Walnut Creek voters say "yes" to Neiman Marcus

Well, officially, Walnut Creek voters said “yes” to a new 92,000-square-foot department store in Broadway Plaza at the corner of South Main Street and Mt. Diablo Boulevard. Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus has said it fully intends to occupy that spot.

With all precincts reporting, 71 percent of the 21,398 Walnut Creek voters casting ballots, said “yes” to Measure I–the Broadway extension measure. Nearly 29 percent said “no.”

It’s been a costly battle for the two developers on either side of Measure I–to the tune of around $2 million combined. Broadway Mall owner Macerich spent around $1.3 million on the Yes on I campaign, while Taubman Centers, which owns Concord’s Sunvalley Mall and had hoped to develop a Neiman Marcus in San Ramon, spent $700,000.

So, it looks like Neiman Marcus will be coming to town.

Really? Truly? Could this whole brouhaha finally be over? Will slow-growth advocates who opposed the new Broadway Plaza department store, as well as Taubman, challenge the results of the election in court? One city official I talked to wondered if the election would truly settle this battle, especially if the No on I side loses. Taubman has been known, in other communities, to dig in for a long time and spend lots of money to assert its will.

Well, one No on I leader seemed resigned to accept the results of Tuesday’s election. Selma King told the Contra Costa Times that she was ready for election day and for the campaign to be over. “I have lost more elections then I have won,” King said. “I am able to say that we did the best we could.”

39 thoughts on “Walnut Creek voters say "yes" to Neiman Marcus

  1. The people have spoken. It's time for Taubman & their paid goons to move on. Thanks to Macerich (our neighbor, NOT an outsider) for allowing the people to speak once and for all.

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  2. Once again, everyone is missing the whole point of the initiative……allowing the 2025 General Plan to be amended by the very first entity who applied for a varience.

    What will stop the next applicant from asking for even more changes in the future? All it seems to take is the potential of a glitzy name-brand store and the mention of more sales tax dollars to get approval from the City.

    Thank you Taubman for at least causing an improvement in the original plan approvals.

    I just hope that with all of the money spent and talk along the way about being “local”, “jobs” etc. the combatants did use in-town printers, sign makers and mail houses in their campaigns. Worth a look on campaign finance reports to see if either of them truly were concerned about the local economy. Ha!

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  3. Anon 7:07,

    You are so tiresome! So, “everyone is missing the whole point”? You are totally out of touch with reality. The 2025 General Plan has become an idol at which you and other naysayers and obstructionists worship.

    Note that the correct spelling is “variance”, not “varience”.

    Here is the relevant language from the general plan document itself. Page 19 of Chapter 1:

    “AMENDING THE GENERAL PLAN
    The adopted general plan is a dynamic, not static document. State law allows up to four general plan amendments per mandatory element per year. Most amendments propose a change in land use designation of a particular property (and thus propose a change to the land use element).”

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  4. 7:07. I get the point. They are interested in the local economy that's why they are building a two story, 92K sq retail building.

    Plans always get adjusted, well at least in the the 5 different businesses I've work in. People who worked hard to create the original plans should not be change barriers but rather changes agents to the betterment of the plan.
    All the changes must be sensible and thought out.

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  5. 7:53

    Someone with whom you disagree is not always a “naysayer” and/or “obstructionist”. Name calling does not accomplish anything except make the name caller look foolish and petty.

    I am willing to accept the results of the election and move on. I really do hope that everything from here on out goes smoothly and Walnut Creek does someday receive the $400,000 in increased sales tax revenue.

    As to my spelling error…..I am not perfect nor am I very wide awake at 7am! Thank you for the correction.

    You carry a large burden in life….being right all of the time is a tough job.

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  6. It's finally over? What a nightmare, I will always remember the signature gatherer for the “No” team that approached me on the BART platform and then angrily told me that I couldn't vote if I didn't sign. I had no opinion before that, he catapulted me over to the “Yes” side with his aggression and lack of class.

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  7. Born and raised in WC and stopped shopping here years ago. Not interested in NM. I will continue shopping in neighboring cities and on line. The store name and expense of the items is not what makes the city, sad, sad, sad. Why is materialism so alive in WC?

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  8. It's alive because your still shopping in other cities. Isn't it great to have a choice in where you'd like to shop.

    Enjoy!

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  9. Thanks for the laugh 8:28am…I needed something to cheer me up. I was amazed that 71% wanted this thing. So now I expect we wait and see what happens to downtown traffic and parking and of course the city coffers which ultimately was what this was about. It will be interesting to see what this election cost Macerich and Taubman.

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  10. I truly wish this much effort was put forth to bring professional employers to Walnut Creek! Effort like this needs to happen so that we can become Silicon Valley 3.0!

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  11. We often wonder who are the real persons behind some of these very slanted comments. Are city officials blogging on the job?? ; )

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  12. Macerich comes out with earnings tomorrow. It will be interesting to see what they did this past quarter and what the future holds. The stock ticker symbol is: MAC

    Look it up.

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  13. 9:03

    Assuming you enjoy the services and amenities that living in Walnut Creek gives you… guess what pays for this: Tax revenues! I'm not saying that people should only shop in WC, but I wouldn't be so proud of the fact that you DON'T shop here. It's the people shopping here that helps give you all that you may love: Dean Lesher Center, Open spaces, police, the Nutshell newsletter, parks, etc etc etc.

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  14. I don't shop WC. I'd much rather go to Stoneridge and have a place to park. In addition, the parking Nazi situation just oozes City Council greed. Yuck.

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  15. Anon 8:00,

    If you drive all the way to Stoneridge Mall from Walnut Creek, have you added up the cost of fuel and wear-and-tear on your auto? The math does not work! The maximum rate in a City garage is $3/day. That's the cost of one gallon of gasoline. So, with a fuel-efficient car, you are spending >$3 on fuel for the round trip and using the life of your car as well.

    The demographics of Walnut Creek suggest that we will not return to the 1950s with free parking on Main Street in front of the local feed store. However, wasting your money to spitefully shop in a remote location doesn't make any sense at all.

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  16. 9:03 AM…I'd be willing to give up the Nutshell. This blog gives us useful, helpful information while the Nutshell is a city PR piece filled with half truths. Whatever it costs us, it's not worth it.

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  17. I agree with the comment about the Nutshell. I quickly scan through it and toss it in the recycler within minutes of receiving it. The news just doesn't apply to my lifestyle. I just don't care about events and programs targeting the elderly. Much of that information should be easily accessible via the city's website. The news in the Nutshell seem to give it the look and feel of an employee newsletter. The audience the newsletter writes to is a town now in the past century. If the messages target city employees, consider sending an enews to city employees in its place. Should the city elect to sunset the Nutshell, their prudent decision will save the tax payers a good amount of money.

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  18. Yes! The cookie cutters win this one!

    Not interested in wasting my time shopping at NM, only to find myself wearing the same clothes everyone in town will be wearing. I will continue to travel elsewhere to obtain the individuality I value.

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  19. 9:04,

    I don't like the parking situation in downtown WC. I don't like the meter hours, the private parking enforcement among other things. At Stoneridge, I just drive up, park in a space, and enter the mall. In WC, I have to search for a space. How much gas does that use?

    I have the right to take my business elsewhere and choose to do so. I don't do it out of spite; I do it out of preference.

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  20. Parking in Walnut Creek is so easy. I dont know why people are always complaining? I lived in San Francisco where you need to leave an hour early to find a parking spot. The most I've ever had to drive to look for a spot in Walnut Creek is to the 2nd level of any of a number of free parking structures located in the center of all the shopping. You can also valet right in front of Nordstrom if you are too lazy to walk a couple of blocks.

    The charm of downtown Walnut Creek is the fact that the shopping isnt crammed inside a giant shopping mall surrounded by big box strip malls and ugly apartment buildings like in most suburban sprawl neighborhoods.

    I vote for even more luxury shopping. Wheres our Louis Vuitton and Burburry? Michael Kors would do quite well in Broadway Plaza. Keep it coming and I might be persuaded to actually do real shopping in Walnut Creek instead of driving to the city to shop every month.

    Not everyone living in WC and surrounding areas is an old country bumpkin. I also don't see these old farts complaining when they sell their hideous dumpy rancher to a young affluent family for over 1MM which they can keep a profit of 500k tax free.

    Quit complaining already or move to Concord. We don't want you here anymore. You dress tacky and are unpleasant to look at. Seriously. Get some fashion and image consulting or leave.

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  21. 12:28….

    This must be a joke???

    How can any one person spew so much anger and hate in one blog posting?

    If you don't like living in or looking at a “hideous dumpy rancher” previously owned by some old fart……..then……..move back to San Francisco. You can shop there all you want and not waste you gas or time ever coming to Walnut Creek again.

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  22. I really don't see much reason to continue this discussion. Nothing new is being said and people should calm down now that the election has been completed very decisively.

    It's time to get ready for Thanksgiving, ice skating, more holidays and a new year. Let's all hope that the economy is indeed turning around and that jobs and shoppers will return, even if not as quickly as we would like.

    Happy Thanksgiving in advance!

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  23. 12:28,

    This is why people move away from cities and into suburbs. They want to get away from classless people like you.

    If you don't like WC, move back to the city. And, it's schools, crime, etc.

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  24. I, for one, understand what 12:28 was trying to say – excluding his/her 3rd and last paragraph. I, too, am newly arrived to the East Bay (Moraga,2004) from Chicago. It is extremely tiresome to hear the local “old-timers” complain about traffic, parking, commercial development, etc., in Walnut Creek. Especially, when these same complainers enjoy many benefits, such as sky-rocketing property values. It is a fact that many “old-timers” did indeed make a $$ killing selling their rather average homes for inflated prices 2000-2006, and that they did get to pocket the profits. I bet noone was complaining then.

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  25. 10:03,

    Did you think WHY they were selling those homes? Many people who can (such as retired folk) leave because of the diminished quality of life here.

    I don't live within the WC city limits nor do I usually shop there. Just like the Alamoans who rejected a ballot measure to incorporate have be like Danville or Walnut Creek, we feel that retaining our rural character is important.

    And, before folks start making fun of other communities, WC has had it's own problems with crime (stabbings, fights, and prostitution).

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  26. Walnut Creek has a lot of crime. My car was broken into in front of my house. My aesthetician was robbed at gunpoint in her small shop in downtown WC by 2 black guys from Oakland. She had to relocate her shop.

    Last week, I took my 18 month daughter to the costume store in Pleasant Hill to get a halloween costume and there were 3 prostitutes hanging out at the freeway exit soliciting their services.

    For a suburb…there are some pretty ghetto things happening around here….not to mention the schools starting to deteriorate.

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  27. I live in the rural part of town and enjoy the great quality of life there. Part of that quality includes the option to head downtown and enjoy the wonderful amenities which include the ice rink, civic park, excellent sidewalks for strolling, theater, bars and eateries and soon a new library. Nearby are wonderful hiking spots etc.

    The increased options and changes downtown have done nothing to negatively impact my quality of life since 1992. Yes, when Capwells existed along with the parking lot that is now covered by CPK and the other stores toward the fountain. Wonderful additions.
    I look forward to the continued great changes.

    Hey, see you on the trail or at the wine bar!

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  28. Someone please explain to me when this whole issue became a war between the generations, the have/the havenots.

    I have lived in Walnut Creek for over 44 years and can tell you that I have seen many positive changes during this time. Open Space preserved, more choice in stores for daily needs,the Lesher Center, additional parks, expansions of our two fine hospitals, etc.

    I have also seen the increase in pollution, crime, traffic, rudeness and the “I want it all now” attitude.

    This is not the first time there has been controversy about growth and it probably won't be the last.

    I just hope that some of the rancor will go away and that all sides will work together for the common good.

    Younger people should respect what the older people have built…..the very thing that brought them to live here….and older people should celebrate and welcome younger residents for the energy they bring to a thriving community.

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  29. The charm of downtown Walnut Creek?

    Uh, let's see. Crappy fake downtown where a standard strip mall is decorated like someone's fantasy of somewhere. Put in a fountain and call it Tuscany, Disneyland? Macy's and Nordstrom big boxes filled with useless crap.

    Uh Oh! I forgot that this stuff drives our so called economy. Once we can get back to maxing out our credit cards then we can buy buy buy.

    Let's go baby!

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  30. Hello Anon 7:19pm,

    I believe that I speak for over 71%of Walnut Creek voters.

    You have a First Amendment right to your negative opinions. I honor the United States Constitution.

    However, Walnut Creek is a much better place than it was when I moved here. It is now a much more attractive and wonderful place to visit, live and shop.

    I am sorry that you are so very negative about the need to have sales tax dollars to pay for the wonderful services that we enjoy.

    Walnut Creek LIVES! Please get on the band wagon.

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