For years, the City of Gilroy has had an unfortunate obsession with promoting “big-box” retailing, placing massive discount outlets near the outskirts of town in order to attract retail customers from around the Bay Area. Besides using up open space and destroying farmland in the last stronghold for agriculture in Santa Clara County, this policy maximizes commuter miles as people travel to the southernmost point of the Bay Area, and increases pressures to widen highways.
The Gilroy Dispatch is now writing about the decay of Gilroy’s downtown business area. Big-box retail, used to grab tax dollars from other jurisdictions, is hurting Gilroy’s own small businesses. Maybe city politicians will learn from this lesson.