Dozens of Belmont business owners, city staff members and elected officials gathered at the on Wednesday night to hear Mayor Coralin Feierbach discuss plans to revitalize Belmont's downtown area.
"There are 1,205 active business in Belmont," Feierbach said, adding that they are mostly located on El Camino Real and at Carlmont Shopping Center.
And the city is in the process of buying vacant properties in Belmont's downtown area, which consists of Ralston Avenue, El Camino Real, and Fifth and Sixth avenues, in the hopes of making the area more enticing for potential business owners in Belmont.
"The city is trying to create synergy downtown," Community Development Director Carlos de Melo said. "There could be a bakery, a bookstore, housing -- all great things to play off the assets of downtown."
City officials envision the area would be a "gathering spot" for pedestrians, he said.
The city is focusing on a number of areas around Belmont in which to entice businesses, including the old Firehouse Square at O'Neill and Fifth avenues; Emmett's Plaza where Safeway is located; the ; and the stretch along Shoreway Road.
While the poor economy has stalled many of these projects, de Melo said the city hopes to get some of the plans off the ground in a few years.
Feierbach addressed Belmont's need for a revitalized downtown area when she was in November, and said developing Belmont business areas would be a main focus this year.
Some business owners asked Feierbach about plans for development at Carlmont Shopping Center, which she said is on the city's radar and will be addressed in the future.
During her presentation Wednesday night, Feierbach highlighted new and expanding businesses in Belmont, including , , , and .
She also mentioned other projects and coming attractions to Belmont in the near future. Landscaping along Ralston Avenue and U.S. Highway 101 will transpire once the is complete; Semeria Park is slated to open next month; and residents can expect improvements to O'Neill and Sixth avenues.