Sunday, May 2, 2010
Merchant Group Broadens Focus
With former Ingleside Police Captain David Lazar recently reassigned to the San Francisco Crime Lab due to a departmental shakeup just days prior, the evening of March 24th at Joe Leland Coffee Shop (28 Leland Ave.) was the first opportunity for business owners to meet the new district captain – Louis Cassanego. Updated versions of the Leland Avenue Merchant Watch map and phone tree were distributed to participating small businesses and the group briefly discussed crime trends and safety on the street with Captain Cassasnego. Yet, while organized crime prevention in downtown Visitacion Valley was certainly on the agenda, this convening of the merchant watch group put Leland Avenue streetscape construction front and center.
With substantial construction occurring up and down the commercial corridor, small business owners embraced an opportunity to meet as a collective body with three key figures heading up the project; Alex Murillo (Public Affairs Officer, Department of Public Works), Kris Opbroek (Project Manager, Department of Public Works), and Tim Frey (Project Engineer, McGuire & Hester). They began by presenting an overview of the project including some pretty stunning renderings of what the street will look like upon completion; including 65 new trees, state of the art storm water management facilities, corner bulb outs at intersections, street furniture and improved pedestrian lighting. Project representatives then began fielding specific questions from merchants whose storefront sidewalks were slated for construction. The informative meeting wound down by discussing an approximate timeframe for completion. The streetscape project was identified by the project engineer as running slightly ahead of schedule, which could (and I stress the word could) be completed late this summer. There were even rumblings of a big party at the conclusion of the construction, perhaps just in time for the Leland Avenue Street Fair…? They offered up their contact information and encouraged business and property owners with questions or concerns to contact them (see below).
• Alex Murillo: 415/437.7009 (office) 415/627.8106 (mobile)
• Tim Frey: 510/632.7676 (office) 510/715.0802 (mobile)
• Kris Opbroek: 415/ 558.4045 (office)