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What Do You Wish Was Here?

Tell us what you wish would take the spot of Video Point at 185 Marinwood Plaza.

Our city's commerical vacany rate is currently between 8 percent and 10 percent. San Rafael Patch is featuring each week a vacant or abandoned building or lot and asking readers: "What do you wish was here?"

The idea was inspired by Candy Chang from New Orleans, who in 2010 created "I wish this was" stickers and placed thousands around the city for residents to fill in the blanks. Stickers can be bought online here

This used to be Video Point at 185 Marinwood Ave. In February, Bridge Housing reached an agreement with the Marinwood Plaza owner to turn the plaza into a mix of retail development with 70 units of affordable rental housing. What do you wish fills its place?

About this column: There are plenty of empty and abandoned buildings in San Anselmo and Fairfax. What do you wish was there instead?

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Jim April 25, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Anything! Seriously, a decent vegetarian (or semi vegetarian) restaurant would be nice.
corina April 25, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Indoor Kids play space!!
Captain Sparkle April 25, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Massage parlor ,crematory, dope dispensary, indian casino, low cost housing, day labor hiring hall, chamber of commerce tourist info site, fed financed homeless services office and hangout, Al "Who's your Daddy?" Boro T-shirt shop, gun store, sex toy shop, liquor store, nail shop .....Will the city council find a way to monetize the homeless.? Four out of five council members can't be wrong.. Declasse all the way !!!!
Norm Levin April 25, 2012 at 04:13 PM
A mini digital movie studio. Disney? Pixar?? Anyone???
J. Murphy April 25, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Mary's Pizza Shack! IT would be a great local place to go with family and sports teams. IT is time to restore this little mall.
Melissa Bradley April 25, 2012 at 06:13 PM
I agree with Jim a mostly vegetarian restaurant would be great!
Vanessa L April 25, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Sonoma Latina Grill or a cafe with amazing breakfast.
Cameron April 25, 2012 at 08:49 PM
Agreed a restaurant would be great (serving lunch & dinner). We already have way too many pizza places and taquerias (though I love both), so I'd prefer to see something other than that. Maybe something like Cafe del Sol in Mill Valley, Iron Springs Brew Co in Fairfax or Eduardo's in Terra Linda? If it does become a restaurant, hopefully they can find a way to add outdoor seating... though admittedly the space isn't great for it.
Pam Koppe April 26, 2012 at 12:04 AM
A VEGAN (not just vegetarian) restaurant and a hardware store.
Marinmaven April 26, 2012 at 12:19 AM
Vegan/vegetarian restaurant would be fine but a cafe where people can gather, read, work, lizten to music, would be much better and perhaps additionally a yoga/meditation studio,
veronica kimbrough April 26, 2012 at 05:45 AM
Espresso, pastries and breakfast
Nicole Ely (Editor) April 26, 2012 at 07:38 PM
I'm hearing lots of recommendations for vegan and vegetarian options. Do you think San Rafael needs more? (Not a vegetarian, so I have no idea how hard it might be to get vegetarian options in our city).
Stephen Nestel April 26, 2012 at 08:39 PM
I would love to see a great local eatery serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The easy freeway access makes it a natural for breakfast. The rest of the spaces could house a yoga studio, playspace and/or fitness studio. A discount dry cleaner could do very well. The liquor/wine merchant could stay and perhaps be joined with a specialist wine bar featuring wines of Sonoma and Napa counties.
Melissa Bradley April 27, 2012 at 05:57 AM
Nicole: I eat mostly vegetarian and yes, it would be great to have more choices. There is the vegan restaurant in San Anselmo called Cafe Gratitude. It's fine, and I eat there some times, but it would be so wonderful to have additional options as far as restaurants in San Rafael, and mostly or all vegetarian would mean a lot of choices on the menu. I would eat there if they opened one that had good food and service. Does anyone out there want to do it?
Nicole Ely (Editor) April 27, 2012 at 06:50 PM
@Melissa Thanks for comment! I believe Cafe Gratitude close recently too, so the already small options appear to be dwindling.
Laura Kent April 28, 2012 at 06:22 AM
Most of these ideas are unrealistic--really, a Yoga studio and/ or a vegetarian restaurant in this neighborhood ghost town of a strip mall? Moreover, the dry cleaners moved away, unable to sustain a living here. Come on people, get real. What could work is a good quality pizza parlor with a wood burning stove and a good coffee house. One must think of what the residents of Marinwood want. For a prototype, study the town of Graton which is located near Sebastapol. That little town was also a ghost town, but a few noted chefs started restaurants and now that little strip of commerce is not only thriving, it is being exulted by food critics. North Marin county is devoid of good quality restaurants, all we seem to have are mediocre chains located at the Northgate mall. Marinwood could strive to inject some individuality into their ghost strip mall and establish eating places which are so good, that they become the destination and not part of the journey--there is potential here.
RyanKent April 28, 2012 at 06:23 AM
Most of these ideas are unrealistic--really, a Yoga studio and/ or a vegetarian restaurant in this neighborhood ghost town of a strip mall? Moreover, the dry cleaners moved away, unable to sustain a living here. Come on people, get real. What could work is a good quality pizza parlor with a wood burning stove and a good coffee house. One must think of what the residents of Marinwood want. For a prototype, study the town of Graton which is located near Sebastapol. That little town was also a ghost town, but a few noted chefs started restaurants and now that little strip of commerce is not only thriving, it is being exulted by food critics. North Marin county is devoid of good quality restaurants, all we seem to have are mediocre chains located at the Northgate mall. Marinwood could strive to inject some individuality into their ghost strip mall and establish eating places which are so good, that they become the destination and not part of the journey--there is potential here.
Kevin Moore April 28, 2012 at 05:37 PM
LOL!!! What is needed is a real estate agency for middle-class workers who no longer can afford to live here and must move out of state.
Kevin Moore April 28, 2012 at 05:41 PM
But consistent with Marin thinking. Thank you for adding the address, now list the other tenants. That would help avoiding duplicate suggestions. Easy Street was just evicted from San Anselmo. Maybe they would be happy in Marinwood? Eggs and Bacon!
Lizzardking's Rise April 29, 2012 at 01:41 AM
How bout a comic book store man. No decent place to go hang with the dudes and read comics.
Lizzardking's Rise April 29, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Things we need man, things we need. I am tired of hitching a ride all the way to Petaluma just to buy a comic book or a whoopi cushion. I suggest: a comic book store, a joke shop, a bong shop, a record store, a scotch tape store, Jim Morrison museum and perhaps a charming little tea house featuring home made scones, pot pies, little tea sandwiches--classical music would play and the house would be full of classic books of literature like Jonathan Livingston Seagull....and poetry too man, and and and cushy sofas and pillows everywhere...... and classical music could be played. I would be the host man, and dudes could come in to tell me their problems. The tea house could either be called Tea and Symphony or Lizzardking's House of the Rising Sun--Beware No one Gets Out of Here Alive.
Lizzardking's Rise April 29, 2012 at 01:56 AM
Captain, O Captain, you seem like one righteous dude man. These are all excellent suggestions. Let's hang out at 7 11 sometime man.
Lizzardking's Rise April 29, 2012 at 02:00 AM
I don't get all these suggestions for veterinarians man. If I did not know better I would say that dogs are typing these days. Also, why do we need a Yogi studio? Doesn't Yogi Bear live in the woods?
Lizzardking's Rise April 29, 2012 at 06:30 AM
What I want is a portrait studio I want my portraits taken in this most flattering way.

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