Stores on Mission hope to join forces 

Business owners are looking to group together due to the "fear of the unknown" about the city’s Mission Street redevelopment plan.

Gus Samayoa, owner of Par Auto Body on the 7300 block of Mission, said that communication between businesses on Mission and the city of Daly City has not been clear and has led to store owners fearing eminent domain and redevelopment.

The city has ardently maintained that eminent domain — a tool that cities use to purchase land — is not even close to being considered inside the Mission Street portion of the Mission Street-Junipero Serra Boulevard Commercial Business District.

The goal of Daly City’s business district plan is to create more jobs and affordable housing as well as improve roads, public facilities and Mission Street as a commercial corridor. Some have questioned how those goals would affect local business along Mission Street, especially less pedestrian-friendly shops. The plan is expected to come before the City Council soon, but no specific date has been set.

One possible solution to try and calm the nerves of business owners is the rebirth of the Mission Merchants Association. The association, after roughly 40 years in existence, disbanded in 2004 after it "fell apart" thanks to non-Daly City business owners dominating the board, said former president Marian Mann.

Merchants believe re-establishing the association, under the new title of Mission Street Merchants Association, will not only bridge the communication between merchants and the city, but between the merchants themselves.

"There was a lot of communication between small (businesses) and the city" when the association was around, said Councilwoman Carol Klatt.

Klatt, who supports the re-formation of the merchants association, said that merchants have struggled to bring the association back since January 2006.

A group of merchants plan to hold a forum on April 30 to bring business together and hash out talks about forming a new association. The forum would discuss the business district plan and have the city "explain exactly what redevelopment is and what they’re looking at," Samayoa said.

"Sometimes the fear of the unknown is worse than the known, and that’s what Daly City is going through, especially on Mission Street," Samayoa said.

Cities like San Mateo and its Rail Corridor Plan have tapped all space available for development and look to central locations near mass transit for redevelopment.

Businesses in those areas have shown concern about being displaced for newer shops, and automotive businesses along Mission share similar concerns, Samayoa said.

dsmith@examiner.com

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