Dollar Tree Coming to San Carlos?

July 19, 2010

Update — 7/26:

The San Carlos Planning Commission has just given the go-ahead needed for the Dollar Store to move into the space formerly occupied by Hollywood Video.

Former Hollywood Video Site.

A Dollar Tree store in San Carlos?  It could happen.   A few years after a competing store was blocked from setting up shop in what is now Bianchini's Market, the Dollar Tree is eyeing the spot of the former Hollywood Video Store that's in the Home Depot/Lucky's parking lot on Old County Road.   For those of you not familiar with the Dollar Tree (or other stores like it) they sell a bunch of stuff that's priced at $1, hence their name.

In tonight's Planning Commission Meeting, the owner of the building at 1121 Old County Road will ask the City to modify the conditional use permit that's in place for the building, thus clearing the way for a wider variety of uses for the building…like a Dollar Tree store.   For more information, check out this article in the Daily Journal..

What Do You Think?

San Carlos residents already punted on the idea of a “discount” store like this one, but it was closer to downtown.  What do you think about a Dollar Tree store in San Carlos?

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  1. JJ on July 19, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    A Dollar Tree AND an In-Out Burger. Wow, this will really do wonders for the image of San Carlos – and its real estate values. Maybe we can also get a tattoo parlor or two on Laurel.

  2. Michael on July 19, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    I guess it’s better than a downtown location or another empty storefront. If we put up with the transient workers camped out in that parking lot almost every day, why should this be an issue? I haven’t noticed any real issues at a similar store in Belmont on El Camino. If you compare it to the assortment of stores currently in this shopping center, it is a good fit.

    If anything, it’s additional tax revenue that we desperately need. It’s good that even bargain chains are still looking to locate in San Carlos. I think this is an appropriate location for this chain..

  3. Michael on July 20, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    JJ, I really don’t think this (or In n Out Burger) will adversely addect our property values here. When almost anyone thinks of San Carlos, this location will never even come to mind. I hate to characterize our city east of the railroad tracks as inferior, but this is by design.

    Any property near the freeway or railroad tracks is really another world, And is it fair to imply that a reputable chain as a potential for blight or a store that will attract a bad element.

    I am not ashamed to admit I have patronized a bargain store, not to mention In n Out Burger in my BMW.

  4. Jonas on July 20, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    I think this is a really bad idea – this seems in the exact opposite direction of where San Carlos was guiding it’s downtown:
    1) More independent proprietors
    2) Increased numbers of restaurants:

    Adding Dollar Tree is not only a departure from that direction but in my opinion a way to really drive down the quality of retailers (and foot traffic) on Laurel. What a prime location for a restaurant, bookstore, coffee shop, independent clothier, etc. I for one will be extremely disappointed if this comes to pass. Over the past several months, many of my friends that are moving to the area comment about how the downtown and community are what really attract them to San Carlos. I, for one, feel like having Dollar General move into such a prime location on Laurel will be a huge setback in what was otherwise becoming one of the best up and coming downtown areas on the peninsula. San Carlos should raise its standards and preserve the great re-development that has occurred to our beloved downtown.

  5. Anonymous on July 20, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    The Dollar Tree is going to be in the parking lot of the Home Depot and Lucky’s, not downtown.

  6. Jonas on July 20, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Got it, for some reason thought Chuck was referring to the Blockbuster spot on Laurel…ok, feeling much better about this now – thanks

  7. ken on July 20, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    i agree with Jonas. though the Dollar Tree will not be on the main downtown, it will be a highly visible site and when you have a very small city/town, each choice of a large store makes an added difference in shaping the look and feel of a place. i still can’t figure out why the leadership of SC keeps losing bids/deals with high revenue/high added-value businesses such as Peets at 1001 Laurel, and earlier the losses of Tesla (SC wouldn’t provide tax breaks so they moved to Palo Alto) and earlier the Ferrari dealership (which then tooks its high dollar sales to R City)…

  8. jj on July 20, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Dollar stores are about the bottom of the barrel in the retail business and do not convey a very positive socio-economic image of their surrounding community. Further, their impact is disproportionally harmful to very small cities, like SC.

  9. carline on July 20, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    There is already a dollar store next to McDonald’s in Belmont, less than five minutes away. I think one for the area is plenty. The citizens would be better served with a different retailer. And to the person above who notes tax dollars for the city — eh, not so much — keep in mind the store’s low prices.

  10. d on July 20, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    I frequent the dollar store in Belmont, so I will not be a hypocrit(shop there, but don’t want it in my town). The proposed location should not impact this town in a negative way, any more than having the day laborers hanging out in the same complex. It does not seem to stop people from moving to San Carlos.

  11. PRM on July 20, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    I would not agree, except that with some of the businesses already in that area (Ross clothing and that awful strip mall anchored by Best Buy) I don’t see how putting in a Dollar Store makes a significant difference, and in fact is preferable to an empty retail space languishing on the market. SC should be so lucky to be considered when practically next there’s all that space on Whipple vacated by the car dealerships.

  12. Anon on July 21, 2010 at 12:05 am

    Tesla moved because SC wouldn’t provide tax breaks? Are you serious?!?!? I suppose the fact that Tesla was growing at the rate of 50 employees per month, was occupying 3 different building in San Carlos and couldn;t find any more space didn’t factor into their thinking.

    Neither did the opportunity for a 30 acre campus off 280
    with class A office space.

    Yes – my buddy is in HR at Tesla. SC did everything they could to keep them there. You’re off your rocker.

    Seriously – if you don’t know what you are talking about you may want to avoid looking like a (fill in the blank). I wonder about the other points you make, cause you’re making stuff up.

  13. Michael on July 21, 2010 at 12:22 am

    The one on El Camino Real hasn’t seem to hurt Belmont in any tangible way. Frankly, if they were to go into the old Blockbuster location, I don’t believe it’s going to hurt SC in any measurable way either; if anything it will bring in some much-needed tax revenue. It’s not a residential area. We have a thrift shop practically on Laurel Street and I think that is more of an issue than this Dollar store going in east of the train tracks.

    No one on this blog seems to complain about the undocumented workers (ok I don’t have proof of thatm, it’s just a hunch) that hang around there all the time and I think that is a much more pressing issue than a legitimate business going in. We have several discount stores in the center by the freeway (ie Best Buy, Ross, TJ Maxx, etc) and they are well kept and not eyesores.

    Last time I checked, our city is still seriously in the red…how can we allow elitist attitudes to fuel our deficits by pretending we are “too good” for a Dollar Store?? We are not Hillsborough or Atherton afterall.

    I still contend that this is the perfect place for this sort of business, even in San Carlos. The only ones that might legitimately be against it is Lucky’s.

  14. J on July 21, 2010 at 3:20 am

    Apparently Dollar Tree sees a market for their store in San Carlos. Between all the day workers in the Home Dept parking lot, relatively low paid maids, gardeners (I suspect some of whom are day laborers from the Home Depot parking lot) and nannies servicing their well-to-do clients, and cost conscious seniors just to name a few, I’d say there is a pent up demand for a Dollar Tree. Sure, this will get approved, it fits right in w/ the immediate surroundings in the HD Shopping Center. Too bad it can’t all be leveled to put in a badly needed high school (you certainly won’t find the space west of the tracks) but that wouldn’t be the “highest and best use”.

  15. Iguana on July 21, 2010 at 6:32 am

    A word about this forum- it is a friendly exchange of ideas and what our opinions are about our great city. Name calling, fill-in-the-blanks and nasty comments have no place here. You must be a very angry man, maybe your “HR buddy can suggest a good therapist. You are no gentleman and this is a gentleman’s forum.
    The facts are this:
    1. SC has more than enough build to suit space and SC early on when they had Tesla here was unwilling to deal on tax breaks. I am sure your HR buddy did not have an inside on the behind-the-scenes negotiations.
    2. Ferrari that is now in Redwood City also had an opportunity to be in SC and they too did not come to an agreement with the powers that be at SC. THESE are the facts.
    The bottom line here is that SC had opportunities and it didn’t take them. Maybe this crisis will have the city thinking outside of the box.

  16. Peter on July 21, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    I would like to respond to Anon about their attack on Ken.

    I think it is appalling that you would resort to name calling and fill-in the blanks???
    I had business with the council back when talks to keep Tesla where happening and
    Ken was right, it was San Carlos that dropped the ball on incentives and tax breaks.
    I am in HR in a mid-size company and we just acquired another company and I wasn’t in on
    the negotiations or privy to the behind the scenes stuff, unless your “friend at HR” is
    one of the founders I don’t imagine he is in on the dealings either.

  17. Samantha on July 21, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Wasn’t this a discussion about the Dollar Tree store? Who cares about Tesla or Ferrari?
    Everyone go to their corners and simmer down.
    I say no Dollar Tree Store, don’t we already have enough places to buy cheap trinkets?

  18. Bill on July 21, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Actually this is a legitimate discussion about the ability (or lack thereof) of SC to attract high-revenue businesses within its borders. So much energy and comments on this blog about cutting city services vs. raising taxes. The real solution is to attract big business to the city, which would negate the need for cuts or increased taxes on residents! Our city leaders should do everything in their power to make SC the most attractive place on the peninsula to do business….tax breaks, incentives, reduce red tape, aggressive marketing, sell/lease vacant land, whatever. It’s telling to me that In & Out announced their intention to build in RWC and SC at the same time, and RWC is about to open while SC has yet to put a shovel in the ground.

  19. Jonquil on August 2, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    It’s amusing seeing everybody’s class assumptions coming out. I stood in line at the Belmont Dollar Tree last week to buy some plastic organizers and flower vases. There was a mix from poor people to economizing seniors to office people just getting off work. My mom and dad, both Depression babies, shop Dollar Store regularly for things like plastic organizers that don’t need to be high-quality.

    If the old Hollywood Video slot is prestige real estate in San Carlos, it’s news to me.

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