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A Report for the Richmond Main Street Initiative –

Economic and Community Prospects

May 8, 2002

Prepared by students in the


Research Workshop in Metropolitan and Regional Planning
Department of City and Regional Planning
University of California Berkeley
Spring 2002
Acknowledgements

This report was prepared by the following students of the Research Workshop in
Metropolitan and Regional Planning, under the direction of Professor Karen Chapple and
with the advice of Renee Hill, Program Manager, Richmond Main Street Initiative, Inc.
(a program of the Bay Area Urban League, Inc.). The report is intended for use and
dissemination by the Richmond Main Street Initiative, Inc.

Forest Atkinson Avni Jamdar Manuel Suarez-Lastra


Karoleen Feng Deepak Lamba-Nieves Ryan Waterman
Kate Gordon Eric Nakajima Grace Woo
Robert Hickey Muhammad Pohan

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ............................................................................................................ i

I. Introduction................................................................................................................ 4

II. Downtown Richmond: Then and Now................................................................. 7

A. Place ....................................................................................................................... 7

B. Planning Downtown Richmond ........................................................................... 9

C. Demographics...................................................................................................... 12

III. Economic Need in Downtown Richmond ........................................................... 18

A. Retail Gap Analysis............................................................................................. 18

B. Case Study - The Potential for Apparel Retail................................................. 20

IV. The Voice of the Community – Survey and Focus Group.................................. 21

A. Survey and Focus Group Findings.................................................................... 21

B. Profile of Survey Respondents........................................................................... 22

C. Current Shopping Patterns and Perceptions of Macdonald Avenue............. 27

D. Shopping, Food, Entertainment and Community Resources Desires............ 28

E. Voice of the Community - Conclusion .............................................................. 30

V. What Works here and Elsewhere ............................................................................ 32

A. Neighborhood Comparisons .............................................................................. 32


1. Introduction....................................................................................................... 32
2. Patterns.............................................................................................................. 35
3. Comparison to Surveys and Richmond Main Street Neighborhood................. 36
4. Neighborhood Comparisons Conclusions......................................................... 37

B. Macdonald Avenue Observations...................................................................... 38


1. Street Observations ........................................................................................... 38
2. Opportunities and Proposals for Street Design and Development.................... 39

VI. Conclusion and Evaluation ................................................................................. 42

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A. The city is rich with unmet demand.................................................................. 42

B. Macdonald Avenue must offer a diversity of businesses and community


spaces............................................................................................................................ 43

C. The community must be involved with the process. ........................................ 44

VII. Appendix............................................................................................................VI-1

A. Retail Gap Analysis..........................................................................................VI-1


1. Assumptions of the Analysis .........................................................................VI-4

B. Case Study -- The Potential for Apparel Retail ............................................VI-5


1. Calculating Potential Market Share ...............................................................VI-5
2. Location Analysis ........................................................................................VI-12
3. Pencil Out Analysis......................................................................................VI-13
4. Case Study Conclusions...............................................................................VI-16

C. Survey..............................................................................................................VI-18
1. The Main Street Initiative Survey................................................................VI-18
2. Profile of Survey Respondents: Cluster Analysis Methodology ................VI-21
3. Survey Cross Tabulation Methodology .......................................................VI-23

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Now Richmond, California is a great little town. And I live there and Jack, I gets
around. If you ever go there and you want to jump for joy, I’ll tell you where to go
that’s the Club Savoy . . . . Now everybody goes there to have some fun ‘cause the
joint really jumps from nine to one. . . . [E}verybody is high and in the mood. ‘Cause
the band starts playing them dirty blues.
Song lyrics from “Club Savoy” by Jimmy McCracklin1
I. INTRODUCTION

The streets of downtown Richmond today feel very different from the Richmond of the
1940s in “Club Savoy”. This report addresses the challenges of reviving the spirit of
downtown Richmond and bringing life to the city’s main street, Macdonald Avenue.
The report was initiated at the request of the Richmond Main Street Initiative to develop
strategies for the economic revitalization of Macdonald Avenue. Though we were
originally asked only to conduct surveys and analyze the retail sales gap in the area, we
found that to make Macdonald Avenue the heart of Richmond, more time and effort
needed to be spent understanding the background and needs of the present community.

Macdonald Avenue is one of Richmond’s primary activity corridors. The city of


Richmond lies on the western coast of Contra Costa County, just across the San Rafael
Bridge from Marin County, and along the northern border of Alameda County. The
“Main Street”2 as defined by the Richmond Main Street Initiative stretches east from 8th
Street to 19th Street, between Nevin and Bissell Avenues, encompassing Macdonald
Avenue. The location of the Main Street relative to the region can be seen in Map 1
below.

1
Shirley Ann Wilson Moore, To Place Our Deeds: The African American Community in Richmond,
California, 1910-1963 (UC Press: 1999)
2
The “Main Street” as defined by the Richmond Main Street Initiative should be distinguished from the
actual street in Richmond that is named Main Street. Throughout this document we will refer to “Main
Street” and Macdonald Avenue interchangeably.

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Map 1: Regional Context of Richmond Main Street Initiative

The city’s hopes for Macdonald Avenue are to recreate a downtown that attracts residents
and employees as well as daytime and nighttime pedestrians. After studying the
economics, culture and physical landscape of Macdonald Avenue, it is clear that there is
much unmet demand and potential for change. However the history of revitalizing
downtown Richmond in the last forty years indicates that a vigorous, integrated and
prioritized effort will be required. This report will investigate and analyze where the
community is today and how people see the street. We conclude by suggesting
opportunities for Macdonald Avenue based on existing resources and examples from
other central Bay Area neighborhoods.

The history of downtown Richmond in Section Two indicates that downtown Richmond
has been seen as a core area for revitalizing Richmond since the 1960s. Throughout the
1960s to 1980s, local planners and policymakers envisioned downtown Richmond as a
regional center for high-end office employment. The location of a shopping mall at
Hilltop rather than near downtown sealed the fate for Richmond’s downtown retail stores.
The efforts of the city to increase affordable housing to support local businesses and to

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improve the streetscape have changed the area but have not been enough to refocus
economic and community activities on downtown. Demographics from the 1990 and
2000 census show that the population living in and around Macdonald Avenue has
gradually changed over the last decade with an increasing proportion of Whites,
Hispanics and Asians, although the area is still predominantly African American.

The surveys and focus group conducted (in Section Three) impressed upon us the
importance of listening to the residents and employees of the community. At present,
Macdonald Avenue does not serve enough of their needs economically and socially. This
is partly due to the negative perceptions of the Avenue and partly due to the absence of
stores, food establishments and community spaces that answer community needs. The
retail gap analysis in Section Four will point to the tremendous potential for retail and
grocery development in the area. In Section Five, examples of other neighborhoods are
offered as comparisons of possibilities and alternatives. In addition, this section outlines
the opportunities for improvement based on what exists in the “Main Street” today and
the results of the previous sections.

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II. DOWNTOWN RICHMOND: THEN AND NOW

A. Place3
In 1902, Oakland real estate developer Alfred Sylvester Macdonald joined with officials
from the Santa Fe Railroad Company to purchase 457 acres of land along the water north
of Berkeley. Macdonald, the area’s first planner, subdivided the property into residential,
commercial, and industrial zones, and designated Macdonald Avenue as the town’s main
thoroughfare. Three years later, Richmond, CA was officially incorporated. At that time,
most of the city’s residents were native-born and white. According to the 1910 census,
the nonwhite population, made up of Japanese, Chinese, Native American, Mexican, and
African American residents, comprised only 2% of the total population. Because of its
deep harbor and railway access, Richmond drew many industrial employers, including
the Santa Fe RR, Standard Oil, the Pullman Coach Co., and several porcelain and steel
works.

While many of the white residents held these industrial jobs, nonwhite residents were
often barred from working in the large factories and turned instead to informal labor such
as truck farming (mainly Japanese), shrimp fishing (Chinese), or part-time and temporary
manual labor (African Americans). With the onset of the Depression, some of the larger
industrial companies used nonwhite laborers as strikebreakers. Richmond’s prewar
housing market was similarly segregated. Restrictive covenants closed off many
neighborhoods to nonwhite residents, and the partly unincorporated area of North
Richmond became home to most of the town’s African American, Italian, Portuguese,
and Mexican citizens. By 1940, nearly the entire African American population of
Richmond was concentrated in North Richmond.

From its incorporation until around 1940 the population of Richmond grew steadily but
slowly. America’s entry into World War II changed everything, as Richmond was

3
Resources used for this section include Shirley Ann Wilson Moore, To Place Our Deeds: The African
American Community in Richmond, California, 1910-1963 (UC Press: 1999); Greg Cannon, Richmond
Shore Due for Cleanup, Transformation, Contra Costa Times, March 15, 2002; Greg Cannon, Toxic Hill

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catapulted onto the world stage as one of America’s most important war production
towns. The Kaiser Shipyard located in Richmond in 1941, bringing with it hundreds of
thousands of steady, high-paying jobs. Because there simply were not enough people in
the state to fill these jobs, the War Manpower Commission began a nationwide
recruitment campaign in 1942 to bring men and women to California. These recruiters
especially targeted African American workers from the South, and by 1943 nearly 90%
of the African American shipyard workers were Southerners. The Commission also
worked out a deal with the Mexican government, bringing 300,000 Mexican nationals to
the state to work in the defense industry in Richmond and southern California on short-
term contracts. The result was that between 1940 and 1943, Richmond’s population went
from about 23,000 to over 90,000 and the town’s African American population, the
fastest growing sector, increased by over five thousand percent.

The cultural impact of the wartime boom on Richmond was enormous. Southerners
brought southern traditions such as soul food and blues clubs to the area. North
Richmond’s blues clubs, such as the Savoy Club and the Tappers Inn on Chelsey Street,
became hot nightspots for workers throughout the Bay Area. In downtown Richmond,
movie houses, restaurants, bars, and shops sprung up to serve the exploding population.
This population boom put a great strain on the city’s resources, especially because so
many of the federally subsidized defense industries did not have to pay local property
taxes. The city simply could not keep up with the population growth. Downtown
Richmond, for instance, lacked storm drains or a modern sewage system until the 1970s.
Richmond became dependent on federal loans for police support, infrastructure
development, and public housing to accommodate the thousands of new workers.
Between 1941 and 1943, 21,000 units of public housing were built in Richmond, many of
which still stand today. Those workers who did not get into public housing, often because
of racial discrimination, lived in temporary housing or built their own dwellings in the
unincorporated sections of North Richmond, the area with the highest homeownership
rates in the city.

Falling, Plans Rising, Contra Costa Times, April 6, 2002; Editorial, Pearl Harbor’s Legacy, San Francisco
Chronicle, December 7, 2001.

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The Richmond economy was utterly dependent on the defense industry, and this proved
to be devastating to the city when the war ended in 1945. By the spring of 1946, the
shipyards were laying off over a thousand workers a month. During the 1950s, more than
30,000 people moved away from Richmond, leaving the city with thousands of units of
vacant wartime housing, huge abandoned factory sites, a declining downtown, and a
severe shortage of jobs.

B. Planning Downtown Richmond


The City of Richmond created the Richmond Redevelopment Agency in 1950 in order to
address some of the problems left behind after the war. The Redevelopment Agency was
charged with clearing temporary housing constructed during World War II and providing
for new construction on vacant parcels. By 1960, it became clear that there was an
additional need to revitalize the city’s downtown, stretching along Macdonald Avenue
from 16th and 6th Streets, between Barrett Avenue and Bissell Avenue. The
Redevelopment Agency chose downtown Richmond as the site for new economic
development, in an attempt to replace the shipyard and industrial areas as the city’s
economic anchor.4

But what would Richmond’s new anchor look like? The Agency’s first answer was to
develop a regional center for high-end office employment. In 1962, the firm of Wilsey,
Ham and Blair submitted a report to the Redevelopment Agency entitled Downtown
Richmond: a Plan for Redevelopment Action. The plan envisioned a series of modern
office towers, civic plazas and department stores, clustered in a downtown surrounded by
high-rise residential apartments. The designs for the new downtown were driven by the
belief that Richmond would be best served by exploiting its low cost land and proximity
to a national center of white-collar employment. Even in 1962, the city of Richmond

4
Richmond City Planning Department, Community Renewal Program: Richmond, California 1965-75,
January 3, 1966.

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expected that the proposed rapid transit line [BART] would serve as a catalyst for
downtown development.5

In 1966, Richmond received approval from the Department of Housing and Urban
Development to declare the downtown a federal Redevelopment Area.6 The city’s
principal goal was to clear out decrepit and abandoned buildings, improve the public
infrastructure and plan for the commercial revitalization of the downtown. Richmond city
officials continued to believe that the downtown would capture a reasonable proportion
of the Bay Area’s office and residential development. Activists, planners and city
officials uniformly believed that the completion of the BART station in 1973, along with
improvements in highway access, would entice office developers to take another look at
Richmond.7 This hope was buttressed by the planned construction of the Western
regional office of the Social Security Administration, a new Wells Fargo building, and a
proposed Kaiser medical facility.

Despite these grand plans, the 1970s and 1980s were a difficult time for Richmond’s
residents. The city’s unemployment level was relatively high and the predicted economic
benefit of the BART station and the Social Security building did not materialize. At the
same time, the construction of the Hilltop Mall in 1976 proved to be the final nail in the
coffin for Richmond’s downtown retail stores, which had steadily lost business since the
shipyards closed down. The Greater Richmond Community Development Corporation
(GRCDC) attempted to address community needs by constructing affordable housing
throughout Richmond and building the Enterprise Center on Macdonald Avenue to
support the growth of local businesses downtown. GRCDC, which was supported by
grants from the federal Community Services Administration, provided loans and
technical assistance to businesses and sought a community-centered approach to

5
Wilsey, Ham & Blair, Downtown Richmond: a Plan for Redevelopment Action, Prepared for the
Redevelopment Agency of the City of Richmond, California, October 1962
6
The redevelopment area declared in 1966 overlaps with most of the “Main Street” study area, since it runs
from 6th to 16th Streets between Barrett and Bissell Avenues.
7
Greater Richmond Community Development Corporation, A Plan For Urban Economic Development,
Submitted to the Community Services Administration, Title VII-A Grant Application, 1976.

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economic development.8 Despite these efforts, population and employment in downtown
Richmond continued to decline.

In 1986, the City of Richmond initiated an extensive public process to plan for its
downtown. The City Center Specific Plan, approved by the Planning Commission in
1988, began by accepting that the old downtown would not be able to compete with the
Hilltop Mall for retail activity.9 The plan envisioned office buildings near the BART
station, and office buildings above pedestrian-friendly retail stores along Macdonald
Avenue. The downtown would be connected to new and existing affordable housing
units via open space and pubic parks. As before, the fundamental assumption underlying
this plan was that Richmond would share in the rise of overall Bay Area construction and
employment.

During the 1990s, the city implemented parts of the City Center Specific Plan by
significantly improving the streetscape and infrastructure in the downtown area, and
constructing new affordable housing. The city has focused on tangible efforts to improve
economic activity, despite a continuing citywide reputation for high crime. In January
2001, the Planning Commission modified the City Center Specific Plan to help pave the
way for a major residential center at the BART station, the Richmond Transit Village.
The City expects the Transit Village, which will include 231 residential units and 24,000
square feet of commercial space, to catalyze development along Macdonald Avenue and
rebuild the downtown as a lively, 24-hour neighborhood.

Today, the city is undertaking a major effort to build on the opportunities presented by
the transit village and take the incremental steps that will result in a better downtown for
all of Richmond’s residents. The Redevelopment Agency is developing a master plan
for the city center stretching from the old downtown of Richmond to City Hall. The
Richmond Main Street Initiative is working with business and community leaders in the

8
Ibid.
9
The “Main Street” lies within the larger area covered by the City Center Specific Plan circa 1988, which
was bounded by Barrett Avenue, 19th and 20th Streets, the mid-block line between Bissell and Chanslor
Avenues, and 6th and 7th Streets.

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downtown to plan for the revitalization of Macdonald Avenue as the center of
Richmond’s arts, nightlife and community activity. The East Bay Center for the
Performing Arts, which already draws students from all over the Bay Area to Macdonald
Avenue for dance and music classes and concerts, will play an important role in this new
downtown plan. Ultimately, the plan for Richmond is to build up Macdonald Avenue a
downtown destination in its own right, not as a site for spillover office and residential
development from the rest of the Bay Area.

C. Demographics
Any plan for downtown Richmond must take the demographics of the surrounding area
into account. The face of this city has changed dramatically since its incorporation nearly
a century ago. Richmond’s wartime population boom dramatically changed the
demographics of the town, bringing in large numbers of African American and Mexican
residents, many of whom bought houses and remained in the area even after the shipyards
closed down. Since the war the Asian population of Richmond has also greatly expanded
and changed in character, from small numbers of Japanese and Chinese residents in the
pre-war period to a much larger, multi-ethnic Asian/Pacific Islander population today.

In the last decade, the makeup of downtown Richmond has undergone further changes as
can be seen in the demographic breakdown of the two zip codes making up downtown
Richmond (see Table 1 and Maps 2 and 3). Generally, there has been an increase in
Asian/Pacific Islander and Hispanic residents and a drop in African American residents10.
A further breakdown of the Asian population in these zip codes in 2000 indicates that the
majority is of Chinese (22% of Asian population), Filipino (19.8%) or Laotian (26%)
descent (see Table 2). However, African Americans still comprise the majority
population (44%) of the “Study Area,” which includes Macdonald Avenue plus a 1-mile
buffer zone. Location quotient data, which compares ethnic concentrations in this area to
the entire county, indicates that the Study Area has a much higher concentration of
Asian/Pacific Islander and “Other Race” residents than Contra Costa County as a whole.

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(Note that the extremely large increase in “Other Race” residents from 1990-2000 is
probably due to the fact that respondents could list themselves as mixed race for the first
time in the 2000 census). Although income data is not available from the 2000 Census,
the 1990 income figures indicate that Richmond’s median income level was about 65%
of the entire county’s median income.

As you can see from Table 1, this area has a substantial youth population. According to
the 2000 Census, 9% of the population is very young (under five years old), whereas 19%
of the population is between the ages of six and seventeen years old. This youth
population is significant. As you will see from our survey and focus group data,
Richmond residents are very interested in creating a downtown that serves the youth, by
creating teen hang-out centers, family restaurants, and other child- and teen-friendly
spaces.

In the past ten years the number of owner- and renter-occupied housing units in these two
zip codes has increased, though the increase is smaller in owner-occupied units.
Furthermore, the Study Area data shows that nearly 60% of the housing in the immediate
downtown area is renter-occupied. The high number of renters in this area might allow
for unwelcome displacement, unless downtown development is done carefully.

Richmond’s downtown and near-downtown residents will play a very important role in
any plan to revitalize Macdonald Avenue. These are the consumers who are most likely
to use the downtown for their day-to-day shopping and entertainment needs, as we found
in our Macdonald Avenue survey. In the “Retail Gap” section of this report we will
examine the purchasing power of these residents, and demonstrate that downtown
Richmond could support significant new commercial development on the strength of
these residents alone.

10
As we note in the table itself, the exact numbers for the change in ethnic and racial populations cannot be
determined because the methodology for categorization of race and ethnicity diferred significantly between
the 1990 and 2000 census.

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Table 1: Demographic Profile of Zip codes 94801and 94804 and Study Area11

Zip Codes Study Area


Category 1990a 2000 2000
%Change
94801 94804 Total % 94801 94804 Total % % L.Q.d

Persons

Total Population 23,904 34,154 58,058 100% 28,437 39,080 67,517 100% 16% 24,299 100% 1

Male 14,224 18,613 32,837 49% 12,089 50% 1.02


Female 14,213 20,467 34,680 51% 12,210 50%

Under 5 2,869 3,036 5,905 9% 2,626 11% 1.24


6-17 4,521 5,378 9,899 15% 6,008 25% 1.69
18-64 16,773 23,990 40,763 60% 13,952 57% 0.95
65 and over 2,093 4,182 6,275 9% 1,713 7% 0.76

Median age 27.8 32.8 30.7 27.1

White 4,557 8,292 12,849 22% 3,990 7,836 11,826 18% -8% 5,778 24% 1.36
b
Black or African American 11,498 19,131 30,629 53% 9,844 17,785 27,629 41% -10% 10,761 44% 1.08
AHOPI b, c 1,925 3,061 4,986 9% 1,896 4,993 6,889 10% 38% 6,344 26% 2.56
Other Race b 212 247 459 1% 593 999 1,592 2% 247% 1,417 6% 2.47

Hispanic or Latino 5,712 3,423 9,135 16% 13,525 9,552 23,077 34% 153% 10,787 44% 1.30

Households

Total Households 8,451 12,934 21,385 8,586 14,322 22,908 7% 6,974 95% 1.00

Median Household Income 21,478 27,329


Average household size 3.26 2.71 2.9417 3.63

Housing Units 9,082 13,537 22,619 100% 9,096 14,946 24,042 100% 6% 7,374 100% 1.01
Owner Occupied 3,532 6,542 10,074 45% 3,622 7,017 10,639 44% 6% 2,780 38% 0.86
Renter Occupied 4,919 6,392 11,312 50% 4,964 7,305 12,270 51% 8% 4,194 57% 1.12
Vacant 631 603 1,234 5% 510 624 1,134 5% -8% 400 5% 1.16

a
Because individuals could report only one race on the Census forms in 1990 and could report more than one race in 2000, and because of other changes in the census
questionnaire, the race data for 1990 and 2000 are not directly comparable. Thus the difference in population by race between 1990 and 2000 is due both to these
changes in the census questionnaire and to real change in the population.
b
In order to make the 1990 and 2000 census more comparable, the population for Black or African American, AHOPI and Other Races included a proportional amount
of mixed race categories
c
Asian, Native Hawaiian, Other Pacific Islander (AHOPI)
d
Location quotient (LQ) is a measure of the relative concentration of the impoverished community for the selected race/ethnicity or housing unit tenure.
For example for the whites in the impoverished community, the calculation is (whites population in the impoverished community/whites population in the
county)/(population in the impoverished community/population in the county) . An LQ greater than 1.0 signifies the impoverished community is more concentrated than
the county and vice versa for an LQ less than 1.0.

11
Data source: 1990 Census, 2000 Census. “Study Area” includes Macdonald Avenue plus a 1-mile radius zone.

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Table 2: Breakdown of Asians by place of origin for Zip Codes 94801 & 9480412

ZipCode Total
94801 94804 % of
%withi
% of %within % of %within # total
# # n Asian
total Asian total pop Asian pop
Total Asian 1,548 5.4% 100.0% 4,319 11.1% 100.0% 5,867 8.7% 100.0%
Asian Indian 46 0.2% 3.0% 394 1.0% 9.1% 440 0.7% 7.5%
Bangladeshi 2 0.0% 0.1% 0 0.0% 0.0% 2 0.0% 0.0%
Cambodian 56 0.2% 3.6% 42 0.1% 1.0% 98 0.1% 1.7%
Chinese, except Taiwanese 151 0.5% 9.8% 1,146 2.9% 26.5% 1,297 1.9% 22.1%
Filipino 513 1.8% 33.1% 648 1.7% 15.0% 1,161 1.7% 19.8%
Hmong 19 0.1% 1.2% 13 0.0% 0.3% 32 0.0% 0.5%
Indonesian 2 0.0% 0.1% 37 0.1% 0.9% 39 0.1% 0.7%
Japanese 43 0.2% 2.8% 423 1.1% 9.8% 466 0.7% 7.9%
Korean 37 0.1% 2.4% 215 0.6% 5.0% 252 0.4% 4.3%
Laotian 604 2.1% 39.0% 954 2.4% 22.1% 1,558 2.3% 26.6%
Malaysian 2 0.0% 0.1% 8 0.0% 0.2% 10 0.0% 0.2%
Pakistani 0 0.0% 0.0% 37 0.1% 0.9% 37 0.1% 0.6%
Sri Lankan 1 0.0% 0.1% 7 0.0% 0.2% 8 0.0% 0.1%
Taiwanese 0 0.0% 0.0% 36 0.1% 0.8% 36 0.1% 0.6%
Thai 12 0.0% 0.8% 79 0.2% 1.8% 91 0.1% 1.6%
Vietnamese 20 0.1% 1.3% 214 0.5% 5.0% 234 0.3% 4.0%
Other Asian 0 0.0% 0.0% 6 0.0% 0.1% 6 0.0% 0.1%
Other Asian, not 40 0.1% 2.6% 60 0.2% 1.4% 100 0.1% 1.7%
TotalifiPopulation
d 28,437 100.0% - 39,080 100.0% - 67,517 100.0% -

12
Data source: Census, 2000

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Map 2: Demographics - Whites and Hispanics in Richmond Main Street, CA

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Map 3: Demographics – African Americans and Asian Richmond Main Street, CA

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III. ECONOMIC NEED IN DOWNTOWN RICHMOND

A. Retail Gap Analysis


One of the main issues surrounding a discussion on the success of local economic
development initiatives is the capacity that local businesses possess to serve resident’s
consumption needs. Understanding how local residents spend their dollars and how much
of this is captured (or not) by the local businesses is important since it will provide
insights into the possibilities for future local economic growth and pinpoint the strengths
and weaknesses present in the community’s retail market. In order to get a better sense
of some of these issues within the “Main Street” area, we prepared a retail gap analysis
that focuses on analyzing two important retail activities: apparel and groceries
consumption. It must be noted that the selection of these two retail activities is based on
the needs identified by the residents in the survey we administered as well as an analysis
of traditional retail needs in inner city communities.

According to our analysis of retail conditions in the area around Richmond Main Street,
comprised of zip codes 94801 and 94804, local residents could financially support a
considerable amount of new retail in the community. By comparing community
purchasing power to existing retail capacity, we estimate $216.8 million in resident retail
expenditures "leaks" outside the area every year ($3,211 per capita). In other words, local
retail businesses capture only 41% of residents' total retail purchases. This gives strong
support to the contention that new commercial development in Macdonald Avenue is
feasible. Table A1 included in the Appendix describes the figures in detail

The $216.82 million retail gap of the area comprised by the two zip codes could be filled
by a variety of businesses, many of which could locate in Macdonald Avenue under the
“Main Street” program. We looked specifically at the viability of new supermarkets and
apparel stores, given their success in other inner city markets13 and the fact that these
activities had a strong presence in our survey results (see Table A2 in the Appendix).

13
Porter, Michael, The Business Case for Pursuing Retail Opportunities in the Inner City, 1998.

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A considerable amount (46%) of the area’s total retail gap consists of a groceries sales
gap (99.1 million) and 15% of apparel sales gap (34 million). Our calculations show that
the area could support one additional large grocery store (50,000 square feet in size) and
two mid-size grocery stores. Additionally the area could support thirteen additional mid-
sized apparel stores (each 6,000 square feet). Given the space available in the Macdonald
Avenue area there are multiple developable parcels that could provide space for these
types of stores. Nonetheless, these figures serve as benchmarks; therefore it should not be
implied that two mid-sized grocery stores or thirteen apparel stores should be developed.
Rather, they identify the potential for development that exists for these commercial
activities. It is our understanding that the retail establishments to be developed should be
determined by the overall synergy and balance of commercial activities that is desired.

We also prepared a retail gap breakdown for African Americans and Hispanics (both on
an aggregate and per capita basis) to get a better sense of how local businesses are
responding to the consumption needs of these populations given the fact that they are the
two largest ethnic groups in our area of analysis (see Tables A3 and A4 in the Appendix).
We found that although the total retail gap for both groups is similar to that of the rest of
the population, the existing establishments serve their groceries needs better than for the
population as a whole. That is, the per capita gap for groceries is less for Hispanics and
African Americans than for the rest of the population. However, the apparel sales gap for
African Americans is 20% higher than for the rest of the population. According to the
analysis, while there is on average a $504 yearly leak per capita for all ethnic groups, the
yearly leak per capita for the African American population ascends to $602. Hispanics’
per capita apparel gap, on the other hand, is less than that of the rest of the population and
of African Americans. Nonetheless, this finding should not detract attention from the
argument that the overall consumption needs of this ethnic group (Hispanics) are not
being met by the current local retail market.

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B. Case Study - The Potential for Apparel Retail
This section has described the unmet need for retail services among Richmond’s residents
who live near downtown. In this case study, we try to understand the barriers and
opportunities that new retailers might face. How realistic is it to expect a new clothing
store, for instance, to thrive if they locate on Macdonald Avenue? How many customers
could a storeowner anticipate, especially given stiff competition from Hilltop Mall or El
Cerrito Plaza?

A full presentation of our case study is located in the Appendix. In the case study, we
analyze the likely success of a store such as Old Navy or Ross Dress for Less, if it
anchors the development of small stores at the western end of Macdonald Avenue.
Residents who participated in our survey and focus groups said that they would like a
low-priced, fashionable clothing store, and these stores were used as good Bay Area
examples. The actual stores that locate on Macdonald Avenue, however, will depend
upon the vision established by residents and the Main Street Initiative.

The upshot of our findings is that a major clothing store could thrive on the 900 block of
Macdonald Avenue. Our analysis found that a 20,000 square foot Old Navy or Ross
could attract a market of just over 50,000 people, even taking into account competition
from Hilltop Mall and other stores. This translates into better than $8 million in annual
sales or nearly 2.5 times the median sales per square foot achieved by clothing stores
nationwide. If safety concerns limit the attractiveness of downtown Richmond, however,
our analysis shows the store’s market shrinks to the point that a new store might not be
feasible. If these concerns can be minimized, there is great hope for a new store in
downtown Richmond.

Page 20
IV. THE VOICE OF THE COMMUNITY – SURVEY AND FOCUS GROUP

A. Survey and Focus Group Findings


A key component of our investigation into the economic and community prospects of
Macdonald Avenue is establishing the activities and needs of those who live and work in
the area. We conducted both surveys and focus groups during April 2002 to learn about
the behavior and preferences of Macdonald Avenue area shoppers. Our research showed
a strong attachment to Macdonald Avenue among community members, who visit it
frequently and meet many of their daily need on the street. However, safety concerns and
the limited choices for activity on the street – in particular, the perceived lack of
community resources or entertainment options – prevent many from visiting more often.
This section presents the results of the customer survey, highlighted with contributions
from the focus group discussions. It begins with a profile of the survey respondents, and
continues with both a report of their current shopping patterns and a list of their desires
for future development on Macdonald Avenue.

The customer survey was administered in the Macdonald area, both to passersby on the
street and to employees of two prominent local employers, the Social Security
Administration and Kaiser Permanente. The group of respondents to the street survey,
the “customer group,” included 148 respondents, while the surveys from major local
employers, the “employee group,” included 43 respondents. Although the survey was not
designed to return a statistically representative sample, which would have entailed a
much more extensive and time-consuming process, the responses received were sufficient
to get an impression of the desires of Macdonald area shoppers. 14 (See Appendix
Section C for both a copy of the customer survey and a detailed table of the results).Later,

14
The customer survey was administered two distinct places. First, surveyors intercepted passersby on the
street in front of three locations around the Macdonald Avenue area (Foods Co., the Players Outlet, and the
Richmond BART station), on two different days (in mid-afternoon on Tuesday, April 2nd, and mid-morning
Saturday, April 6th). By filling out the survey, all respondents entered a raffle to win one of three prizes: a
$100 gift certificate to Best Buy, or one of two $25 gift certificates to Best Buy or Blockbuster Video.
Second, the survey was administered to employees of Kaiser Permanente, the City of Richmond and the
Social Security Administration through both in-person distribution and interoffice mail. Both sets of
respondents filled out the same three-page paper survey, composed of 13 multiple choice and 2 fill-in the
blank questions.

Page 21
we conducted two focus groups with survey respondents to further explore the
impressions of Macdonald area shoppers.15

B. Profile of Survey Respondents


In order to know the people who frequent Macdonald Avenue and their shopping patterns
and preferences, profiles of groups of survey respondents were identified. A brief glance
at their demographic representation, however, shows that relative to the Richmond study
area community, African-American respondents were over represented in the survey,
while Whites and Asians were underrepresented. 16 There were also significant
demographic differences between the customer and employee groups along geographic,
income, racial, and gender categories. Geographically, nearly 75% of employee group
respondents live outside the Macdonald Avenue area, compared to the nearly 73% of the
customer group that live within the Macdonald Avenue area. Financially, the customer
group was mostly composed of low-income households, with 45% earning less then
$15,000 per year and only 7% earning $50,000 or more, compared to only 5% of the
employee group earning less than $15,000 per year and 49% earning $50,000 or more.
Ethnically, the customer group included more Hispanics and African Americans than the
employee group, while the employee group included more Whites and non-ethnically
reporting respondents than the customer group.

15
Focus group discussions, one for English-speaking residents and one for Spanish-speaking residents,
were minimally guided by representatives from the research team and lasted for one and a half hours. The
discussions were held at the office of the Richmond Main Street Initiative on Saturday, April 27th, in the
late morning and the mid-afternoon. Participants were compensated $25 for their time.
16
This does not necessarily mean that those surveyed were not representative of the people that shop on
Macdonald Avenue. For the purposes of this report, we used these numbers to generalize about the
preferences of Macdonald Avenue shoppers. However, without a more in-depth survey, the survey’s
results should not be used to generalize about the preferences of the entire resident population of downtown
Richmond.

Page 22
Table 3: Ethnic Composition of Survey Respondents

Zip Codes Customer Employee


94801 & 94804 Group Group
Population % Population % Population %
Hispanic 23,077 32% 41 28% 6 14%
African American 27,629 39% 88 59% 23 53%
Asian or Pacific Islander 6,889 10% 4 3% 0 0%
White 11,826 17% 8 5% 11 26%
Other 1,592 2% 7 5% 3 7%
Source: Macdonald Avenue Customer Survey, 2002; U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 STF1, P10.
Racial categories may be that race alone, or may be in combination with one or more other races.

Finally, although gender within the customer group was more reflective of the
Macdonald Avenue area as a whole, demonstrated by a 43/57% split between male and
female respondents compared to the 49/51% split in the Macdonald Avenue area, the
employee group was overwhelming female (91%).

To further analyze our survey respondents, different groups of consumers that have
similar preferences and opinions were determined using a technique called “Cluster
Analysis” to find commonalities between respondents to the consumer survey.17 Due to
the small number of responses from the employee group, the analysis only includes the
responses for the customer group.

Using cluster analysis, we identified four groups of consumers with similar personal
characteristics, consumer preferences, and opinions regarding Macdonald Avenue.
Principal characteristics that may explain preferences and opinions about the area include
age, income, gender, and ethnicity. The demographics of the four groups can be seen in
Table 4 below.

17
A description of Cluster Analysis technique can be found in the Appendix in Section C.

Page 23
Table 4: Demographics of Profile Groups
Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4
Average Group Age 18.5 30.3 42 57
Number of Respondents (%) 63 (44%) 26 (17%) 33 (22%) 24 (16%)
Income score (1-4)18 1.8 1.7 1.5 2.2
% Males 48% 31% 30% 58%
% Females 52% 69% 70% 42%
% Hispanic 27% 52% 21% 18%
% African American 67% 43% 69% 67%
% Others 6% 5% 10% 15%
Source: Macdonald Avenue Customer Survey, 2002.

Among respondents to the survey, the groups are most clearly identifiable by age bracket.
Other notable demographic characteristics include: 1) relatively high concentration of
African Americans in every group but Group Two, and 2) relatively high concentrations
of women in Groups Two and Three.

Table 5 below shows the most common answers by respondents, arranged by consumer
group, to the survey. Although some of the preferences presented may not have been top
answers in the survey overall, they show specific characteristics of each of the consumer
groups identified.

18
The Income Score is the mean response to the income question on the survey. The survey gave four
possible income categories for respondents to choose from: 1) less than $15,000, 2) $15,000 – 34,999, 3)
$35,000 – 49,999, and 4) more than $50,000. Therefore, if a respondent reports an income of $35,000-
49,999, he or she would receive an income score of “3.” The statistic presented above is the mean of all the
responses in each Group. For example, if Group 1 has an income score of 1.8, then the mean income level
for Group 1 is somewhere between income categories 1 and 2, although it is closer to income category 2
($15,000 – 34,999) than to income category 1 (less than $15,000).

Page 24
Table 5: Preferences of the Profile Groups
Macdonald Avenue Consumer Survey Cluster Analysis
Survey Question Group1 Group2 Group3 Group4

Why do you visit Macdonald Shopping eating Shopping religious Shopping groceries Groceries
Avenue. haircut/nails to hang out recreation work banking work

Run into people, Convenient to Services /


Why do you choose Stores I shop at
comfortable to walk home/work, convenient to
Macdonald Avenue.
around comfortable to walk home/work

I would come more often if More entertainment More services More of the stores I More recreation,
there were More Stores Better food options shop at More stores

Clothing,
What kind of stores would Sporting goods, Music, Electronics, Clothing, Video,
Hardware, Home
you like to see clothing Bookstores Bookstores, Grocery
Furnishings

Health food,
What kind of food places Deli, Coffee House,
Fast food Bakery/Bagels Family
would you like to see Family restaurant
restaurants

What kind of entertainment Teen Hangout Clubs, Coffee Shops, Coffee shops, Movies, Performing arts,
would you like to see Movie theatre Teen-Hangout Performing arts Coffee shops

What keeps you from coming Difficulty getting by Difficulty walking, Safety, Difficulty
Safety
more often Car/BART Dirtiness, Noise walking

Source: Macdonald Avenue Customer Survey, 2002.

Group 1: Composed mainly of young people (the average age of the group is 18.5 years),
the proportion between males and females in this group is relatively equal, and it is the
largest group of the four clusters, encompassing 44% of all respondents.

The reasons that members of this group visit Macdonald Avenue are to shop, to eat,
attend to haircuts/nails, and to hang out. Members of this group like Macdonald Avenue
because it is a comfortable place to walk around and they can run into people they know.
They would like to see music, sporting goods, and clothing stores added to the shopping

Page 25
selections available at Macdonald Avenue. Interestingly, this group is the only group to
ask for more fast food restaurants. In terms of entertainment, members of this group
would like to see clubs and movie theaters, as well as a teen hangout center. This group
was the only group of the four to note that transportation to the Macdonald Avenue was a
reason why they did not come more often, citing difficulty getting to the area by both car
and by BART.

Group 2: The average age in this group is 30 years of age and 69% of its members are
female. Seventeen percent (17%) of all respondents are in this group. It is also the group
with the highest percentage of Hispanics (52% of respondents in this group). Their
reasons for visiting Macdonald Avenue were shopping, religious purposes and recreation.
In general, members of this group said that they would come more often if Macdonald
Avenue had more services and better food options. This group would like to see
bookstores, electronics stores, and bakeries. In terms of entertainment, members of this
group would also like to see a teen hangout center and coffee shops. The main issue of
concern for going to Macdonald Avenue for members of this group is safety.

Group 3: Of the four groups, Group 3 was the only one where a significant number of
the members chose “performing arts” as one of the main reason why they visit
Macdonald Avenue, along with shopping, groceries, and work. According to their
responses, they choose to come to the area because it is convenient to their homes and it
is a comfortable place to walk around. Seventy percent of this group is comprised of
females and the average age is 42 years. Twenty two percent of all respondents belong to
this group and it is composed mainly of African Americans (69%). Out of all four groups,
it is the one with the lowest income. Members of this group would come more often to
Macdonald Avenue if it had more of the stores they shop at. This group would like to see
video, clothing, bookstores and grocery stores and showed a preference for seeing delis,
coffee houses and family restaurants. In terms of entertainment, members of this group
would like to see performing arts, movie theatres and coffee shops. The main concerns
regarding physical and aesthetic aspects for this group include the dirtiness of streets and
sidewalks, as well as difficulty walking on Macdonald Avenue. This last critique seems

Page 26
contradictory because respondents in this group also said they chose Macdonald Avenue
because it is a comfortable place to walk around.

Group 4: This group rates highest in both income and age (57 years average), and is the
only group with a higher percentage of males (58%) than females. Besides grocery
shopping, the highest-ranking activity that attracts its members to Macdonald Avenue is
banking. As well as Group 3, members of this group choose to come to Macdonald
Avenue because it has the services they use and because it is convenient (in terms of
access) to their home and/or work. They too would visit Macdonald Avenue more often if
it had more of the stores they shop at and had more of the services they need. This group
would like to see clothing, hardware, and home furnishings stores added to the area.
Group 4 would also like family restaurants, as well as health food. The group showed an
entertainment preference for performing arts and coffee shops. The main issues of
concern for members of this group were safety and difficulty walking around the area.

C. Current Shopping Patterns and Perceptions of Macdonald Avenue


Frequency of Visits to the Macdonald Avenue Area: The customer group reported
relatively frequent visits to the Macdonald Avenue area. Almost half of those surveyed
(over 48%) go to Macdonald Avenue 5-7 times per week and another 34% visit 2-4 times
per week, mostly for shopping, groceries and eating. In contrast, only 23% of the
employee group visits Macdonald 5-7 times per week, and 49% visited less than once per
week.

Perception of the Macdonald Avenue Area: The customer group generally had positive
perceptions of the area. Convenience to home was a significant plus, with 61% noting
that it is convenient to their home, and 47% citing Macdonald as a preferred shopping
area because it has stores they shop at. Focus group participants reinforced this
impression. One man said, “I love the neighborhood that my home is in, and I love
walking over here, because it’s pretty much centrally located, the Macdonald shopping
area…and I just really like this area.” Another woman voiced similar approval, saying,

Page 27
“I like it here because everything is pretty much centrally located like everyone else has
said. The hospital is near, you’re near public transportation, BART and buses, and the
buses run pretty frequently. There are also a lot of cabs.” Employee group respondents
were not as positive about the area and they mostly visited because the area was close to
their workplace.

For both groups of survey respondents, safety in the Macdonald Avenue area was the
most significant concern, with 49% of the employee group and 34% of the customer
group reporting that it kept them from going to Macdonald Avenue more often. This
negative factor was followed by street and sidewalk dirtiness as a cause keeping shoppers
away from “Main Street”, with 24% of the employee group, and 16% of the customer
group, reporting that it was a significant reason for them not shopping there more often.

Shopping on Macdonald Avenue Area: Respondents come to Macdonald Avenue


most frequently to shop, and other significant activities include eating out, grocery
shopping, and banking. Confirming the retail gap analysis, the survey results indicate
that the Macdonald area does not fully serve respondents’ shopping needs. Significant
numbers of respondents regularly shop at Hilltop Mall, Appian Way/Pinole, El Cerrito
del Norte, and El Cerrito Plaza.

D. Shopping, Food, Entertainment and Community Resources Desires


The customer group’s responses to survey questions along gender, age, income, and
ethnicity lines are evaluated in this subsection, since there were insufficient responses in
the employee group.19

19
The customer group (composed of 148 people) was large enough to evaluate the demographic
characteristics of the respondents within each question. For example, enough people answered questions
like, “How often do you visit Macdonald Avenue?” to get a general idea of the gender, age, income, and
ethnicity of those who do come to Macdonald Avenue. The employee group of 43 respondents, however,
was not large enough to do this type of evaluation. For example, no Asian and only 6 Hispanic employees
responded to the customer survey in the employee group. Drawing conclusions about the preferences of
these groups of people based on those few responses is not possible.

Page 28
Most Frequently Requested New Stores: The survey asked respondents to choose which
types of stores they would most like to see added to Macdonald Avenue. Clothing and
shoes stores were the most consistently requested new stores, with 60% of the customer
group and 51% of the employee group asking for these types of establishments. The next
most consistently requested store type was bookstores (customer group: 39%; employee
group: 60%). Focus group participants echoed these survey results. One woman said, “I
would also like to see more restaurants, bookstores, coffee shops, things of that nature.”
When asked what specific store(s) survey respondents would like to see brought into the
area, Wal-Mart topped the list with 21 requests. Old Navy, Ross Dress For Less, and
Target all received 7 to 8 bids, further demonstrating the demand for clothing stores.

There was some differentiation, however, among ethnic groups in their responses to this
question. Although African Americans and Asians did not make a significant request for
more grocery stores, both Whites (63%) and Hispanics (48%) did do so. One Hispanic
focus group participant noted that she had to travel out of the area to get the ethnic foods
she liked to prepare.

Restaurants, Bakeries, Delis: Family-style sit-down restaurants were highly desired by


both the Customer and employee groups (requested by 59% and 54% of each group
respectively). The customer group also requested fast food (34%), delis (31%), and
coffee shops (30%). Whites were the most likely to request a deli (63%), while
Hispanics were the most likely to request a bakery/bagel café (38%).

The employee group had a strong desire to see more food options available, including
more coffee shops (58%), delis (53%) and bakery/bagel cafés (47%). In addition, 72% of
employee group respondents said they would frequent Macdonald Avenue more often if
there were better food options available.

Entertainment: For entertainment, a movie theater was the most popular request for both
groups (customer group: 69%; employee group: 56%), although coffee shops also did
quite well (customer group: 30%; employee group: 58%). Participants in the focus

Page 29
groups asked for a movie theater specifically, as well as for coffee shops and bookstores.
One man said, “I would like to see more shops, like more coffee shops, bookstores, and
bakeries.” Respondents in the employee group also requested development of the
performing arts (42%), although the customer group did not request such development
with the same vigor (26%).

Community Resources: Another area for development that came out of both the
Customer Survey and the Focus Group meetings was the need for supportive activities
and resources for the Macdonald area’s youth. Specifically, 47% of the customer group
requested a teen hang-out center, along with 12% of the employee group respondents.
One Focus Group participant said, “I think the area needs to work on the youth, have
more youth programs, because they are the future. So, restaurants and bookstores are
good, but we need to have after-school centers too.”

E. Voice of the Community - Conclusion


Survey and Focus Group results revealed a split in the perceptions of the area. For the
customer group, the Macdonald Avenue is a resource that, despite its problems, can be
improved. The energy and excitement of Focus Group participants highlights this
perception. For the employee group, however, Macdonald Avenue is seen as an unsafe
area lacking the shops and entertainment that would draw them into the area more often.
This negative perception of the area is a major opportunity for growth for the Macdonald
Avenue area. For example, over 70% of the employee group said that they would
frequent Macdonald Avenue more often if there were more stores they shop at and better
food options.

Despite this difference in perception of the area as a whole, however, both the Customer
and employee groups reported similar desires for new shops and development on
Macdonald Avenue. For example, both groups requested family-style restaurants,
clothing and shoe stores, coffee shops, and movie theaters. This indicates that the general
desires of both groups coincide in many significant ways. This is yet another opportunity

Page 30
for the Macdonald Avenue area to capitalize upon. By developing things that local
residents want, Macdonald Avenue also has the opportunity to also shoppers from out of
the area that would otherwise not be attracted to Macdonald Avenue.

Finally, the diversity of the Macdonald Avenue area is a strength that can be cultivated.
The Macdonald Avenue area is very diverse, and as the earlier history section pointed
out, has a rich and vibrant history. As one focus group participant noted, “Now that I’ve
moved around a lot, I see how different cultures raise areas up. And I think this area
needs a splash of color to liven the area up.”

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V. WHAT WORKS HERE AND ELSEWHERE

A. Neighborhood Comparisons

1. Introduction
The Bay Area contains many successful “Main Street” areas with various types of retail
establishments, restaurants, and services. Visits were made to a number of these areas in
order to observe some of the factors that can contribute to creating a successful
commercial street. Five areas that seemed roughly similar to the Macdonald Avenue. area
in terms of functionality and socioeconomic makeup were chosen. These areas were:
• Oakland’s East Lake area (approximately 10 blocks on both E. 14th Avenue and
E. 12th Avenue between 5th and 14th streets)
• Fruitvale (commercial strip along International Avenue near Fruitvale BART
station.
• MacArthur (commercial area at the intersection of MacArthur Blvd and Fruitvale
Avenue.
• Temescal (area on Telegraph Avenue. between 54th and 44th Streets.
• Mission/Excelsior district (area on Mission street near the highway 280 overpass)
A visit was also made to an area in San Pablo City near El Portal Drive and San Pablo
Avenue intersection, South of the International Marketplace, which had been suggested
as a possible successful main street area. On closer inspection, this area seemed to be in
decline, but the information has been included as it is also informative to compare it to
the Macdonald Avenue. area.

The number of observed establishments of each type was recorded, as well as


observations about physical design elements, parking provision, transit availability, levels
of activity, and demographics. In order to make these site visits complementary to the
Macdonald Avenue surveys the same categories and establishment types were used, and
establishments that didn’t fit any of these general types were recorded individually. The
results from these observations are shown below, along with observations of Macdonald
Avenue’s commercial establishments for comparison.

Page 32
Table 6: Observations from Eastlake, Fruitvale and MacArthur

Eastlake Fruitvale MacArthur


# of Stores % of stores # of Stores % of stores # of Stores % of stores
Clothing or Shoes 8 6.4% 23 19.5% 3 4.5%
Sporting Goods 1 0.8%
Electronics 2 1.6% 4 3.4% 5 7.6%
Hardware 2 1.6% 2 1.7%
Home Furnishings 3 2.5%
Video 6 4.8% 2 3.0%
Retail

Bookstores/Newsstands 1 0.8% 1 1.5%


Music 1 0.8% 4 3.4%
Grocery Store 10 8.0% 5 4.2% 2 3.0%
Haircut/Nails/Beauty 10 8.0% 9 7.6% 13 19.7%
Bank 3 2.5% 5 7.6%
Laundry 1 0.8% 1 0.8% 2 3.0%
Other 1 0.8%
% of total 32.8% % of total 47.5% % of total 50.0%
Fast Food 2 1.7% 6 9.1%
Deli 1 0.8% 2 3.0%
Coffee House
Food

Bakery/Bagels 2 1.7% 2 3.0%


Health Food 2 1.7%
Family Restaurant
Ethnic 28 22.4% 9 7.6% 5 7.6%
Other 6 5.1%
% of total 22% % of total 19% % of total 23%
Coffee Shops 2 3.0%
Entertainment

Bars 3 2.4% 2 1.7% 2 3.0%


Clubs 1 0.8% 1 1.5%
Movie Theatre
Performing Arts
Teen Hang-out center
Other
% of total 2.4% % of total 2.5% % of total 7.6%
Art Gallery/school 1 0.8%
Auto Body/Repair/auto relate 21 16.8% 13 11.0% 2 3.0%
Auto Sales 6 4.8%
Bike
Calling card 4 3.2%
Check Cashing 7 5.9%
Church 3 2.4%
Convenience/Liquor 4 3.2%
Copies/Fax/Photo
Eductional Inst./Adult School 2 1.6% 1 0.8%
Flowers/cards/gifts
Others

Gas station 1 0.8%


General Stores 6 5.1%
Ice Cream 1 1.5%
Jewelry 5 4.2%
Library 1 1.5%
Medical services/ Pharmacy 9 7.2% 5 7.6%
Park 1 0.8% 1 0.8%
Photo
Professional Services (Taxes, Insurance, etc.) 4 6.1%
Psychic Reader 1 0.8%
School
Storage 1 0.8%
Travel agency 3 2.5%
Totals 125 118 66

Page 33
Table 7: Observations from San Pablo, Mission/Excelsior, and Temescal compared
to Macdonald Avenue, Richmond

San Pablo Mission/ Excelsior Temescal Total Macdonal


# of Stores % of stores # of Stores % of stores # of Stores % of stores # of Stores % of stores dA
# of Stores % of Stores
Clothing or 9 9.7% 1 2.9% 44 9% 8 18%
Sh
Sporting Goods 1
Electronics 1 1.1% 1 2.9% 13 3% 1 2%
Hardware 3 3.2% 2 5.9% 9 2% 1 2%
Ret Home 2 7.1% 1 1.1% 3 8.8% 9 2% 2 4%
F
Videoi hi 1 3.6% 1 1.1% 10 2%
ail
Bookstores/Newsstands 2
Music 5 1%
Grocery Store 4 14.3% 7 7.5% 2 5.9% 30 6% 1 2%
Haircut/Nails/Beaut 4 14.3% 8 8.6% 3 8.8% 47 10% 6 13%
Bank 4 4.3% 2 5.9% 14 3% 1 2%
Laundry 1 3.6% 3 3.2% 1 2.9% 9 2% 1 2%
Other 1
% of total 42.9% % of total 39.8% % of total 44.1% % of total 40.9% % of total 46.7%
Fast Food 6 21.4% 4 11.8% 18 4% 4 9%
Deli 2 2.2% 1 2.9% 6 1% 1 2%
Fo Coffee House 0
od Bakery/Bagels 4 4.3% 8 2%
Health Food 2
Family 5 5.4% 5 1% 1 2%
R t
Ethnic t 1 3.6% 10 10.8% 4 11.8% 57 12% 2 4%
Other 2 2.2% 8 2%
Ent % of total 25% % of total 25% % of total 26% % of total 22% % of total 18%
ert Coffee Shops 1 2.9% 3 1% 2 4%
ain Bars 1 3.6% 4 4.3% 2 5.9% 14 3%
me Clubs 1 3.6% 3 1%
Movie Theatre 0
nt Performing Arts 0 1 2%
Teen Hang-out 0
t
Other 1 3.6% 1 2.9% 2
% of total 10.7% % of total 4.3% % of total 11.8% % of total 4.3% % of total 6.7%
Art Gallery/school 1
Auto Body/Repair/auto 4 14.3% 4 4.3% 44 9% 1 2%
l t Sales
Auto d 6 1%
Bike 1 2%
Calling card 4 1%
Check Cashing 1 3.6% 8 2% 1 2%
Church 1 3.6% 1 1.1% 5 1%
Convenience/Liquo 4 1%
Copies/Fax/Phot 2 2.2% 2
Eductional Inst./Adult 3 1%
Ot Flowers/cards/gifts
S h l 4 4.3% 4 1% 1 2%
her Gas station 1 1.1% 2
s General Stores 6 1%
Ice Cream 1
Jewelry 5 1% 1 2%
Library 1 1.1% 2
Medical services/ 8 8.6% 1 2.9% 23 5% 2 4%
Ph
Park 2 1 2%
Photo 1 2%
Professional Services (Taxes, Insurance, 4 4.3% 5 14.7% 13 3% 3 7%
t )
Psychic Reader 1
School 3 3.2% 3 1% 1 2%
Storage 1
Travel agency 1 1.1% 4 1%
Totals 28 93 34 464 100% 45

Page 34
2. Patterns
The retail establishments tend to be dominated by clothing/shoe stores, followed by
haircut/nail/beauty establishments. These two types of establishments are important
elements of the retail synergy in these areas. Generally, the eating establishments tended
to be dominated by restaurants serving foods characteristic of the population living in the
areas and by fast food restaurants. The “entertainment” establishments consisted solely
of bars, clubs, or coffee shops. Bars dominated, with areas containing between one and
four bars apiece.

Looking at the total 464 establishments in the six areas, the most commonly found
establishments in the “retail” category were clothing/shoe stores (9% of all
establishments), hair/beauty/nails (10% of total), in the “food” category it was ethnic
(12% of total, also the most commonly found establishment overall), and in the
entertainment category it was bars (3% of total). In the “miscellaneous” category, the
most commonly found establishment was Auto repair/body shops (9% of all
establishments), followed by medical serviced/ pharmacies (5% of total).

In addition to the predefined survey categories, most of the areas had a wealth of other
establishments. The Eastlake and Fruitvale areas had clusters of auto sales and
body/repair shops. Eastlake had four establishments that specialized in international
calling cards, reflecting needs of East Asian and Latin American immigrants. Fruitvale
also had large numbers of jewelry stores in addition to clothing and beauty
establishments. The MacArthur area had five banks, all within one to two blocks of each
other. Temescal, MacArthur, and Mission Excelsior had a number of professional
services, including tax, insurance, and office/copy/fax establishments.

For the most part, these areas seem to thrive by meeting the everyday needs of the
residents in the surrounding areas. All except for San Pablo seemed to be quite busy, but
the Fruitvale area is probably the only district that might be considered to have a market
area comparable to regional shopping mall or center, because of its concentration of

Page 35
clothing stores and because of its prominence as a major immigrant community. In
general, the most successful areas have a strong mix of retail and services. These areas
are places where people can come for an appointment - hair, nails, tax accountant, doctor,
school, library, lunch or dinner - and then wander around and shop.

3. Comparison to Surveys and Richmond Main Street Neighborhood


It is interesting to note that two commonly requested establishments from the Macdonald
Avenue survey, bookstore/news stands and coffee shops, were not very well represented
in the neighborhoods we visited. Of all 464 establishments, only 2 were bookstores and
only 3 were coffee shops. Another highly requested item, movie theatres, was not found
in any of the areas. This may indicate that there is opportunity in these neighborhoods
for these types of establishments, but on other hand it may indicate that it is difficult for
these establishments to survive, due lack of demand or due to competition from nearby
areas with existing establishments.

Although it has fewer businesses than most of the streets visited, Macdonald Avenue is
strikingly similar to the overall pattern observed in the retail sector in that it had high
percentages of clothing/shoe stores and haircut/nail/beauty shops. However, clothing
stores still ranked high on the survey in terms of stores people would like to see added,
particularly among those filling out the customer survey (60% of respondents expressed
interest in clothing/shoe stores). This indicates potential for adding more clothing retail or
orienting the existing clothing retail to more closely align with preferences of those who
shop in the area.

In terms of restaurants, Macdonald Avenue. had a high percentage of fast food


establishments (including franchise and non franchise fast food, 4 of the 7 restaurants fit
in this category). The surveys indicated strong interest in other types of restaurants, both
from the customer survey and the local employee survey (family restaurants, delis and
coffee shops topped the list of desired restaurants).

Page 36
4. Neighborhood Comparisons Conclusions
As can be seen from the table, there is substantial variation from one area to the other in
terms of the commercial mix. The fact that there are so many ways to create commercial
synergy in main street districts represents various opportunities for Macdonald Avenue.
These opportunities include adding more non-fast food restaurants, adding more apparel
and shoe stores, and bringing in more service-oriented establishments such as tax and
insurance offices and office/copy service stores. The areas visited also showed variation
in the degree to which national chains were represented. Some areas had national chains,
such as the Radio Shack and the Payless Shoes in the MacArthur area, while others such
as the Eastlake area had no chains whatsoever.

The areas also had certain things in common. Each had a wide variety of services that
served primarily local needs, including shopping, eating, and other services. The most
successful areas also had certain design elements in common: most have small stores,
small setbacks of storefronts from the street, street facing windows, and no large parking
lots to create empty space between building.

Page 37
B. Macdonald Avenue Observations

1. Street Observations
In our observations of Richmond downtown, we found many indicators, as well as
potential opportunities for making this area a lively street. We observed the buildings
and shops, their linkages to the street, pedestrian movements and street activity. The
section on Comparison areas illustrates similar characteristics: multiple entry points,
smaller stores and mixed use that contributes to synergy and more pedestrian movement.
The following points outline our impression of Macdonald Avenue as a street today, and
what we see as design and locational opportunities in the future.

The Activities Map shows the distribution of commercial, office, institutional and
residential spaces in the blocks on Macdonald Avenue. There is a disproportionately
large provision for parking in the area. The big parking space near Foods Co. makes for
a pedestrian-unfriendly environment. Observations of other successful streets show that
more mixed use development on main streets allow for a range of activities that support
each other. The existing mixed use development with commerce on the first floor, and
housing on the floors above is a good example of this.

The Built-form Map shows the vacant lots that could be sites for infill development.
Also, this map shows how many buildings, especially the shopping center, is set back
from the street, and is thus not well connected to ‘street activity’.

The Map Showing Entrances to Stores shows single and infrequent entrances to stores
result in pedestrian discontinuities. Big box retail activities do not make strong linkages
to the street. The shopping center with Foods Co. has many entrances, but as they are
behind a huge parking space, they do not relate to the street.

Panoramic Views and Sketches of Street These views of either side of Macdonald
Avenue show how there is quite a lot of discontinuity in the street edge all along, except
for a few preserved blocks. These broken edges, which are due to big lots or parking

Page 38
spaces, result in discontinuity in pedestrian movement. A drive-thru arrangement in a
downtown requires a single structure with a driveway all around it. Such layouts disrupt
flow of pedestrian movement, and give priority to the car. The continuous building edge
of the older blocks has entrances directly onto the street, and many shops concentrated
together (even if many of these are currently closed). Multiple and frequent entrances to
stores in the older preserved city blocks create more vibrant street. The stretches of the
street give a better feel for a downtown area that would have a good mix of activities
closely packed.

2. Opportunities and Proposals for Street Design and Development


Opportunities: Based on our observations, many opportunities exist on this street.
Commerce along Transit Corridors: The existing BART station, as well as the bus line
on Macdonald Avenue are major transit corridors. To locate retail and commercial
activity along the bus route could make this area a good transit-oriented destination.
Pedestrian Linkages: Tree-lined sidewalks that connect the main street to the side streets
are another opportunity for better connection and synergy.
Mixed Use Development along Macdonald Avenue: Introducing a mix of activities would
be feasible for this street. (See comparison areas where such development has proved
successful).
Transit Village and Anchor Store: The proposed transit village near the BART station
will become a major destination and anchor for the area in the future. There is thus an
opportunity to develop retail all along Macdonald Avenue, with another major anchor at
the opposite end of the street from the transit village, so as to attract visitors and
customers to visit the whole street.

Proposals for Street Design: The proposals suggest physical improvements that would
tighten up the space and make it more pedestrian friendly.
Infill Development along Macdonald Avenue and side streets
Relocate parking from street edge to parking structures and other available parking
spaces
Divide large lots into smaller packages for more intense and dense activity

Page 39
Street Observations

Page 40
Street Observations - Opportunities and
Proposal

Page 41
Conclusion and Evaluation

We hope that we have shown through this report that there is great potential for
Macdonald Avenue. One hundred years ago Alfred Sylvester Macdonald panned for this
street to serve as the heart of Richmond, and Macdonald Avenue has had a rich cultural
history ever since, especially during the wartime boom in the 1940s. Even now, though
so many stores have left the downtown due to competition from regional malls like
Hilltop, many local residents still come to Macdonald Avenue to shop, eat, attend cultural
events, or just hang out. However, as we showed in our Retail Gap analysis, these loyal
residents are currently spending $216.82 million of their shopping dollars somewhere
other than in downtown Richmond. These dollars could be recaptured. Furthermore, as
we saw in our Survey and Focus Group data, Macdonald Avenue customers and daytime
employees want to spend more money and time in this area. We saw that other Bay
Area neighborhoods with similar demographic and spatial characteristics have been very
successful, and we showed that there is a great opportunity to build Macdonald Avenue
into a physically welcoming commercial space, especially because there are so many
vacant lots currently open to new development.

With this data in mind, we offer the following observations about downtown Richmond,
and its potential for change. We intend these observations not as a set of proposals for
development in this area, but rather as a first step in the long process of rebuilding
Richmond as a social and cultural center for its residents, employees, and the Bay Area
community at large.

C. The city is rich with unmet demand.


Thousands of residents live within a one-mile radius of downtown Richmond, and we
have seen through our Retail Gap analysis that these residents have both the desire
and the economic power to invest in Macdonald Avenue. Our survey data indicated
that most of the people who currently do their shopping and socializing in downtown
live in the two zip codes that make up the downtown and surrounding area. Why not
target a revitalization strategy toward precisely these residents? Developing a

Page 42
welcoming space for this population will in turn attract business from Kaiser and
Social Security workers, 70% of whom told us that they would spend more time on
Macdonald Avenue if it were safer and had more of the restaurants and stores that
they like.

The fact is that everyone – current residents, daytime workers, and outside investors –
sees the same weaknesses in downtown Richmond: lack of safety, lack of stores and
community spaces, lack of pedestrian traffic. Helping to build these things will
address local needs and will also build Richmond into the kind of place that will
attract consumers and developers from outside the area. Furthermore, investing in the
entire downtown area will help to build excitement and market demand for the
planned transit village at the Richmond BART station.

One word of caution about any downtown development strategy is the potential for
displacement, either physically or through higher land costs, of those residents who
currently live in the area and who have been Macdonald Avenue’s most loyal
customers. This is especially true due to the high renter population in the area.
Therefore any revitalization strategy needs to consider these displacement issues
carefully.

D. Macdonald Avenue must offer a diversity of businesses and community


spaces.
Our survey and focus group data indicated that consumer demand in this area ranges
from retail, to groceries, to services, to arts centers, to teen hang-out centers. This
idea of a mix of stores, services, and activities mirrors our observations of other
successful downtown areas, all of which had a high level of “synergy”, or
complementarity, between different types of establishments. Our Street Observation
analysis indicated that it is not only the type of establishments, but also the look and
feel of the buildings and the street as a whole, that encourages this kind of synergy.
The more visually and physically accessible the space, the more likely that consumers
will want to spend time in that space. One benefit to Macdonald Avenue as it now

Page 43
stands is the high number of vacant lots, which offer great opportunity to plan and
develop a friendlier commercial corridor.

Richmond consumers seem to be especially interested in finding spaces where they


can interact as a community, whether these be family-oriented restaurants and shops,
gathering places such as movie theaters, bookstores and coffee shops, and non-retail
establishments like art centers and community centers. In our focus groups we heard
one resident comment on how important it is for members of a diverse, multiethnic
community such as Richmond to get to know one another on a personal level.
Facilitating this kind of interaction, which is not possible in an anonymous mall
environment such as Hilltop, seems crucial to the success of Richmond’s downtown.

E. The community must be involved with the process.


Because local residents are currently the most important consumers of downtown
Richmond, these residents must be involved in any strategy that seeks to revitalize
this area. Though we hope that our survey and focus group data can serve as a first
step toward engaging the community in a visioning process for downtown Richmond,
we believe that it is only that: a first step. We are especially concerned that the large
Asian and white populations in the area immediately surrounding the downtown were
not adequately represented in the survey, and we very much hope that the Main Street
Initiative will proactively seek out these residents’ ideas and opinions as the
revitalization plans continue.

Too many times in the past, planners have made unilateral decisions about what
Richmond should look like. We hope that this time, the community will make these
decisions, perhaps using the tools that planners have provided but ultimately making
the final call. Main Street Richmond is, after all, their home.

Page 44
VI. APPENDIX

A. Retail Gap Analysis


Appendix Table A 1: Retail Gap Analysis
Retail Gap Analysis Main Street Initiative Richmond 2000 (millions of dollars)

Zip Code
Totals
94801 94804
Total Retail Sales1 (2000) 23.7 131.7 155.4
2
Estimated Total Retail Expenditure 113.74 258.48 372.22
Total Retail Gap 90.04 126.78 216.82

Total Groceries Sales3 4.9 8.0 12.9


4
Total Groceries Expenditures 38.7 73.3 112.0
Groceries Sales Gap 33.8 65.3 99.1

Apparel Sales5 1.3 1.7 3


6
Total Apparel Expenditures 11.94 24 36
Apparel Sales Gap 10.64 23 33.6
1
Dun & Bradstreet, 2000. “Total Retail” includes all industry with 2-digit SIC codes between 53 and 59, as well as
“Paint, glass, and wallpaper stores” (5231), “Hardware Stores” (5251), and “Retail nurseries and garden stores” (5261).
2
Gross purchasing power for each communities’ “demand-shed” was calculated by multiplying number of households
reported by the 2000 Census by estimated 2000 median income. Because the Census has not yet released median
income data at the tract or zip code level, growth in mean income was estimated by calculating between change in
gross income between 1990 and 1999, as reported by the IRS, and applied this rate to 1990 median incomes reported by
the Census. From here, gross retail purchasing power was estimated by using Michael Porter’s estimate that retail
expenditures comprise 47% of household disposable income. (It was assumed families in this income bracket have no
net savings.)
3
Dun and Bradstreet, 2000. “Groceries” includes: Grocery Stores, Miscellaneous Food Stores, Meat and Fish Markets,
Fruit and Vegetable Markets, and Dairy Products Stores.
4
Calculated by multiplying number of households reported by the 2000 Census by the average per-consumer unit
expenditure on “food,” as estimated for each income category by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2000 Consumer
Expenditure Survey
5
Dun and Bradstreet, 2000. “Apparel” includes: Children's and infants' wear stores, Department stores, Family
clothing stores, Men's and boys' clothing stores, Shoe stores, Women's clothing stores, Women's accessory and
specialty stores, and Miscellaneous apparel and accessory stores.
6
Calculated by multiplying number of households (2000 Census) by the average per-consumer unit expenditure on
“apparel and services,” as estimated for each income category by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2000 Consumer
Expenditure Survey

VI-1
Appendix Table A 2: Number of Supportable Stores under existing retail gap
conditionsa
Groceries and Apparel Sales Gaps Richmond Main Street Initiative 2000
Zip Codes
Totals
94801 94804
Groceries Sales Gap $33,800,000 $65,299,996 $99,099,996
*
Median Sales per Square foot of GLA $321.39 $321.39 $321.39
Supportable GLA with 35% capture (in sq.ft.) 36,678.18 71,112.97 107,791.15
Floor space of Typical Large Grocery Store (in sq.ft.) 50,000 50,000 50,000
Number of Supportable Large Stores 0.73 1.42 2.16
Floor space of Typical Mid-Sized Store 30,000.00 30,000.00 30,000.00
Number of Supportable Mid-Sized Stores 1.22 2.37 3.59

Apparel Sales Gap $10,640,000 $22,946,892 $33,586,892


Median Sales per Square foot of GLA* $150.00 $150.00 $150.00
Supportable GLA with 35% capture (in sq.ft.) 24,826 53,543 78,369
Floor Space of Typical Mid-Sized Apparel Store 6,000 6,000 6,000
Number of Supportable Mid-Sized stores 4.13 8.92 13.05

* Dollar & Cents of Shopping Centers, Urban Land Institute, 1997.


a
The table estimates the gross leasable area (GLA) of retail space and in turn, the number of stores, that would be
supported by the retail gaps presented in Table 1. We assume new retail can capture 35% of this leakage. Our
calculations focus on neighborhood-level supermarkets and apparel stores.

VI-2
Appendix Table A 3: Retail Gap Analysis by Ethnic Group
Retail Gap Analysis by Ethnic Group (millions of dollars)

Ethnic Group
All Population
African American Hispanic
Total Retail Sales1 (2000) 67.98 47.01 155.4
2
Estimated Total Retail Expenditure 162.84 112.60 372.22
Total Retail Gap 94.86 65.59 216.82

Total Groceries Sales3 5.64 3.90 12.9


Total Groceries Expenditures4 32.99 22.37 112
Groceries Sales Gap 28.96 19.31 99.1

Apparel Sales5 1.31 0.91 3


6
Total Apparel Expenditures 18.47 8.22 36
Apparel Sales Gap 17.16 7.31 34
1
Calculated using Dun and Bradstreet, 2000. Assumes that total retail sales are divided proportionally to the aggregate
spending power of households within an ethnic group and in relation with the rest of the population
2
Calculated using per capita income as reported by the 1990 census and adjusted using change in gross income from
1990 – 1999 as reported by the IRS. Assumes 47% of income is spent on retail
3
Calculated using Dun and Bradstreet, 2000. Assumes that groceries sales are divided proportionally to the aggregate
spending power of households within an ethnic group and in relation with the rest of the population
4
Calculated by multiplying number of households in each ethnic group as reported by the 2000 Census by the average
consumer unit expenditure on “food,” as estimated for each ethnic category by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2000
Consumer Expenditure Survey.
5
Calculated using Dun and Bradstreet, 2000. Assumes that apparel sales are divided proportionally to the aggregate
spending power of households within an ethnic group and in relation with the rest of the population
6
Calculated by multiplying number of households in each ethnic group as reported by the 2000 Census by the average
consumer unit expenditure on “apparel and services,” as estimated for each ethnic category by the Bureau of Labor
Statistics’ 2000 Consumer Expenditure Survey

VI-3
Appendix Table A 4: Per Capita Retail Gaps by Ethnic Groups

Per Capita Sales Gaps and Difference by Ethnic Group vs. Total Population Sales Gaps

Ethnic Group
African American Hispanic All population
a b a b
Sales Gap % Difference Sales Gap % Difference Sales Gap
Retail 3,328 -4% 3,038 5% 3,211
Groceries 1,016 31% 895 39% 1,468
Apparel 602 -20% 339 33% 504

a
Calculated by dividing the gaps in each category for each ethnic group by the total number of persons in
that ethnic group
b
Represents the difference between the ethnic group’s gap and that of the total population of the study area.
As the number approaches zero, the ethnic group’s gap more closely resembles the total population.
Positive percentages mean that the ethnic group’s per capita gap is less than that of the total population and
thus, that their consumption habits are better served than that of the total population. Negative percentages
mean that the ethnic group’s per capita gap is more than that of the total population and thus, that their
consumption habits are less well served by the existing stores than that of the total population.

1. Assumptions of the Analysis


For the retail gap analysis, it was assumed:
1. The study area is comprised of zip codes 94801 and 94804 in Richmond.
2. The customer base (also referred to as trade area or “demand-shed”) is defined as
those residents who live within zip codes 94801 and 94804.
3. National spending patterns hold true for the residents of the study area.
4. People in the study area spend the same percentage of their disposable income on
retail purchases as people do nationally (47%).20
5. When calculating the total retail gap: households in the study area spend as much as
the average household earning $20-29,000 per year.21 This amounts to annual
household expenditures of $4507 for groceries and $1391 for apparel.22
6. When calculating the retail gap by ethnic group: African American households in the
study area spend the same as the average African American household. This amounts
to annual per household expenditures of $3322 for groceries and $ 1860 for apparel23.
7. When calculating the retail gap by ethnic group: Hispanic households in the study
area spend the same for groceries and apparel as the average Hispanic household. This
amounts to annual per household expenditures of $4677 for groceries and $1719 for
apparel24.

20
This national average comes from Porter, 1998.
21
We estimate the median household income for Richmond falls within this range. (See calculation
method under Table 1).
22
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2000.
23
Ibid
24
Ibid

VI-4
B. Case Study -- The Potential for Apparel Retail
To better understand the potential for apparel retail on Macdonald Avenue, we explored
the feasibility of building a large apparel store on the south side of the street’s 900 block.
This case study gave us an opportunity to look at the kind of market share such a store
could expect, where it might make sense to locate the store, and whether building such a
development would “pencil out,” i.e. meet basic tests of financing and profitability. The
results call attention to issues that affect the feasibility of retail more generally on
Macdonald Avenue.

Our analysis was run with a store like Old Navy or Ross Dress for Less in mind, as they
offer the kind of low-priced, fashionable clothing prioritized by our survey respondents
and focus group participants. A large store like Ross or Old Navy could also be a
western anchor for Richmond “Main Street”, leading to spillover foot traffic for yet-to-
be- discovered, adjacent clothing stores and other retail less capable of generating
regional trips. Based on these arguments, we decided to look at the “large national store”
scenario. It should be emphasized, however, that this remains a hypothetical exercise and
is not a recommendation.

1. Calculating Potential Market Share

To estimate the potential market share of our hypothetical apparel store, we used a Huff
Probability model. This model calculates how many of the store’s potential customers
would be siphoned off by competitors given the distance of residents to competitors,
competitor store sizes (which helps approximate how much of a variety they offer) and
the distribution of population in the region.
Most of the competitors’ “pull” on regional census tracts was calculated using the
formula:
Pull = the store’s gross leasable area/(distance to census tract centroid)2.

VI-5
For those stores located at or adjacent to Hilltop Mall, the formula was modified by
changing the exponent from 2 to 2.5. This increases Hilltop’s pull on customers to better
account for its convenience for those doing comparison or multi-item shopping.
Market share for our Macdonald Avenue store is then calculated on a tract by tract basis
using the formula:
Market share = pull Macdonald Avenue. Store / sum of all the competitors’ pulls.
Total customer base is derived by multiplying the market share from each tract by the
projected 2005 tract population25 (when the project would be completed), and summing
this for the entire market area.

The model considered nine competitors: the Old Navy in Emeryville, the three Ross’s (El
Cerrito, Pinole and downtown Berkeley), the Macy’s, JC Penney’s and Sears at Hilltop
Mall, and the Gap and Eddie Bauer stores in Berkeley. They are mapped relative to the
proposed Macdonald Avenue apparel store in Map B-1 further below. Accounting only
for the variables mentioned above, our model found that a 20,000 square foot Old Navy
or Ross would capture a market of 50,955 people. This translated into $8,619,547.80 in
annual sales. This is more than 2.5 times the median sales per gross leasable area (GLA)
achieved by men/women/children clothing stores nationwide.

A second scenario considers other factors that will influence customers’ decisions
whether or not to travel to Macdonald Avenue. Safety concerns were addressed by
modifying our Huff Model to exclude from the store’s market all non-adjacent census
tracts where the median income in 1989 (still the latest available data) was more than 1.5
times the median income of downtown Richmond. We then ran the model again
factoring in competition. (We understand that being from a census tract of comparable
income is an imperfect measure of comfort with shopping in downtown Richmond.)

25
We derived our estimates for 2005 population using ABAG’s Projections 2000. Between 2000 and
2005, Projections indicates Alameda County will grow by a factor of 1.063 while Contra Costa County will
grow by a factor of 1.068. We applied these factors to all constituent census tracts in order to calculate the
number of residents that will live there in 2005.

VI-6
Limiting the potential market to lower-income residents made a hypothetical store much
less feasible. It shrank the market area to 14,163 and shrank annual sales/GLA to
$119.79 (considerably below the median of $167.23). This would make it difficult to
attract a 20,000 square foot store.

Appendix Table B-1: Projected Market Area and Sales/GLA

Scenario 1: Customers Are Only Influenced by Distance and Characteristics of the Store
Trade Area Population 50,955
Annual per capita expenditures for family apparel $169.1626
Sales potential assuming lesser competitors don't have net effect of cutting into sales $8,619,547.80
Sales/GLA (for 20,000 square foot store) $430.98
National median sales/GLA for apparel stores in community shopping centers $167.2327

Scenario 2: Customers Only Come from Census Tracts Of Comparable Income to Downtown
Trade Area Population 14,16328
Annual per capita expenditures for family apparel $169.1629
Sales potential assuming lesser competitors don't have net effect of cutting into sales $2,395,813.08
Sales/GLA (for 20,000 square foot store) $119.79
National median sales/GLA for apparel stores in community shopping centers $167.2330

26
CA State Board of Equalization: Taxable Sales in California, 2000.
27
Urban Land Institute, Dollars and Cents of US Shopping Centers, 1997.
28
See Appendix Table B-2 -- Huff Model for Scenario 2
29
CA State Board of Equalization: Taxable Sales in California, 2000.
30
Urban Land Institute, Dollars and Cents of US Shopping Centers, 1997.

VI-7
Appendix Table B-2 -- Huff Model for Scenario 2 (page 1)

Store Macdonald Ave. Apparel Store Ross-Pinole Ross-Berkeley Ross-El Cerrito Eddie Bauer

Store GLA 20000 19000 17000 19000 4200

Distance Distance Distance


TRACT from Tract from Tract from Tract Distance from Distance from
No. to Store GLA/dist.^2 to Store GLA/dist.^2 to Store GLA/dist.^2 Tract to Store GLA/dist.^2 Tract to Store GLA/dist.^2
3580.000 0.154 843312.532 0.093 2196785.756 0.175 555102.041 0.151 833296.785 0.175 137142.857
3650.010 0.062 5202913.632 0.050 7600000.000 0.162 647767.109 0.117 1387975.747 0.163 158078.964
3650.020 0.053 7119971.520 0.078 3122945.431 0.167 609559.324 0.122 1276538.565 0.168 148809.524
3660.010 0.042 11337868.481 0.026 28106508.876 0.131 990618.262 0.086 2568956.193 0.131 244740.982
3660.020 0.037 14609203.798 0.032 18554687.500 0.130 1005917.160 0.085 2629757.785 0.131 244740.982
3671.000 0.048 8680555.556 0.014 96938775.510 0.120 1180555.556 0.077 3204587.620 0.121 286865.651
3672.000 0.038 13850415.512 0.024 32986111.111 0.121 1161122.874 0.076 3289473.684 0.121 286865.651
3680.000 0.025 32000000.000 0.039 12491781.723 0.122 1142166.084 0.077 3204587.620 0.123 277612.532
3690.010 0.032 19531250.000 0.031 19771071.800 0.110 1404958.678 0.065 4497041.420 0.111 340881.422
3690.020 0.045 9876543.210 0.025 30400000.000 0.104 1571745.562 0.061 5106154.260 0.104 388313.609
3720.000 0.027 27434842.250 0.036 14660493.827 0.106 1512993.948 0.061 5106154.260 0.107 366844.266
3730.000 0.016 78125000.000 0.046 8979206.049 0.117 1241873.037 0.071 3769093.434 0.117 306815.691
3740.000 0.021 45351473.923 0.048 8246527.778 0.101 1666503.284 0.055 6280991.736 0.101 411724.341
3750.000 0.010 200000000.000 0.053 6763972.944 0.110 1404958.678 0.064 4638671.875 0.110 347107.438
3760.000 0.007 408163265.306 0.057 5847953.216 0.119 1200480.192 0.074 3469685.902 0.120 291666.667
3770.000 0.002 5000000000.000 0.063 4787100.025 0.114 1308094.798 0.069 3990758.244 0.114 323176.362
3780.000 0.040 12500000.000 0.097 2019343.182 0.143 831336.496 0.102 1826220.684 0.144 202546.296
3790.000 0.009 246913580.247 0.065 4497041.420 0.106 1512993.948 0.062 4942767.950 0.107 366844.266
3800.000 0.035 16326530.612 0.079 3044383.913 0.083 2467702.134 0.042 10770975.057 0.084 595238.095
3810.000 0.025 32000000.000 0.054 6515775.034 0.092 2008506.616 0.046 8979206.049 0.092 496219.282
3820.000 0.048 8680555.556 0.071 3769093.434 0.067 3787034.974 0.021 43083900.227 0.067 935620.405
3860.000 0.048 8680555.556 0.059 5458201.666 0.071 3372346.757 0.026 28106508.876 0.072 810185.185

VI-8
Appendix Table B-2 -- Huff Model for Scenario 2 (page 2)

Sears Macy's JC Penney's Old Navy-Emeryville Gap

8000 18000 15000 16000 4150

Distance from Distance from Distance from Distance from Distance from
Tract to Store GLA/dist.^2.5 Tract to Store GLA/dist.^2.5 Tract to Store GLA/dist.^2.5 Tract to Store GLA/dist.^2 Tract to Store GLA/dist.^2
0.103 2349616.186 0.103 5286636.418 0.102 4514304.290 0.211 359380.966 0.175 135510.204
0.043 20865022.052 0.042 49790820.048 0.044 36936825.513 0.177 510708.928 0.168 147037.982
0.069 6396866.101 0.068 14927951.773 0.070 11570341.010 0.173 534598.550 0.175 135510.204
0.016 247052942.201 0.016 555869119.951 0.017 398078713.935 0.147 740432.227 0.137 221109.276
0.021 125181960.878 0.021 281659411.976 0.022 208946238.367 0.145 760998.811 0.137 221109.276
0.005 4525483399.594 0.005 10182337649.086 0.005 8485281374.239 0.141 804788.492 0.126 261400.857
0.014 344960920.297 0.014 776162070.669 0.014 646801725.558 0.138 840159.630 0.127 257300.515
0.028 60981051.497 0.028 137207365.867 0.029 104736067.690 0.135 877914.952 0.129 249384.051
0.022 111437993.796 0.022 250735486.040 0.022 208946238.367 0.127 992001.984 0.117 303163.124
0.021 125181960.878 0.021 281659411.976 0.020 265165042.945 0.124 1040582.726 0.109 349297.197
0.028 60981051.497 0.028 137207365.867 0.028 114339471.556 0.121 1092821.529 0.113 325005.874
0.036 32533720.784 0.036 73200871.763 0.037 56962225.520 0.127 992001.984 0.124 269901.145
0.040 25000000.000 0.040 56250000.000 0.040 46875000.000 0.113 1253034.693 0.108 355795.610
0.043 20865022.052 0.043 46946299.616 0.044 36936825.513 0.119 1129863.710 0.117 303163.124
0.046 17627690.137 0.046 39662302.808 0.047 31321792.939 0.126 1007810.532 0.127 257300.515
0.053 12370871.990 0.053 27834461.978 0.054 22136393.154 0.119 1129863.710 0.121 283450.584
0.086 3688449.646 0.086 8299011.703 0.087 6718821.875 0.139 828114.487 0.152 179622.576
0.056 10780028.759 0.056 24255064.708 0.056 20212553.924 0.111 1298595.893 0.114 319329.024
0.072 5751203.646 0.072 12940208.203 0.072 10783506.836 0.085 2214532.872 0.092 490311.909
0.047 16704956.234 0.047 37586151.527 0.047 31321792.939 0.103 1508153.455 0.099 423426.181
0.067 6884984.712 0.067 15491215.602 0.066 13403907.441 0.079 2563691.716 0.074 757852.447
0.056 10780028.759 0.056 24255064.708 0.055 21143872.696 0.089 2019946.976 0.078 682117.028

VI-9
Appendix Table B-2 -- Huff Model for Scenario 2 (page 3)

Macdonald Ave.
Apparel Store's
TRACT No. Huff Denominator Market Share 2000 Pop 2005 Pop Captured 2005 Pop
3580 16242281.045 0.052 2498 2655.374 137.8691924
3650.01 121712136.246 0.043 1910 2030.33 86.79193349
3650.02 44431043.233 0.160 4878 5185.314 830.9345295
3660.01 1242420944.915 0.009 3659 3889.517 35.49427622
3660.02 650963159.473 0.022 3410 3624.83 81.35004176
3671 23300993963.683 0.000 1707 1814.541 0.675989358
3672 1817049391.303 0.008 4451 4731.413 36.06508239
3680 349713960.345 0.092 3368 3580.184 327.5988407
3690.01 613159882.086 0.032 2456 2610.728 83.16066126
3690.02 715283600.908 0.014 5709 6068.667 83.79536701
3720 357595884.740 0.077 4007 4259.441 326.7853376
3730 252341714.828 0.310 2432 2585.216 800.3829257
3740 185054264.019 0.245 2810 2987.03 732.035081
3750 314394049.951 0.636 4765 5065.195 3222.195204
3760 505122961.797 0.808 2413 2565.019 2072.656778
3770 5069889962.018 0.986 1933 2054.779 2026.453252
3780 35087623.684 0.356 1878 1996.314 711.1888005
3790 309836703.165 0.797 1953 2076.039 1654.427048
3800 54123306.311 0.302 759 806.817 243.3798551
3810 128141555.087 0.250 1161 1234.143 308.1949175
3820 55516103.840 0.156 1844 1960.172 306.4945262
3860 76520202.304 0.113 453 481.539 54.62643741

total pop captured 14,163

VI-10
VI-11
In both market scenarios, our large apparel store would capture much less than 35% of
the population living roughly 5-6 miles from the store. In the scenario where safety
perception barriers don’t come into play, the percentage of the population captured was
12%. Accounting for perceptual barriers it dropped to 2%.

2. Location Analysis
Another key step in assessing the feasibility of an apparel store is looking at where it
could go, and the locational assets or liabilities of that site. We looked at our
hypothetical apparel store within the context of a half-block development, (since it is
presumed a developer will more likely create space for apparel at this scale than at the
level of a single parcel), and chose the 900 block of Macdonald for the setting. This
block falls just inside City Center’s western edge and lies between Harbour Way and 9th
Street.

Aside from offering a way to occupy vacant land and buildings that presently exist on
site, new retail development here would benefit from numerous locational assets:
1. It’s highly accessible to Highway 580 (only .82 miles from the off-ramp, and 3
minutes by car), as well as BART (.5 miles from the station, approximately 10
minutes by foot) and several bus lines (which run along Macdonald Avenue.).
2. The 900-block fronts on a major arterial.
3. Drivers and BART patrons access the site along relatively safe corridors. Drivers
can take Harbour Way directly from the off-ramp to the development’s parking
(or the city’s future adjacent parking).
4. There are several large employers within immediate walking distance. Across the
street, Kaiser Permanente employs 968 people. The Social Security
Administration building (seven blocks away) and County Social Services (two
blocks away) employ another 2000 people.31

31
Bay Area Economics, Demand for Space at the Proposed Social Services Building – Downtown
Richmond, 1999.

VI-12
5. The nearby East Bay Performing Arts Center and a future performing arts venue
at the Transit Village are expected to draw more outsiders to the street.
6. The land should be cheap to purchase.
7. The street is lined by middle-aged trees, which distinguish the downtown visually
and make it more pleasant to walk in than other parts of Macdonald Avenue.
8. The developer would not have to dedicate the typical amount of land to parking.
This is because the City of Richmond plans to reserve the northeast corner of
Bissell and Harbour Way (just across the street) for surface or structured parking
dedicated to the parking needs of the subarea containing the 900 block. The city
site is intended to accommodate up to 520 spaces if made into a 4-level structured
facility, or 130 spaces if improved in the interim into a surface facility.
9. This block is across the street from the Iron Triangle police substation, and
contiguous to the recently re-developed stretch of Macdonald Avenue’s south
side.

3. Pencil Out Analysis


A pencil out analysis adds to our understanding of feasibility by looking at whether a
development at this particular site would meet financing requirements and compensate
the developer for undertaken risk. We ran a pencil out analysis for a 43,818 square foot
retail development here. In this hypothetical development, the 20,000 square foot apparel
store would be flanked by a 1600 square foot coffee house and a 6560 square foot
bookstore, in keeping with key interests identified by our surveys.
We started with the following assumptions for our analysis:
• The land would cost $12/sqft.
• The development can be built providing only one parking space per 1000 sqft of
GLA. (This is based on the expectation that the city will implement its plans to at
least build the 130-space surface parking lot at the corner of Harbour and Bissell,
and give 900-block tenants at least 50% of these spaces. This would give the
development a ratio of 3.3 parking spaces per 1000 square feet of proposed retail,
which goes beyond the 3 spaces recommended in the City Center Specific Plan.)

VI-13
• Construction costs are $110/sqft and parking spaces cost $1000/space.
• The required debt-coverage ratio (DCR) would be 1.25. (Community Bank of the
Bay quoted a range of 1.15-1.25.)
• A loan can be obtained at 7.0%. (World Savings of Albany has recently cited a
30 year fixed rate mortgage at 6.9%.) and the cap rate is 8.0%. (Community Bank
of the Bay has cited a range of 7.5 - 9 for Oakland.)
• Tenants would pay the median rent for their retail category for community
shopping centers nationwide, as calculated by the Urban Land Institute.32
The development we’ve tested would “pencil out” under the following scenario:
• Land costs are dropped to $6/sqft.;
• Demolition and site improvements are not paid by the developer; and
• The apparel store is charged a rent of $22/sqft.

Under this scenario, the developer could achieve a loan-to-value ratio of 88.9%, and the
discounted project value would be $266,470.32 more than the project costs. The key to
feasibility, in this scenario, is that a Ross, Old Navy or similar store would be willing to
pay $9 more than the national median rent/square foot. Given the market risk of being an
early store on Macdonald Avenue, this may be unrealistic. Feasibility would be
improved, however, if development costs could be further reduced. One way to do this
(that wasn’t tested here) would be to waive on-site parking requirements altogether, in
light of the city’s proposed parking garage.

32
Dollars and Cents of US Shopping Centers, ULI, 1997.

VI-14
Appendix Table B-3 -- "Pencil-out" Scenarios for the 900 Block Site (page 1)
Demolition costs drop to Demolition costs still zero,
zero, apparel store pays apparel store pays even higher
higher rent rent
Scenario 1 Scenario 2 Scenario 3
Project outline
Lead Tenant Apparel Store Apparel Store Apparel Store
Lot dimensions (ft) 206.2 x 212.5 206.2 x 212.5 206.2 x 212.5
Parcel size (sqft) 43,817.50 43,817.50 43,817.50
Floors 1 1 1
Lot Coverage Percentage 64.27% 64.27% 64.27%
Lot Coverage Area (sqft) 28160 28160 28160
Total Square Footage of Building 28160 28160 28160
Sqft of Unit 1 -- Apparel Store 20000 20000 20000
Sqft of Unit 2 -- Bookstore 6560 6560 6560
Sqft of Unit 3 -- Coffee House 1600 1600 1600
Total Unit Space 28160 28160 28160
Space left for common area 0 0 0
Required common area % (of unit space) 0% 0% 0%
Parking spaces/1000 sqft. of retail 1 1 1
Total space needed per parking space (sqft.) 350 350 350
Number of Parking Spaces 28 28 28
Parking space, total (sqft) 9800 9856 9800

Development cost structure


Land cost/sqft $12 $12 $6
Construction cost/sqft $110.00 $110.00 $110.00
Demolition costs/sqft $4.00 $0.00 $0.00
Parking cost/space $1,000 $1,000 $1,000
Soft costs as % of Construction costs 25% 25% 25%

Financing Structure
Required Debt-Coverage ratio 1.25 1.25 1.25
Interest Rate 7.50% 7.50% 6.50%
Term (years) 30 30 30
Cap rate (market discount rate) 8.00% 8.00% 8.00%

Operating Cost Structure


Avg. vacancy rate, % 2% 2% 2%
Expense ratio, % (expenses/rents) 35% 35% 35%

Rents (per tenant)


Monthly rent for Apparel Store (per sqft.) $13.39 $16.00 $22.00
Monthly rent for Bookstore (per sqft.) $11.72 $11.72 $11.72
Monthly rent for Coffee House (per sqft.) $31.28 $31.28 $31.28

VI-15
Appendix Table B-3 -- "Pencil-out" Scenarios for the 900 Block Site (page 1)
Scenario 1 Scenario 2 Scenario 3
Development Summary
Land Cost $525,810 $525,810 $262,905
Total Square Footage 28,160 28,160 28,160
Construction Cost $3,097,600.00 $3,097,600.00 $3,097,600.00
Parking Construction Cost $28,000.00 $28,160.00 $28,000.00
Sqft. needing demolition 23,197.50 23,197.50 23,197.50
Total Demolition Cost $92,790.00 $0.00 $0.00
Soft Costs $781,400.00 $781,440.00 $781,400.00
Total Development Cost $4,553,760.00 $4,461,170.00 $4,198,065.00
Project Value $4,553,760.00 $4,461,170.00 $4,198,065.00

Operating Summary (full occupancy)


Gross Scheduled Rent $394,725.12 $446,925.12 $566,925.12
- Vacancies ($7,894.50) ($8,938.50) ($11,338.50)
- Expected Expenses ($138,153.79) ($156,423.79) ($198,423.79)
Net Operating Income (rents-expenses) $248,676.83 $281,562.83 $357,162.83

Debt-Equity Position Bottom Lines Bottom Lines Bottom Lines


Project Cost (from above) $4,553,760.00 $4,461,170.00 $4,198,065.00
Supportable Mortgage $2,349,575.49 $2,660,292.58 $3,731,258.87
Required Initial Cash (Gap) $2,204,184.51 $1,800,877.42 $466,806.13
Effective Loan to Value 51.60% 59.63% 88.88%
Project Value from Cap Rate $3,108,460.32 $3,519,535.32 $4,464,535.32

4. Case Study Conclusions


The analysis above should show that the feasibility of a new apparel store on Macdonald
Avenue is not a guarantee. If a new store can draw customers from outside Richmond,
including more affluent census tracts, it can do very well. Factoring in competition from
Hilltop Mall and other regional stores, a 20,000 square foot store could still make 2.5
times the national median of sales/GLA. But if the store can only draw from
communities with income similar to downtown Richmond (due to prejudices or concerns

VI-16
about safety), a new apparel store would earn less than the national median. This might
be too low to lure the store into locating on Macdonald Avenue.

These numbers might change for the better, however, if a national name store were the
apparel tenant. As mentioned at the beginning of this analysis, a national apparel store
has the advantage of having a built-in, loyal customer base. For such a store, more
customers might be willing to put aside safety concerns and prejudices and visit than
would be predicted by our models. This would especially be the case for a store like Old
Navy, given that the closest Old Navy would be more than 6.5 miles away.

The 900 block might be a good place for an apparel-anchored retail development,
primarily due its proximity to both Highway 580 and the Richmond BART station. But a
development at this site will probably have to be creative to “pencil out.” One approach
for the city might be to wave parking requirements, assemble and offer the land at a
below market rate, and provide free demolition (where desired of course). Otherwise the
developer would have to charge tenants rents that are above the national median, or pick
a co-tenant other than a bookstore.

Ultimately the choices of tenants will need to conform to the vision established by
residents, other stakeholders and the Main Street Initiative.

VI-17
C. Survey

1. The Main Street Initiative Survey


1. How often do you visit Macdonald Avenue?
a) Never
b) Once/month
c) Once/week
d) 2-4 times/week
e) 5-7 times/week

2. Why do you visit Macdonald Avenue? (Check all that apply)


a) Shopping
b) Groceries
c) Eating
d) Banking
e) Laundry
f) Haircut/nails
g) School
h) Work
i) Religious purposes
j) Recreation
k) Arts
l) To hang out
m) Other: __________________________

3. Why do you choose Macdonald Avenue instead of other places?


a) Has stores I shop at
b) Has services I use
c) Convenient to my home
d) Convenient to my workplace
e) I can run into people I know here
f) Comfortable place to walk around
g) Other ____________________________

4. I would come to Macdonald Avenue more if there were: (Check all that apply)
a) More of the stores I shop at
b) More services (banks, beauty salons, barbers, etc.)
c) Better food options
d) More entertainment/arts/nightlife
e) More recreation
f) Other _______________________________

VI-18
5. What kind of stores would you like to see added to Macdonald Avenue? (Check top three)
a) Clothing or shoes
b) Sporting goods
c) Electronics
d) Hardware
e) Home furnishings
f) Video
g) Bookstores/newsstands
h) Music
i) Grocery store
j) Other ____________________________

6. Name a specific store you’d like to have on Macdonald Avenue.:


_________________________________

7. What kind of food place would you like to see on Macdonald Avenue.? (Check all that
apply)

a) Fast food
b) Deli
c) Coffee house
d) Bakery/bagels
e) Health food
f) Family restaurant
g) Ethnic _______________________
h) Other ________________________

8. What kind of entertainment would bring you to Macdonald Avenue more? (Check all that
apply)
a) Coffee shops
b) Bars
c) Clubs
d) Movie theater
e) Performing arts
f) Teen hang-out center
g) Other ___________________________

9. Do any of the following keep you from going to Macdonald Avenue more often? (Check all
that apply)
a) Difficulty walking around
b) Street and sidewalk dirtiness
c) Noise
d) Difficulty getting there by bus or BART
e) Difficulty getting there by car
f) Safety concerns
g) Something else _______________________________
h) None of these keep me from going

VI-19
10. Where else do you regularly shop? (Check all that apply)
a) Hilltop Mall
b) Appian Way/ Pinole
c) El Cerrito del Norte
d) El Cerrito Plaza
e) Corte Madera
f) Stoneridge, Pleasanton
g) Sun Valley, Concord

11. What zip code do you live in? ___________________________

12. What is your annual household income?


a) Under $15,000
b) $15,000 to $34,999
c) $35,000 to $49,999
d) $50,000 and above

13. How old are you? _____________________________

14. What’s your race/ ethnicity?

a) Hispanic
b) African American (but not Hispanic)
c) Asian or Pacific Islander
d) White (but not Hispanic)
e) Other ___________________________

15. What’s your gender?


a) male
b) female

16. We’re paying people $25 to participate in a discussion group to hear more of your thoughts
about what should happen on Macdonald Avenue. Would you be interested?

a) Yes
b) No

If yes, please indicate:


_____________________________ _______________________
Name Phone

VI-20
2. Profile of Survey Respondents: Cluster Analysis Methodology
All variables in the analysis, except age and income were coded as dummy variables
where 0 meant no and 1 meant yes. We included all answers in the analysis except open-
ended questions and questions where the variable was a constant. Where applicable, one
variable was suppressed. We included all questions except “where else do you shop”. The
sample consisted of 146 cases of the onsite consumer survey. Cases with missing values
in dummy variables were excluded from the analysis. Cases with missing values in
interval-ratio variables were replaced with series mean values. The clustering method
used was within group linkage using as intervals square Euclidean distances. We did not
employ any standardization method or variable transformations.

A range of 2 to 5 cluster solutions was analyzed. 2 clusters would have merged cluster 1
with cluster 2 and cluster 3 with cluster 4. Three solutions would have merged only
clusters 1 with 2, leaving 3 and 4 as they have been presented. Five clusters would have
further divided cluster 4 into two very small clusters.

The four clusters were cross-tabbed against the percentage of affirmative answers for
each of the variables. Across clusters, percentages for each variable were normalized.
Variables that rated from O.8 to 1 were considered to be characteristics in which the
cluster rated high and were included in the table if at least 50% of the members of the
cluster responded with that answer. Thus, some variables presented in the table, may have
rated low as overall percentages for all respondents yet, the analysis shows specific
groups in which the variable rated highly. The same applies for variables that rated highly
overall but that preference for these were distributed evenly across consumer clusters.
This analysis can be taken into account additionally to the overall survey responses to
identify specific interests within certain age, gender, ethnic and income groups. Table (#)
shows responses for each variable per cluster as percentages and normalized across
clusters.

VI-21
Cluster Analysis

% of responses within clusters Normalizd Responses Across Clusters


Options
Question Cluster 1 Cluster 2 Cluster 4 Cluster 3 Cluster 1 Cluster 2 Cluster 3 Cluster 4
Never 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
How Often Once/Month 0.11 0.15 0.09 0.04 0.72 1.00 0.59 0.27
Once/Week 0.11 0.04 0.00 0.08 1.00 0.35 0.00 0.75
2-4 Times/Week 0.38 0.31 0.27 0.38 1.00 0.81 0.72 0.98
5-7 Times/Week 0.40 0.50 0.64 0.50 0.62 0.79 1.00 0.79

shopping 0.60 0.73 0.85 0.75 0.71 0.86 1.00 0.88


groceries 0.48 0.54 0.70 0.63 0.68 0.77 1.00 0.90
eating 0.68 0.46 0.64 0.54 1.00 0.68 0.93 0.79
banking 0.19 0.38 0.39 0.58 0.33 0.66 0.68 1.00
laundry 0.21 0.08 0.27 0.17 0.76 0.28 1.00 0.61
haircut/nails 0.22 0.00 0.09 0.08 1.00 0.00 0.41 0.38
school 0.10 0.15 0.18 0.08 0.52 0.85 1.00 0.46
work 0.17 0.19 0.18 0.21 0.84 0.92 0.87 1.00
Why do you visit

religious purpose 0.08 0.23 0.18 0.13 0.34 1.00 0.79 0.54
recreation 0.10 0.19 0.18 0.13 0.50 1.00 0.95 0.65
arts 0.03 0.00 0.09 0.08 0.35 0.00 1.00 0.92
to hang out 0.27 0.19 0.21 0.08 1.00 0.71 0.79 0.31
open question

has stores I shop at 0.44 0.58 0.39 0.54 0.77 1.00 0.68 0.94
Why do you choose

has services I use 0.14 0.42 0.48 0.54 0.26 0.78 0.90 1.00
over other places?

convenient to my home 0.51 0.58 0.70 0.79 0.64 0.73 0.88 1.00
convenient to my workpla 0.14 0.12 0.18 0.13 0.79 0.63 1.00 0.69
I can run into people I kn 0.24 0.23 0.27 0.21 0.87 0.85 1.00 0.76
comfartable place to walk 0.25 0.15 0.30 0.17 0.84 0.51 1.00 0.55
open question

More of the stores I shop 0.56 0.46 0.73 0.46 0.76 0.63 1.00 0.63
I would come to
Macdonald Ave

More services: banks, bea 0.22 0.42 0.36 0.38 0.53 1.00 0.86 0.89
more if there

Better food options 0.40 0.50 0.45 0.29 0.79 1.00 0.91 0.58
More entertainment/arts/n 0.43 0.31 0.42 0.33 1.00 0.72 0.99 0.78
More recreation 0.22 0.38 0.33 0.42 0.53 0.92 0.80 1.00
open question

clothing, stores 0.59 0.50 0.67 0.67 0.88 0.75 1.00 1.00
what kind of stores would like

sporting goods 0.30 0.27 0.12 0.25 1.00 0.89 0.40 0.83
to see added to Macdonald

electronics 0.33 0.46 0.36 0.33 0.72 1.00 0.79 0.72


hardware 0.10 0.19 0.27 0.33 0.29 0.58 0.82 1.00
home furnishings 0.11 0.19 0.18 0.25 0.44 0.77 0.73 1.00
video 0.37 0.31 0.48 0.21 0.75 0.63 1.00 0.43
bookstores/newsstands 0.29 0.50 0.48 0.42 0.57 1.00 0.97 0.83
music 0.44 0.35 0.30 0.17 1.00 0.78 0.68 0.38
grocery stores 0.22 0.35 0.52 0.29 0.43 0.67 1.00 0.57
Ave

open question

Fast food 0.41 0.35 0.33 0.17 1.00 0.84 0.81 0.40
place would you like to

deli 0.29 0.12 0.52 0.33 0.55 0.22 1.00 0.65


Coffee house 0.27 0.27 0.42 0.29 0.64 0.63 1.00 0.69
What kind of food

Bakery/bagels 0.21 0.31 0.24 0.17 0.67 1.00 0.79 0.54


Health food 0.16 0.31 0.24 0.46 0.35 0.67 0.53 1.00
Family restaurant 0.54 0.62 0.64 0.67 0.81 0.92 0.95 1.00
Ethnic 0.13 0.08 0.15 0.25 0.51 0.31 0.61 1.00
see

open question

Coffee shops 0.19 0.35 0.39 0.38 0.48 0.88 1.00 0.95
entertainment would

Bar 0.06 0.08 0.12 0.13 0.51 0.62 0.97 1.00


Clubs 0.41 0.19 0.21 0.21 1.00 0.47 0.51 0.50
What kind of

bring you to

Movie Theather 0.71 0.54 0.79 0.63 0.91 0.68 1.00 0.79
Performing Arts 0.11 0.35 0.33 0.46 0.24 0.76 0.73 1.00
Teen hang-out center 0.62 0.50 0.33 0.25 1.00 0.81 0.54 0.40
other

Difficulty walking around 0.08 0.08 0.09 0.08 0.87 0.85 1.00 0.92
Do any of the following
keep you from going to
Macdonald Ave more

Street & sidewalk dirtines 0.17 0.19 0.33 0.29 0.52 0.58 1.00 0.88
Noise 0.05 0.00 0.06 0.04 0.79 0.00 1.00 0.69
Difficulty getting there by 0.13 0.12 0.03 0.04 1.00 0.91 0.24 0.33
Difficulty getting there by 0.03 0.00 0.03 0.00 1.00 0.00 0.95 0.00
Safety concerns 0.21 0.54 0.36 0.42 0.38 1.00 0.68 0.77
Something else
None 0.40 0.23 0.55 0.42 0.73 0.42 1.00 0.76

94801 0.41 0.42 0.48 0.46 0.85 0.87 1.00 0.95


94804 0.32 0.19 0.33 0.29 0.95 0.58 1.00 0.88
Code
Zip

Open Question

Under 15,000 0.37 0.54 0.61 0.38 0.60 0.89 1.00 0.62
15,000 - 34,999 0.35 0.12 0.27 0.25 1.00 0.33 0.78 0.72
Income

35,000 - 49,999 0.10 0.19 0.09 0.17 0.50 1.00 0.47 0.87
50,000 and above 0.06 0.04 0.03 0.21 0.30 0.18 0.15 1.00

Hispanic 0.27 0.46 0.18 0.21 0.58 1.00 0.39 0.45


African American but not 0.63 0.38 0.67 0.67 0.95 0.58 1.00 1.00
Asian or Pacific Islander 0.05 0.04 0.00 0.00 1.00 0.81 0.00 0.00

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3. Survey Cross Tabulation Methodology
In order to analyze the results of the Customer and Social Security Administration
surveys, the results were broken down by a number of different categories, including
Customer vs. local employee respondents, age, race/ethnicity, frequency of visits to
Macdonald Avenue, and expressed desire for two specific establishments: bookstores and
theatres. Theatres and bookstores were chosen because these were establishments
frequently requested by the customer respondents and the local employee respondents
respectively.

These cross-tabulations are presented in the following tables. It is important to


understand how to read the tables. The specific sub-group being examined is listed in the
column heading. The total number of people in that sub-group is given beneath that
heading (“# of Respondents”). For example, in the first table, the two sets of columns
compare Customer respondents to local employee respondents. Going down the first row,
it can be determined that of the 148 “Customer” respondents, 34% reported visiting
Macdonald Avenue. 2-4 times per week and 49% reported visiting 5-7 times. In the next
column, it is seen that of the 43 local employee respondents, 28% reported visiting 2-4
times per week, and only 23% reported visiting 5-7 times per week.

For a given question, the percentage of possible responses will not necessarily add up to
100%. In most cases the sum will be greater than 100%, since respondents were allowed
to choose multiple responses to a given question. For example, looking at the Customer
responses to Question 1, 70% choose shopping, 56% choose groceries, 61% choose
eating, and so on.

The surveys are compared in two different ways. In the first table, the responses of all of
the Customer surveys are compared to the responses of all of the local employee surveys.
This highlights similarities and differences between the two groups. For example, a
similar percentage of the Customer and local employee groups visit for banking, question
2d (34% and 30% respectively), while proportionally fewer of the Customer respondents

VI-23
indicated that they would come to Macdonald Avenue. more often if there were better
food options, question 4c (41% vs. 72%).

Tables 2, 3, 4 and 5 examine only respondents to the Customer survey. These surveys
were chosen for a more in-depth analysis because while the local employee respondents
represent only a small fraction of the total population in the study area (24,000 total
residents), including their 43 responses would heavily bias the results, as there were only
148 customer surveys. It was also recognized that the local employee workers would
likely benefit from any improvements in the area, even if these improvements were aimed
at serving local residents. On the other hand, improvements aimed specifically at
benefiting the local employee workers, most of whom only come to area during the
daytime and for work purposes, would not necessarily be changes that the local residents
would see as being the most beneficial.

VI-24
Survey Cross Tabulations

VI-25
See above (Page VII-25)

VI-26
See above (Page VII-25)

VI-27
See above (Page VII-25)

VI-28
See above (Page VII-25)

VI-29