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July 16, 2017


Bruce Dickinson

A more interesting way of perhaps tackling the problem, other than Bruce Dickinson's earlier suggestions, which offer only partial solutions, is to do a little bit of abductive reasoning, as it were. Clearly the Broadway Starbucks is enjoying resounding success, in fact it was one of the first stores to feature alcohol (that program was considered a bust) and my sources tell me that a family business, Burlingame Prime, is a cash cow.

So, we need to examine what makes these two businesses work to attract customers in spite of the inherent difficulties? I agree that the Broadway street setup is sub-optimal and there are too many multifamily units for the narrow streets, but it is interesting in how some of the businesses can be successful but others not.

I think a combination of improved policing (eliminate riffraff, homeless and shady businesses), improved parking (Broadway needs a garage more than downtown Burlingame), and a revitalization program could help the businesses greatly. What made it easier for Burlingame Ave was that the businesses could pony up most of the cash as the widened sidewalks would improve their traffic and restaurant capacity by 20%. Maybe that is something we should explore for Broadway, in widening sidewalks (move to parallel parking), build 2 parking garages, and have the City inject a couple million bucks instead of building a $45 million dollar rec center (which can be done at half price).

The proximity to the hotels would make Broadway a more logical destination for eating especially. Look at the restaurants surrounding the hotels, talk about getting away with low quality due to the restaurants' captive market. If you just get 20% of the Burlingame hotel traffic to divert to Broadway, it would be boomtown 2.0!


I agree.
There are a few parking areas behind the business's on the North and South Side of Broadway. These could be better utilized with a little imagination.
That US Post office should be axed ASAP.
There are some very unusual business's on Broadway too. How they are able to lease such valuable Real Estate is a mystery.
For example-The Candy Store. That place can not make more than $200.00 per day. The place must rent for $6-7000.00 a month.


Why ax the Post office? It's an active place and not taking awawy from the main retail on Broadway.

Thomas Hornblower

Back in the 50's, 60's and early 70's Broadway had it all, it was a go to street for just about everything. In my mind the number one cause of the erosion of Broadway has been rising rents squeezing business owners' profit margins. Look at who puts the city council in office (look at the campaign contribution forms) and you will see it's realtors, contractors and big property owners; they run and own this city and every other city in the Bay Area. Look at how the city council can't wait to spend tax payers money which they don't even have (so they have to float bonds or raise taxes to do so) so they can put it into the pockets of those that helped them pay for the campaign signs they plastered all over the city to get elected (the ones with the most signs always wins). I don't see Broadway being as easily taken over by high end retail as they did on Burlingame Ave. simply because of lack of space & parking. I see a continuing erosion with more vacant stores and lack of choice in shopping.

Bruce Dickinson

Mr. Hornblower, Bruce Dickinson agrees with you and this too is a big flaw of Burlingame and many other cities with high real estate values. The Burlingame council making decisions independent of any local real estate or business interests is about as probable as Donald Trump telling the truth about an issue.

We need more candidates for city council that have zero vested interests and can make completely objective decisions. I guarantee you, get a few of these people elected, and the decisions would look nothing like they do today!


We need an Independent deep thinker... As most people do.
Please consider a Run for Burlingame Council.
In my opinion, 80% of Burlingame Voters never read/comprehend the issues other than maintaining Prop. 13 benefits.
The City of Burlingame "Political Machine" needs a person to tear down the "incestuous" Real Estate business that "Most" City Elders benefit from.
Please give us " More Cowbell" as well as viewing the City of Burlingame books regarding the City Elders investment portfolio.
Thank you Mr.Bruce Dickenson for your comments and insight.

Porky Little

Ouchy. The socialist always pop up in California during a debate and they try to drive wedges between age groups, income groups, races, sexes, etc etc......

Universal Truth: screw with people who have money and they move it somewhere else. It always finds its level like water and avoids the areas of resistance.

Peter Garrison

I will run for Philosopher King.
Oops- live in un-incorporated county.
Qualified for philosopher and king, but not for votes.


But Keighran and O'Mahony each called Broadway "my priority" and once elected or re-elected, each turned a blind eye. Oh yeah, got some weird island landscaping too. Way just focus on Burlingame Avenue? All talk and no do. Think about it people. An election is looming.


Sort of off topic...
We are on vacation in Southern New Mexico.
Reading the Local Newspapers are fascinating.
Our own Mr. Bruce Dickinson is mentioned about his Birthday.
Happy Birthday Mr. Dickenson!

Girlfriend of Porky Little

Tear all those crappy shops down and build cool housing with new cool shops. $10 million down and $100 million in new development costs.

The person referencing the overwhelming Asian influence is right-on brothers and sisters.

You have a big problem and if you think it isn't spreading to your other shopping street (Burlingame Street) you're kidding yourself.

The city south of you San Mateo seems to be growing and has cool shops.


It sounds like the Planning Commission is taking an active stance on helping B'way recover. From the DJ:

Burlingame Planning Commissioners agreed during a Monday, Aug. 14, study session that educational training center AJ Tutoring is likely not the right fit for the former Earthbeam Foods property.

“I have a hard time accepting this is the only thing that can go into this space,” Commissioner Richard Terrones said of the nearly 4,500 square-foot storefront that’s sat vacant since the organic food store closed about six months ago.

The commission weighed the application because a tutoring company does not comply with the district’s zoning and AJ Tutoring would require a conditional use permit and parking variance to open.

Attorney Mark Hudak said the building owner, who purchased the property a few months ago, has only received one other viable application from a coffee shop, which he suggested may infringe on existing businesses.

The rest is here: http://www.smdailyjournal.com/news/local/officials-criticize-tutoring-proposal-for-broadway/article_8aaede22-823c-11e7-b2a2-0bd7c62e1e89.html

Bruce Dickinson

Well, folks, call this one a head-shaker. So the owner of the building, who just purchased it a few months ago, is now having his lawyer argue that the former grocery store building has limited alternative uses and has a high cost of conversion to other uses that make more sense?!? Also there are no other bids for the space! Well great then, why did the real estate wizard buy the building in the first place?

Bruce Dickinson knows the bubble is going to pop soon given that real estate market peaks are always defined by marginal players who pay top dollar for properties that have no option value.

Caveat emptor!

Lord Harington

The owner has not even advertised it to the public as far as I see. You have to market the building before you say there are no interested parties. FACT....The owner is cheap and and refuses to put any money into the remodeling to basic standards.

Have CBRE or Coldwell Banker list it and you will have tons of interested parties through their national presence.

Ratchet it up guys. Stop acting like country bumpkins.

Mary Lynn Parker

You would really increase shoppers on your street if you get some major brands to lease space. Nice little shops but it appears like an old little shopping area. No offense meant!

It is the exact profile Amazon and Ebay has in its sites. When you have a nice mix of major brands and local shops you are able to withstand the ups and downs of the economy and better compete against the big online sites.

Our family eats on Broadway at times and after we eat there is no reason to remain on the street. We are looking for things like entertainment in the form of art, music, window shopping, yogurt shops, etc... Potpourri and the Shoe shop was the only decent shop we noticed. The other shops are resale type shops starting from El Camino to California. This Monday during a peak time the street was dead.

We went to Burlingame Ave to people watch and snack time.


The Daily Journal is catching up to the Voice regarding B'way:

On opposing ends of the street, the former homes of Earthbeam Foods and Magda Luna restaurant continue to sit unattended like a drab pair of bookends sandwiching an otherwise colorful and eclectic library of primarily independent businesses.

Lasting gateway vacancies signaling business is not booming on Broadway remain a primary concern for merchants who continue to hope for establishing some synergy along the street.



Mexican place was a dump and Taste Med wasn't much better. Mexican place owner ran it out of business and nothing else. Who are these people pushing this misinformation about this place?

It's the same group of haters of the building owner based on the previous posts.

Very suspect group tied to the merchants association?

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