Last week, Patch learned that Friedman’s has been making inquiries about opening a location in Novato, in the North Redwood Boulevard Corridor, north of Olive Avenue.
The home improvement store is headquartered in Santa Rosa and has locations in Sonoma, Ukiah and soon in Petaluma. But if Facebook comments are any indication, many Novatoans want to see the store come to town.
“A big hardware store will help keep tax dollars here and also save on GHG emissions,” said Lynne Wasley on our online forum. “As much as I'm not big on big box, Friedman's would be my choice far and above over Home Depot (which already tried to come in) or Lowe's."
"Mixed-use retail and residential (affordable and market rate) would be great in that location. As to Pini's, it may lose some business, but given its niche, will continue to thrive.”
Others said they were looking forward to having a store that was open longer hours.
“It would be nice to have a hardware store open in the evenings for those of us who commute,” said Andrew Sinclair, another reader. “I love Pini, but end up having to shop in San Rafael if I need something on a weeknight.”
But several readers worried that Pini and Novato Builders would not be able to compete with Friedman's and eventually close.
"Why does anyone want to put Pini's out of business by bringing in big box? asked Kolleen Kelly Pahland. "Didn't we already round this corner when Lowe's was looking? Pini's serves and gives back to our community. My family prefers to continue our long relationship with the knowledgable, helpful and courteous staffing at Pini's.
Friedman’s has not yet made a proposal to the city of Novato. If and when it does, the project would be subject to a Planning Commission hearing and City Council vote. Next month, the project will be discussed at two planning workshops or “sharettes” on Sept. 14 and 28.