City might lasso Cow Palace

An “underserved and economically depressed” Daly City neighborhood could finally get the grocery store and housing residents have lobbied years for — but it would cost thecity about $80 million to $100 million.

State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Mateo/San Francisco, will decide by the end of next week whether to write a bill that would essentially transfer the state-owned Cow Palace to the city. The city would then raze the 70-acre rodeo venue to build housing, shops and a grocery store, City Manager Patricia Martel said.

A grocery store, in particular, would please Bayshore neighborhood residents such as 28-year-old Lois Vallot, a single mother of three who has lived near the Cow Palace her entire life. When her mother is unavailable to drive her, Vallot has to take her children with her on a few buses to get to the nearest grocery store.

“It would mean a lot to me and my family,” Vallot said. “It would be within walking distance for us.”

The community group ACORN, which Vallot is a member of, in 2006 called on local legislators like Yee to allow the city to build a supermarket in the palace’s parking lot.

If Yee decides to author the bill, it would transfer property of the Cow Palace from the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Division of Fairs and Expositions. The city would then have the first opportunity to purchase it, Yee spokesman Adam Keigwin said.

The property will cost about $80 million to $100 million, Martel said. The city does not have that much money in its treasury. It is forming a financial plan that would involve funding from several different sources, she said.

The city would earn far more money with control of the property, however, Martel said. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom raised concerns last year that illegal gun sales have occurred in the parking lot during certain events. Assemblymember Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, has proposed a bill that would ban the sale of guns and ammunition during the Crossroads of the West Gun Show held at the Cow Palace, where more than 5,000 people have attended the show in years past.

mrosenberg@examiner.com

Examiner Staff Writer Sasha Vasilyuk contributed to this report.

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