Public hearing to be held on new Lowe’s in S.S.F.

Home improvement could be a shot in the arm for the city’s economic base as planning commissioners prepare to hold the first public hearing on a proposed new Lowe’s east of Highway 101.

Just down the street on Dubuque Avenue, Home Depot also wants to build a new store. While projected sales tax revenue figures for the home improvement giants were not available from South San Francisco on Tuesday, San Bruno proudly boasts that its Lowe’s is the city’s second highest revenue-generating business, after Melody Toyota.

“Historically, it has been very good for us,” San Bruno City Manager Connie Jackson said, he declined to release specific figures, citing a need for confidentiality.

The nearness of the two stores shouldn’t hurt sales, according to George Whalin, an analyst for Retail Management Consultants in Southern California.

“I don’t think it’s a negative for the consumer at all,” he said.

Each company has a different marketing strategy, with Lowe’s targeting more women and Home Depot being more industrial, Whalin said.

Lowe’s wants to demolish three buildings between 600 and 700 Dubuque Avenue and build a 124,000-square-foot store. The project would include more than 650 parking spaces, planning records show.

A likely sticking point for planning commissioners and the public is possible traffic congestion in the area, acting Chief Planner Susy Kalkin said. Vehicle trips are projected to increase by 160 during the morning commute hours and by 320 trips during peak evening hours, according to environmental documents. To reduce traffic at the 12-acre site next to the Caltrain station, Lowe’s will be required to support shuttle services to BART for area employees, encourage bicycling by adding onsite storage lockers and shower facilities and help pay for traffic signals and lane striping, officials said.

Just down the street, at 900 Dubuque Ave., Home Depot has proposed a 101,272-square-foot store, where Levitz furniture now stands. That project, along with Lowe’s, is scheduled for a public hearing Thursday, Kalkin said.

If approved, Lowe’s would have two stores in the area, the second only about two miles away in San Bruno. There are already four Home Depots in northern San Mateo County, including one in Daly City and another in Colma.

ecarpenter@examiner.com

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