1. Hard to know if it’s a good deal for Gilroy without hard numbers
Without knowing the numbers it’s difficult to say if Mayor Al Pinheiro’s downtown paseo push is the top choice to help reinvigorate the city’s struggling core.
It’s a legitimate push, clearly, but does it make the grade as the top choice for spending city dollars from the General Fund to revitalize downtown?
It’s not clear. That’s partially due to the numbers being obscured, for now, from public view for real estate negotiation reasons. But it’s also due to the laundry list for downtown, where much has been done and much is left to do.
It’s a frustrating situation. True revitalization has so many moving parts that it’s tough to pin down what’s most needed.
2. Are paseos the highest and best idea for downtown renovations?
The paseos are a key element in the Downtown Specific Plan, designed for respite and to move pedestrian traffic from parking lots behind the stores fronting Monterey Street’s westside to the center of the action.
But would the money that might be used for paseo building be better spent to attract new, desirable businesses to downtown or help renovate some unreinforced masonry buildings or to create a town square?
The questions are legitimate and, hopefully, will be debated publicly by the Council before the paseo push explodes on the scene requiring a vote that could be too quick and without proper scrutiny.
3. It should be a great time to buy property inexpensively downtown
Theoretically, it should be a good time to buy property downtown. There’s plenty of inventory, and future prosperity is hardly a certainty. The city would purchase two buildings downtown for demolition, then landscape and furnish the paseos with the help of some donations from local businesses and volunteer efforts. That could be the best thing for Gilroy’s downtown, but before the Council signs, seals and delivers paseos, the review process should be thorough.