by TImothy Rutt
They are also not willing to accept a Walmart Neighborhood Market at that location if it closes down the Ralphs market and opens up the site for other retail
That was the results of an informal SurveyMonkey poll from Altadena Town Councilman and Altadena Chamber of Commerce board member Ed Meyers. Meyers said he was conducting the unscientific survey outside of his official positions, as a "one man wants to know what you think".
Meyers said that he wanted to see what people thought of having a second Walmart Neighborhod Market at what is now a vacant lot. While Walmart is opening up a Neighborhood Market, its small-format grocery store, at Lincoln Avenue and Figueroa Street, unconfirmed rumors are swirling about Walmart showing interest in the "Calavaras Crater," which is also owned by Arman and Mark Gabay, who own the Walmart property.
Meyers said that he received 380 responses to the survey: "I don't know if they were all unique, possibly some took the survey twice," Meyers wrote in an email. "I set it up so you could take it only once per IP address, but who knows?"
Question 1, "Would you live to see a Walmart Neighborhood Market at Lake/Calavaras," was "overwhelming," Meyers said, with almost 86% of the respondants saying "no." (Respondents could also pass on questions, which is why there are fewer than 380 responses in the chart above).
Question 2 was "If a Walmart Neighborhood Market does not open at Lake/Calavaras, what would you like to see at that location?" More than half chose a restaurant or mixed retail. Meyers said, "Question 2 was to allow respondents a chance to offer input as to what they want to see at that corner. They could offer more than one response. While not wanting a Walmart neighborhood market, there was still interest in a market at the corner. Many wrote asking for a Trader Joe's or to have the existing Ralphs expand.
"Question 3 was designed to see if the community would want a Walmart neighborhood grocery store at that corner if it meant Ralphs would go out of business," Meyers wrote. "That could result in additional retail at the Ralphs site. I wanted to see what the town would say if there was a trade-off. While some did change their mind, a large majority still would not want the Walmart grocery store. It should be made clear that I'm not advocating such; I just wanted to see what others thought."
- Questions 4 & 5 were to determine where respondents lived. "The reason this is important is because it shows that both sides of town participated (almost equally) and have spoken, hand in hand, that a Walmart neighborhood market is not wanted at this site," Meyers wrote.
The survey also allowed comments, and Meyers wrote that "There were a handful of written comments that said that site should be a park or community garden, but the idea that saw the most written replies was for Ralphs to expand followed by putting a Trader Joe's there,. Certainly, restaurants were selected by many although there was no type of food that was a clear majority."
While is it an unofficial survey, Meyers said he plans to share the results with Los Angeles County, the town council, the Chamber of Commerce, as well as the site's leasing agent.
"It's just as important to know what our community does not want as it is to discuss what we do want," Meyers wrote. "Personally, I'd go for the Ralphs expanding with the expansion to include three or four smaller retail pads that would sit on the Lake/Calaveras corner.