BevMo? BevNo! in the Temescal

July 18, 2013

Politics, Streets

DSCN0017“The best offense is a good defense” is what kept running through my head after the recent Temescal flareup with the possibility of BevMo trying to get a foothold in the Temescal at 49th and Telegraph, the most recent site of the 6500 square foot Frazee Building. When I was tipped off to the fact that BevMo was making a presentation to the Temescal Merchants Association, I emailed other local residents and business owners and around 40 folks showed up to speak out against BevMo’s proposal. BevMo cancelled a community NCPC meeting the following night but may be regrouping to see if the property remains vacant and come back with a new proposal. I was disappointed that some board members of the Temescal Telegraph Business Improvement District supported the BevMo proposal while all of the actual merchants I spoke with including Tip Top Bike Shop, Doña Tomas, Barlata’s, Juhu Beach Club, Lanesplitter, The Wine Mine, 17 Jewels Salon and Spa, and Sarita Waite, (owner of many Telegraph properties including Temescal Alleys) etc were adamantly opposed.

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Frazee Building located at 49th and Telegraph in heart of the Temescal

Piedmont Avenue had recently had the experience of having to launch a full out response to BevMo trying to come in on Piedmont Avenue and that proposal went all the way to the Planning Commission before BevMo withdrew their application. I’m not sure what they expected from the Temescal neighbors but we showed that our passions run deep in regards to box stores and increased traffic. Plus we know there is a higher and better use for the Frazee Building and parking lot. Some of our ideas include a live music venue, or a smallish “Market Hall” type market with small purveyors selling fish, flowers, produce and artisanal foods.We don’t want the building and parking lot to remain vacant but we are even more opposed to another liquor license being issued for our neighborhood.

Over 800 folks have signed our online petition and here’s why:

Our neighborhood does not need another 6500 Sq. Ft. of liquor.
Liquor store density has been directly linked to violent crime according to a UC Riverside study in 2011 (http://newsroom.ucr.edu/2717)

We do not want the added traffic and exhaust from destination shoppers and idling trucks that an auto-centric Bevmo store will bring –
– 20 or more truck deliveries per week.
– Average customer visits per week – 1737 – the majority of which will be by car.
– BevMo’s presence will adversely impact pedestrian and bike safety in our neighborhood, as well as an already difficult parking situation.

BevMo will put a 27 year family owned store out of business.
– DJ Adame, his wife, and their 3 children, Oakland residents, own U and I Liquor,  and will be forced out if a Bevmo opens up literally next door to their store.

The Wine Mine, another local store, will likely also be affected.

BevMo’s presence will greatly effect the fabric of Temescal, a neighborhood of independently owned, local businesses.

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graffiti on Frazee Building

About Karen Hester

Karen Hester is a community activist and events coordinator who lives in North Oakland in Temescal Creek Cohousing. Her event productions website is hesternet.net. She lives and breathes the fight to stop more billboards in Oakland and started ScenicEastBay.org

View all posts by Karen Hester

2 Responses to “BevMo? BevNo! in the Temescal”

  1. Tim Says:

    If the neighbors want some other use for that building, they should put their money where their mouths are and buy/rent it and make that use happen. Otherwise Bevmo seems like a perfectly legitimate use for that building and vastly preferable to the likely alternative of vacancy. Is anything in that old Blockbuster on Piedmont now that neighbors successfully killed the Bevmo proposal?

    Reply

  2. Karen Hester
    hestekaren Says:

    yes there is a Petco now in the building on Piedmont Ave–not great but better than BevMo. As the Frazee building owner wants 18K a month for building and parking lot it’s hard to get a Mom and Pop that can afford that. I think the community should keep feeding him ideas and some BID board members have actively been recruiting other live music venue operators. There is $ to be made if the right concept could be developed there.

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