ASUC board considers locations for student store during Lower Sproul renovation

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At a meeting Friday, the board charged with overseeing commercial activities for the ASUC discussed how the Cal Student Store would be impacted by the Lower Sproul Plaza renovation.

The Commercial and Student Services Board is currently looking into space for housing the student store during the Lower Sproul construction, following the store’s request for 40,000 square feet of space. The board discussed delegating the store space in areas such as the northeast corner of the building, Stephens Lounge, Pauley Ballroom and the space currently occupied by Tully’s Coffee.

The plaza’s renovation — which is projected to cost $750 million over the next four decades and includes debt service payments — will require student groups and businesses to relocate temporarily due to the demolition of Eshleman Hall and the renovation of the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union building, which are slated to begin in fall 2012.

The option of partially relocating the store into the Tully’s space faces a challenge in that Tully’s lease is old and not easily broken, according to Associate ASUC Auxiliary Director Tom Spivey.

An additional challenge is the fact that even if the bookstore is given all four areas within the student union, that will only be about 20,000 square feet of space, far below what the store requested, according to Graduate Assembly President Bahar Navab.

The board also discussed what the northeast corner of the building would be used for in the future. Most board members did not want the area to be leased to a food vendor in the foreseeable future.

Navab said she did not think a food vendor would generate enough revenue in the space, and that other types of vendors should be considered.

“It’s going to be limited in what it can bring in,” she said.

The board also discussed what would be done after construction with the store’s lowest floor, which is currently used to store and sell textbooks. The board decided tentatively to offer the space to eFollet or other vendors rather than offering the floor as a space to be used for performance practice.

$750 million over the next four decades including debt service payments — will require student groups and businesses to relocate temporarily due to the demolition of Eshleman Hall and the renovation of the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union building, which are slated to begin in fall 2012.

The option of partially relocating the store in the Tully’s space faces a challenge in that Tully’s lease is old and not easily broken, according to Associate ASUC Auxiliary Director Tom Spivey.

An additional challenge is the fact that even if the bookstore is given all four areas within the student union, that will only be about 20,000 square feet of space, far below what the store requested, according to Graduate Assembly President Bahar Navab.

The board also discussed what the northeast corner of the building would be used for in the future. Most board members did not want the area to be leased to a food vendor in the foreseeable future.

Navab said she did not think a food vendor would generate enough revenue in the space and that other types of vendors should be considered.

“It’s going to be limited in what it can bring in,” she said.

The board also discussed what would be done after construction with the store’s lowest floor, which is currently used to store and sell textbooks. The board decided tentatively to offer the space to eFollet or other vendors rather than offering the floor as a space to be used for performance practice.

Right now, ASUC leaders are also working on where to relocate the various student groups housed in Eshleman, and the groups will be assigned their temporary spaces between March 7 and 11, according to an online project update posted by Student Action Senator Justin Sayarath. All student group items must be packed up by May 14, the update states.

Editor’s Note: In May 2009, the board forgave The Daily Californian a portion of its rent for the office it leases. As a result of that agreement, a nonpolitical student member of the board, currently Hedy Chen, sits on the Daily Cal’s Board of Operations, which has no control over the paper’s editorial content.

Courtney Moulds covers student government.