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Grocery Store Meeting
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langhugh
Mueller Community

Posts: 1149
Joined on August 18th, 2007
Grocery Store Meeting
by langhugh on November 16th, 2007

The Grocery Store meeting was a lot of fun. Jim Adams of ROMA, Mueller's design firm, gave a introduction of recent developments and design alternatives that led to the desire to discuss Groceries. I'll summarize some of those here, but after the introduction, we broke into small groups to relay our ideas. Those ideas should be published for all in some format from Catellus or ROMA.

Here is some of the points that Jim Adams made:

1. There is a probable new location for the grocery store anchor within Mueller, Near the north of the end of Mueller on the southeast corner of Berkman Drive and 51st street. This is in a space that was previously dedicated to the Austin Film Society, but the AFS is making it available for the Mueller development because they have expanded to the east into the some of the Emgency Command Center space.

2. UT and Catellus are still in rumored negotiations to expand UT's presence and/or acerage at Mueller for the purposes of building an academic health center (Med School). If that happens, then some of the previously designated single-family homes would be displaced in the design and other more-dense housing styles would be added to the area around the Dell Children's Medical Center. This would constitute a significant increase in the density and the net number of total homes in Mueller. Something on the order of 500-1000 new, denser homes. (I would view this as a net positive for a Mueller-style development in that it will help create the critical mass to attract the kind of best-of-breed Austin services people want...but, of course it has to be done with good design and sensitivity not to over-crowd, or densify...so there's a delicate balance)

3. The Town Center, which was not really the subject of the evening, would then open up for more possibilities that attract people to gather there and stay awhile, as opposed to running their grocery errands. Think SoCo, Domain, The Drag, The Arboretum, Sixth Street, etc.. As such, the primary attractors/anchors may be along to the lines of restaurants, book stores, a cinema, a hotel, smaller grocery/deli concepts, bars and music venues.

4. Mueller may have the capacity for multiple grocery concepts, with the new grocery anchor being a more conventional store on the northern edge, a smaller specialty type market in the Town Center, and a smaller-yet neighborhood market along the southern edge near Berkman and Manor. (I feel that if they are moving the anchor grocery to the northern edge then the Berkman/Manor space becomes even more important to the residents of the first several phases in the southern edge.)

Anyway, those are the big takeaways and, when Catellus/ROMA publish the feedback from the small groups, I'm sure it will be shared here.
 
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CamachoCorral
Mueller Community

Posts: 111
Joined on October 20th, 2007
untitled topic
by CamachoCorral on November 17th, 2007

Thanks for posting this. I was hoping someone would provide a report from that meeting.

Quote:

1. There is a probable new location for the grocery store anchor within Mueller, Near the north of the end of Mueller on the southeast corner of Berkman Drive and 51st street. This is in a space that was previously dedicated to the Austin Film Society, but the AFS is making it available for the Mueller development because they have expanded to the east into the some of the Emgency Command Center space.
[/quote]

My back of the envelope calculation has that location as a 4000 ft walk (about 8/10ths of a mile), one-way from my house. That is in no way a walkable distance. Moving the stores location will be similarly disadvantageous for most of the early Mueller residents. I also suspect that this would be a big box style store with a ton of parking spaces. Don't we already have enough of those?

Additionally, the larger store will dissuade smaller stores from moving into locations that are more convenient to Mueller residents. I'm willing to forego the megalo mart entirely, for the latter part of option #4:

[quote]
4. Mueller may have the capacity for multiple grocery concepts, with the new grocery anchor being a more conventional store on the northern edge, a smaller specialty type market in the Town Center, and a smaller-yet neighborhood market along the southern edge near Berkman and Manor. (I feel that if they are moving the anchor grocery to the northern edge then the Berkman/Manor space becomes even more important to the residents of the first several phases in the southern edge.)


Of course increasing the density of the development makes a lot more things possible in the way of grocery services, so I'm all for that.

-S (Sorry to sound like a negative ninny for most of this post)
 
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Ms Ice Monkey
Mueller Community

Posts: 460
Joined on November 18th, 2007
untitled topic
by Ms Ice Monkey on November 18th, 2007

Yes, the new location for the grocery store is too far to walk to from our houses, especially laden with multiple bags of groceries. But I'd rather drive about a mile to a store in our neighborhood than battle traffic and crowds to shop at the HEB in Hancock Center. By my calculation, it's only about twice the distance, but it's going to take far longer to get there and shop.

The major grocery store would be the place to make the big, once-a-week stock-up on groceries. Then, when you've run out of bread or want to grab an item or two for dinner, the corner store would be within walking distance for Phase I and II residents.

And if the supermarket is a neighborhood-scale, no-frills grocery, I see no reason why there wouldn't be room for a few good specialty stores in the town center - like a bakery or butcher or produce market or gourmet cheese store, etc.
 
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CamachoCorral
Mueller Community

Posts: 111
Joined on October 20th, 2007
untitled topic
by CamachoCorral on November 19th, 2007

I just don't think your going to be able to convince a smaller grocer/baker/butcher to move in to the original town center when they're going to have to compete against a large supermarket only 1500 feet away.

In that case, given the choice between one large supermarket or two smaller ones - I'll take the two smaller ones.

-S
 
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