming here and spending money in Mountain View. If Milk Pail is to go, then I will do my produce shopping at Felipe's Market in Sunnyvale, AND also do the rest of my shopping in that area, not Mountain View.


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Posted by Dan Boulander
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 31, 2013 at 3:58 pm

It is disingenuous to claim that Milk Pail has gotten a legitimate offer. An offer, of course, but not a reasonable one. MG needn't do more than make a flimsy claim to concession because they can wait until the City Council surrenders and forces condemnation of the Milk Pail property.

Anyone with real information would give numbers we can all see and know for ourselves whether an offer is reasonable. Anyone else who wants you to think they know something is playing the "I know something you don't" game that served me well in elementary school, but is childish today.

There is no offer that you or I would accept.


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Posted by Duke
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 31, 2013 at 7:11 pm

When someone actually makes the "American Dream" (unlike most who just talk about it)a reality through hard work, risking their own funds, thousands of hours, sweat and smart business decisions shouldn't they get some decent consideration.
Think how valuable this paid off piece of property is to the savy business owner, he worked hard for that.
Perhaps someone on the city council would take ownership of this issue and broker an acceptable solution while the city still has a little leverage to make it happen.
From the above comments the people are talking all they need is for someone to listen


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Posted by resident
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 31, 2013 at 8:43 pm

It would be nice if a brainstorming, problem-solving approach were taken, in which ALL the possible options were put on the table for consideration. It doesn't have to be all old or all new.

The Milk Pail property is wwaayyyy too small to accommodate their customers. It's crowded and cramped and like playing bumper cars with shopping carts. It would be delightful if the same rustic, unpretentious charm could be retained in a slightly larger facility. As mentioned above, the produce market at Stanford Shopping Center, or Felipe's in Sunnyvale, are both nice examples. The developer, who I am guessing has no lack of funds, could earn the respect of the community by building a charming yet larger store for the Milk Pail. They could sit down with Steve the owner, and see if together they can come up with a design, with parking, that is easily accessible to customers and perhaps showcases the market as a key element. They could keep their little old sign, and their cardboard price signs, and the little shopping carts, and all the same charm.

I'm a big believer in compromise. Surely these two parties can find a solution in which they may not get ALL of what they want, but at least enough to satisfy their needs.


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Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 31, 2013 at 9:21 pm

I think MG's idea for the Milk Pail is "photo" 15: Web Link

Check out the "signage" on the "Village Market" -- Special Cheese!

MG is so full of it - a village? a photo? But they are playing hardball with a city council full of amateurs. There is a reason why they picked Mountain View
- to ply their trade.


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Posted by Flava Dave
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 31, 2013 at 10:19 pm

Flava Dave is a registered user.

Guess what Phase II haters, you do NOT speak for everyone in Mountain View. In fact some of us actually live in the area of "the village" --not over in Monta Loma and all the other neighborhoods who see fit to presume they speak for everyone.

I shop at Milk Pail. I'm also for the new development. If people choose to "shop elsewhere" that is fine with me. Fewer people at Milk Pail who cut in line and push their way in front of you while you are getting your produce. Really it's like feeding time at the zoo there sometimes. Then again I've shopped at Berkeley Bowl as well, and ill-mannered oddballs seem to be the norm at markets like that.


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Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 1, 2013 at 12:02 pm

@ resident

"I'm a big believer in compromise. Surely these two parties can find a solution in which they may not get ALL of what they want, but at least enough to satisfy their needs."

It takes both side to agree to a deal. MG has made offers that the MP owner doesnt like. He wants to stay on his owned property and make MG offer parking. I dont think this is going to happen. MP needs to get a grip on reality and come to the bargaining table. The window of opportunity is slowly closing and if council remarks are any indication, they will not bail out
MP.

Phase I is a success. It will be rented out, stores are doing well, so the and the council and MG hold all of the cards


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Posted by Hmmm...
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 1, 2013 at 4:36 pm

The developer wants the city to stretch it's zoning practices to the limit and wants (and has been granted) exceptions beyond that. It would be so easy to grant Milk Pail parking in their huge lot, but the developer wants to maximize profit by building up as much as possible and Milk Pail is in the way.

So, I would suggest that it is the developer who is not willing to bend. They demand exceptions and concessions to make a truly horrible shopping area, which maximizes his company's profit.

Other shopping areas in a similar situation have allowed a produce market to stay in place at lower than market rents. Otherwise, it would not be economically feasible to keep these markets open.

Sure, you can say, "Free Market!"--people just don't want $5.99/lb apples, so let 'em close!

The problem is that this developer is demanding the community relax height restrictions for their hotel and so much more...doesn't it make sense for them to give so little back?


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Posted by AlternativeReality
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 1, 2013 at 6:22 pm

Many on the Council, in the closing minutes of Tuesday's meeting, suggested that the funky MP, with its European Open Air Market, maybe does not belong in the new upscale "Village"….which thought is also a part of Mr Rasmussen's reluctance to take MG's offer, as he has voiced publicly before.

So, why does not MG just pay all costs to relocate the Milk Pail into another, equally suitable location?...in exchange for his SAC parcel…an amount sufficient to keep him 'whole' in a new location: with parking rights access (similar to the parking license which he now pays for), as the owner of his new land (no rent), and with the building and improvements that make it possible for him to start right up where he is now in his current location?

Sounds pretty reasonable to me.

Paying fully for him to relocate off the SAC would also clear the "Milk Pail Issue" out from under the "MG Phase II Issue", and the development could sink or swim on its own merits.


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Posted by Hmmm...
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 1, 2013 at 9:43 pm

"So, why does not MG just pay all costs to relocate the Milk Pail into another, equally suitable location?...in exchange for his SAC parcel…an amount sufficient to keep him 'whole' in a new location: with parking rights access (similar to the parking license which he now pays for), as the owner of his new land (no rent), and with the building and improvements that make it possible for him to start right up where he is now in his current location? "

Yeah, MG is not offering that. MG can give him relocation & build expenses + clear title to a new piece of land. Guess what? The taxes on the new piece of land would require a massive raise in retail prices. Not only is Milk Pail paid off, but the tax assessment is very low. Get a new property? Assessed at current property values. Oops.

How about if MG also kicks in enough extra money to pay off the increased taxes for the next 30 years?

Oh yeah, he's not offering that.

BTW, my inside sources state that Flava Dave is a shill for the developer. Ignore him.


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Posted by Geographically Confused
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Nov 2, 2013 at 8:21 am

A Shoreline West poster wrote:
"In fact some of us actually live in the area of "the village" --not over in Monta Loma and all the other neighborhoods who see fit to presume they speak for everyone."

Looking at a map (Web Link), it's hard to understand how Shoreline West would be in the area but not Monte Loma. In fact, Monte Loma would seem somewhat closer and more affected by the potential loss of Mountain View.

Regardless, it's supposed to be a Regional Center and the project's burden on infrastructure will be carried by all us residents: it does concern everyone.


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Posted by Insightful Observer
a resident of another community
on Nov 3, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Steve,

I think 'Political Insider' is Matt Pear.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Margaret
a resident of Gemello
on Nov 4, 2013 at 4:58 pm

I love the Milk Pail. I hate the over building. How can the community stop phase 2? It needs to be downsized!!!


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Posted by John
a resident of Monta Loma
on Nov 7, 2013 at 12:41 am

Makes sense that f dave is a shill for the developer since they don't have a sense of the local area.
My inside sources tell me political insider is full of hot air.
Good luck Steve, but u are up against a combine. Love your store.


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Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 7, 2013 at 12:54 pm

@ Insightful Observer

"I think 'Political Insider' is Matt Pear."

I am not Matt Pear and have revealed my background and identity in several posts. If Milk Pail does not want to move to a new location, then who is not negotiating in good faith. He wants parking but is unable to provide it on his own property because he has expanded too much. According to my sources, he has been offered a chance to upgrade into a larger facility with more parking. At some price this becomes a good deal, so MP's refusal to consider a new location is unfortunate. The council will not bail him out under these circumstances. His property will be surrounded similar to what happened to a house at the Costco site


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Posted by reader
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 7, 2013 at 7:19 pm

40 years is a good long life for a family/personal business. While not what many want, maybe it is time for the owner to sell and retire. While reluctant, if this is what is to come, which everything seems to suggest, maybe it is best to accept the end and death of the milk pail.


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Posted by Hmmm...
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 8, 2013 at 12:40 am

Political Insider is not Matt Pear. Matt Pear is a thinking and feeling individual, while "Political Insider" is a developer shill. Very different people.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Waverly Park
on Nov 8, 2013 at 1:20 am

Tom Means -> Tom's Mean

it's him, without a doubt.

@reader in OMV, are you NUTS? bust your butt for 40 years to build up a thriving business (have you ever been to that place? it's always packed) and he should just roll over and play dead?!! you think that bullying is okay?


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Posted by Political Insider
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 8, 2013 at 1:20 pm

nice try resident, but not even close


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Posted by Alex
a resident of Monta Loma
on Dec 8, 2013 at 4:49 am

The Milk Pail Market is great! I love it! We go there all the time to buy groceries; they have great prices and a great environment. I hope it stays right where it is. Stay strong MPM!


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Posted by David
a resident of another community
on Dec 8, 2013 at 12:07 pm

@Political Inside:

What a sense of humor. You know that Matt Pear's family trust owns both the old family house and the entire plot of land on which Target and Wheel Works sits. Very funny. That old house is on a 2 acre property and did not get surrounded by development.


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Posted by David
a resident of another community
on Dec 8, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Apparently the shopping center was required by the city to provide a parking agreement for the Milk Pail expansion as one of the conditions of its development approval back in the past. The land for Milk Pail is very valuable and the guy would be wise to hang onto it. For example if it were to be consolidated with the strip mall on the corner both would be more valuable still. The developer of the big property is trying to get an overly sweet deal on the Milk Pail property. Milk Pail has a good plan to keep that as a smaller location and open a 2nd satellite location with more room. It's good to see a small property owner fight off big development.


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Posted by Linda Curtis
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 11, 2013 at 5:20 pm

The owner of the Milk Pail should be allowed to purchase/lease parking spaces and remain as is: Handy to the people in the new buildings & all of us used to going there and also still in-door/out-door which keeps the veggies and fruit cooler. It's bad enough I must lose my BevMO and Ross! Folks living there, staying in the hotel, hanging out, etc., will benefit from the ability to easily obtain healthy fresh stuff to munch. Keeping it is a benefit to the very development.


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Posted by healthy shopper
a resident of another community
on Jan 7, 2014 at 2:11 pm

We have always relied on The Milk Pail for fresh produce at excellent products. Please don't drive this wonderful community asset away!


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