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Remodel at Red Hill Starts Wednesday

Upgrades, remodels and store changes coming soon to the shopping center.

Editor’s note: An incorrectly stated that ownership of Red Hill Shopping Center had changed and was no longer local. In fact, the same family who originally built the strip mall continues to own and operate it. The Arntz siblings also live in Marin. Main Street Property Services, Inc, based in Lafayette, has been contracted to do just leasing services and development consulting.

As construction gets underway this week, Red Hill Shopping Center will become just Red Hill – no “Shopping Center” attached to the name. And that’s not the only change coming soon to a shopping center near you. 

Some renovations to the nearly 50-year-old center will be small – won’t be the only store with a different colored sign anymore – and some will be much, much bigger.

“We’re going to create a great place,” said Craig Semmelmeyer, the principal for Main Street Property Services, who are working with Red Hill and the Arnzt family on developing a new plan for the center.

Construction on the renovations will begin Wednesday and renderings can be seen at right.

The main focus on the several million dollar remodel is on updating the outside of the buildings and creating a sense of community. An entryway plaza will be built in front of , a small courtyard will be added at the east end, and a another courtyard established with outdoor fire pit and seating at the west end, where is. There will be old-fashion light poles, hung lights, walkways and trellises.

The most popular location for stores wanting to come into the center is near Peet’s, because of the foot traffic. People walk in and out of Peet’s and hang out – something any retailer loves. It is exactly that foot traffic and community that Red Hill hopes to expand and replicate.

The second half of the remodel will happen with the stores themselves.

“The interior has to reflect the exterior,” said Dee Dee Iacopi, who manages the property for the Arnzt family. Gene Arnzt built the center in 1967. Today, it is still owned by his children and their children.

To this end, Main Street has worked with Red Hill to develop design guidelines for the outside of the stores. The idea is for each store to show their identity on the outside. SZFM Design Studio, who worked on the remodel of Town Center, worked on the guidelines and plans for the outsides of stores.

This, however, requires some buy-in from the stores themselves to put in the money for their own remodels. And, not everyone is excited about that kind of investment.

Some stores have already signed on for renovations, remodels and upgrades. Peet’s wants more space and West America Bank is ready for upgrades. will become Sofie’s Nail Spa. And Swirl, a self-serve yogurt shop, will open next to Memorial Park sometime after the construction is finished at that location.

, on the other hand, opted not to renew its lease instead. And the also chose to move out.

Additionally, Round Table Pizza will not have their lease renewed when it expires in January. Red Hill felt that with the new fire pit and upgraded courtyard in front of that location a higher-end restaurant could take better advantage of the new amenities.

The key for the upgraded Red Hill is capitalizing on making it a place people want to spend time, said Semmelmeyer, and providing people things they can’t get online or at big box stores. , which moved into Red Hill, is a good example of this, he said, and has done great business.

“People are tired of buying shoes on the internet that don’t fit,” he said.

The whole process of working with different stores and bringing in new retailers will take a few years, said Iacopi, but they’re optimistic improvements will be worked out for everybody.

Coming very soon. 

Marte June 08, 2011 at 02:40 AM
Love all these ideas! It sounds really beautiful - just please, please be wary of turning us into another Mill Valley. Don't get me wrong, MV has amazing boutique shopping and cottage home furnishing stores for those who want higher end shopping in a small town atmosphere. Love it, but also love what we have here in San Anselmo: it's unique in that our shops appeal to the people who live here. What we need at an affordable price, with merchants that we know, and see everyday - it's their town, too. We support them, and in turn, they support us with quality merchandise at reasonable prices.
Mary Rankin June 08, 2011 at 01:32 PM
Hope they improve the parking too. It's a madhouse now.
Kira Swaim June 08, 2011 at 01:59 PM
Sounds cool...a bit bummed about Round Table though for the kids and after Memorial Park, etc.....hope something good and affordable takes its place....
Richard Berger June 08, 2011 at 04:04 PM
My family has been shopping at Red Hill for 20 years. We like it as it is. The new management group needs to be more respectful to long-term tenants and community members. We don't like their dismissive attitude toward some of the merchants. Plus, there is nothing wrong with community groups putting flyers up in the stores if the merchants are o.k. with it. One of the new managers came into a store I was in and had a hissy fit over posters up in a store. Please, this is not a Stepford Wives neighborhood. At the least, the new group should put up a big community bulletin board so groups can advertise their events.
DEBBIE RUHL June 08, 2011 at 10:48 PM
THE REMODEL SOUNDS OK. I HAVE SHOPPED AT RED HILL FROM THE BEGINNING. HAVE SEEN MANY STORES COME AND GO. VERY DISAPPOINTED ABOUT ROUND TABLE. MY KIDS AD GRANDKIDS GREW UP WITH THAT PLACE. THE MAIN AND MOST NEEDED ATTENTION SHOULD BE GIVEN TO THAT NIGHTMARE PARKING LOT. WHO DESIGNED THAT ANYWAY? IT IS A MESS AND I KNOW MANY PEOPLE THAT WOULD RATHER GOT INTO SAN RAFAEL TO SHOP MAINLY BECAUSE OF THAT PARKING LOT! ALSO SOME HIGH DEFINITION CROSSWALKS NEED TO BE INSTALLED. AS IT IS NOW PEOPLE CROSS THROUGH THAT LOT LIKE LOST CATTLE! NOT VERY SAFE FOR THE PEDESTRIANS. IT WOULD BE NICE TO GET A REAL ICE CREAM PARLOR BACK IN THERE, A WALK IN FAST FOOD FRANCHISE WOULD BE NICE TOO. (I.E. JACK IN THE BOX, WENDYS, MCDONALDS ETC. TALK ABOUT FOOT TRAFFIC! ANY ONE OF THOSE PLACES WOULD BRING MAJOR FOOT TRAFFIC. I KNOW MANY PEOPLE THAT WOULD LOVE TO HAVE A KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN SPLIT WITH ANOTHER FRANCHISE MIGHT PERK UP THE PLACE. I AGREE THAT A FACELIFT WOULD BE NICE, BUT LET THE STORES RUN THE INSIDE OF THEIR BUSINESS. ALSO IT WOULD BE NICE TO GET A LARGER BANKING BUSINESS IN THERE AS WEST AMERICA IS NOT EVERYBODY'S CHOICE FOR BANKING. OTHER BANKS IN TOWN ARE TOO DIFFICULT TO GET TO. I.E. WELLS FARGO, B OF A. FANCY ARCHITECTURE IS NOT THE ANSWER TO POPULIZING THE CENTER. CONSUMER FRIENDLY BUSINESS ARE WHAT PULL THE PEOPLE IN. DEBBIE
Teressa DiPerna June 09, 2011 at 02:37 AM
Instead of a "swanky" restaurant...how about a family friendly restaurant like Wipe Out in Bon Air. Also shops should be able to advertise things inside their shops....especially for our local schools which need all the community participation and support as possible in these economic times! Too bad about Pretty Baby - what a great store and personable, outgoing owner!
Paul Miller June 09, 2011 at 11:46 PM
The place needs a hardware store.
Vera Grigorian June 12, 2011 at 03:49 PM
That's a wonderful idea. I heartily agree.
Susan Lund June 14, 2011 at 04:57 AM
Some ideas.. 1. A good (and reasonable) ice cream store...I miss Baskin & Robbins. 2. A nice (like CM Town Center) deli would be great!! NO FAST FOOD....PLEASE!!! Get rid of Subway! 3. I love Easy Street, but a burger joint would be FABULOUS...like "the Counter" (also, CM Town Center.) 4. Replacing Round Table with Red Boy or another pizzeria. I agree that you should keep "unique shops with affordable prices"
Cathy Borg June 27, 2011 at 06:44 PM
Sort of off topic, but not really....One thing I would like to see is a stop sign at the bottom of Sunny Hills Drive. I often see cars speeding down the hill without slowing down. With all the activity on that corner (Memorial Park softball field and kids running over to the new yogurt store) I foresee a critical accident just waiting to happen.
Lynette Harris August 03, 2011 at 07:49 AM
No big chain fast food please! How about a stage?
Cara September 11, 2011 at 08:18 AM
I support the renovation but the Round Table issue makes me sad! We don't want or need a "high end" restaurant there! Pizza is the answer, all the kids straight out of soccer and baseball don't want a gourmet meal and neither do the parents. I really hope they consider our comments, would like to keep Red Hill family (and kids in cleats) friendly.
Sierra Salin September 12, 2011 at 05:58 AM
For all the lost business and inconvenience foisted on the current and long time tenants, a rent reduction would have been a nice gesture. How about a more foot traffic and bicycle friendly environment as well? High end "junk" is not what this one needs or desires, and if that's the way it goes, I'' mostly stay away, and leave it to the S.U.V. crowd. We need to change our consuming habits of what we buy, as well as how we get there folks.
Susan Lund September 15, 2011 at 03:52 AM
Please tell me that the new color of Red Hill is not going to be the hideous mustard yellow that is painted outside the wall of Easy Street!!
Gio April 22, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Sad, sad, and more sad. Sounds like the management wants to throw out the local businesses and replace them will corporate names. Poor San Anselmo seems to be falling the way of the rest of Marin. Might be the same owners who built Red Hill by name but beyond that it appears a lot has died with the old generation. I for one will no longer shop at Red Hill.
susieqw1969 April 22, 2012 at 08:15 PM
I agree with you, that is it VERY sad they have pushed all of these business' out. BUT...unfortunatley us not shopping at Red Hill will only force out those business' that are still there!
Jeff April 22, 2012 at 10:17 PM
You people have destroyed Red Hill!!!!! You are taking out all of the stores that my family used to go to. Now you are having the Pet Store removed. This has been a change for the worse and I will make it a point to go out of my to shop elsewhere even though Red Hill is where we have been going for YEARS! Putting a Pet Express in and kicking out The Pet Store that has been there for 40 years? Round table (kids loved it) is gone. Easy Street will be gone. Pizza and Wine bar. Get a clue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Trying to squeeze more money out of San Anselmo residents to shop at store we don't. Huge mistake IMHO!!!

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