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Wednesday, April 24, 2024
City CouncilGet to know the candidates: Revitalizing our Main Street

Get to know the candidates: Revitalizing our Main Street

This is part of a series of Q&As for Mayoral and City Council candidates for the November 2020 election. Questions were submitted by Milpitas residents. 

Do you have any ideas for transforming our Main Street into a more vibrant area? 



Mayoral Candidates


Voltaire Montemayor: I am just 2 blocks away from the start of the Main Street; I always go to the Library, Pavalkis Bldg, St John’s, Home Depot/Great Mall, and down to the Shell Gas Station at Montague Corner with Main Street, and more. The famous street name “Main Street” is popular in most cities or a lot of cities. At the Southern Portion as an example is the Agenda in the City Council. Somewhere is to develop a Santana Row-like development. It’s a great one. Also somewhere by the Library. It’s a mile or two long. Lots of imagination, to make it the greatest or most popular Main Street in the whole nation.



Rich Tran: Our City of Milpitas General Plan Update is expected to be approved this December. This will create new zoning for the Main Street area. I anticipate significant real estate development to occur once parcels are re-zoned for responsible growth. This redevelopment will include mixed-use and new commercial spaces.



City Council Candidates 


Evelyn Chua: Besides sticking to the Mid-Town Specific Plan of having mixed-use developments on Main Street, we should start having events on Main Street that will showcase our rich cultural make-up. Once a month, we can feature the heritage of one culture. The events should cater  to residents from one year old to eighty plus years old. To be successful, the events should be fun, accessible, and an enjoyable family experience. 



Julian Jose Nool Hilario Jr.: First, I would want to turn the empty lot next to the library into a park. As we move further down Main Street, I would like to see an area where we can have permanent shipping containers turned into shops and restaurants. We should also create a place where we can have local food trucks stationed temporarily or permanently. I’d like to see higher density “villages” with housing and small shops or offices. We should try to hold more city events on Main Street to encourage Milpitians to visit our current and future restaurants and shops.



Robert Marini: I do not have any ideas in the short term. 



Demetress Morris: Again, by engaging those special grants such as Keep America Beautiful Community Restoration and Resiliency Fund we can create a vibrant area equipped with open space, waterfronts, dining, and art.



Bob Nuñez: Main Street needs to become a vibrant hub of shopping, restaurants, and living within Milpitas. The creation of an Entertainment Zone that included Main Street and Serra Way could do just that. Persons could exit Interstate 880 and go right to Serra Center along Serra Way and on through to Main Street. There it could house a mix of restaurants and retail with residential above. With the addition of the park land by the Library, we could add a small open air theatre for performing arts. This could become a natural gathering place. I could have the Economic Development Department meet with the land owners and residents of Main Street and Serra Way to bring back their ideas on how this area could be revitalized.



Anthony Phan: I see potential for Main Street to be revitalized into a vibrant urban center that is pedestrian-oriented and walkable, while embracing distinct cultural elements specific to Milpitas as a community. This unique location should provide residents access to urban open spaces that can be utilized in a multitude of ways by our diverse community organizations to celebrate special occasions and events. Incorporating transportation elements to provide a safe pedestrian experience should be a key priority. Traffic circulation should implement efforts to improve the viability of bicycle and public transportation systems as well. Furthermore, I believe a key catalyst for successful urban villages is to have a residential component to accommodate the economic development goals of the mixed use platforms and contribute to meeting the region’s pressing housing needs.



Suraj Viswanathan: Lacking a traditional “downtown” like other cities, I would suggest developing a mixed-use residential-shopping complex which could be the hub for drawing more people and more activity to Main Street.



Tiffany Vuong: I envision Main Street to be a lively place to go for dining, entertainment, and shopping, with small local businesses everywhere. Main Street should be the place for us to go when we have free time. It could be a vibrant area with regular events with street vendors and festivals. I am also interested in creating mixed-use developments on Main Street, with commercial tenants on the first floor and residential units above. 





Rhoda Shapiro
Rhoda Shapiro
Rhoda Shapiro is the winner of a 2022 Golden Quill Award for her Education journalism. She works as a journalist and media consultant in the Bay Area. She has written for both the Tri-City Voice and the Mercury News, and is the founder of Chi Media Company, which works mostly with nonprofit organizations and educational entities to elevate their marketing and communication platforms. Rhoda is also the author of “Fierce Woman: Wake up your Badass Self” and “Magic Within: Womb-Centered Wisdom to Realize the Power of Your Sacred Feminine Self.” Her YouTube channel features practices in yoga, meditation, and women’s empowerment. Rhoda is The Milpitas Beat’s Founder and Editor-in-Chief.


  1. Vitalizing Main Street has been a dream of many in Milpitas for over forty years. However it remains a dream only. Other successful vitalizations in neighboring cities, such as Palo Alto or Mountain View, have begun with creating public parking. Business is attracted to areas where customers can park and not have to walk half a mile or more to get to their destination. There are places where a public parking garage could be located near the center of downtown. Perhaps the new city leaders could explore that idea.


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