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The first person asked if the Lucky's store on Cottle could stay open until a new tenant was found. However, Ms. Davi of Lucky's said that all the employees are moving to the new store and that wasn't possible, however by the end of the evening she was going to ask the president of Lucky's if it could be possible.
The second comment dealt with how poorly the Plaza de Santa Teresa property is maintained. Mr. Wilson responded by saying that the center is swept six nights a week. The property is steam cleaned twice a month. He also asked that anyone who notices graffiti or dirty conditions to give him a call at (800)327-3019. He said there is no on-site property manager, but to call Karen Creary who is the property manager for Plaza de Santa Teresa. He is aware of a trash problem that he believes is caused by the homeless and one of the tenants. Tom said that the recycling center attracts the homeless to the shopping center. He said when the supermarket goes, so will the mandated recycling center. He did point out that the landscaping near the street is better maintained and the landscaping near Jack in the Box is nicely maintained, however, the shopping center is 25 years old while the Jack in the Box area is only 8 year old. Mr. Wilson said he needs to know the new tenant before a new landscaping/redesign scheme can be done.
The crowd was very frustrated at this point. The next questioner asked if what you are now promising could somehow be required to be implemented and secondly if Duckett-Wilson has any plans to sell the property? Again Mr. Wilson responded that he couldn't promise that his company wouldn't sell the property, but his company hasn't sold a property in 30 years. He said the property is difficult to maintain. His company may remodel center when the new tenant moves in. Tom said there should be plant or grass landscaping, but center needs new sprinkler system put in but then would need to rip up parking lot to redo sprinklers. Ms. Powers also added that there are no plans for housing. Centers are being rejuvenated. She checked out all city departments and there were no plans for housing. The Code Enforcement department has been out and will make sure the shopping center stays to code.
The owner of Round Table Pizza then stepped to the microphone to tell the audience that Duckett-Wilson "hasn't spent one nickel on shopping center". He complained of a leaky roof, bad lighting, and the fact the center hasn't been painted in the five years he has been there. He said when the lighting was fixed it was billed to the tenants. Mr. Wilson responded that is how the triple-net lease works for maintenance on the shopping center.
The next questioner asked if Duckett-Wilson had any plans to acquire the old State Farm property behind the shopping center for possible expansion. Mr. Wilson responded no for the reason that it wasn't connected to the center and no one would want to park over there. Ms. Powers added that the old State Farm property would be kept as office space and Elizabeth stated it would be used by the Social Security Administration.
A lady commented "No Smart and Final" and "to give us a decent shopping center".
A gentleman from the audience suggested a clothing store like a Mervyn's. The audience didn't like the suggestion. Mr. Wilson responded that the clothing stores like to be where other clothing stores are.
Others from the audience asked if the community would have any say as to what store moves into the old Lucky's site. There was no response to that question as the next question came in asking that Duckett-Wilson guarantee that no pawn shop or pool hall be put there. Tom said he couldn't promise anything, but if he couldn't find a good tenant he may not buy the Lucky's property.
Someone wanted to know if the Lucky property could be sub-divided. Mr. Wilson said it could but the store is only 120 feet deep. He figured a maximum of three stores could occupy space, but it not their intention to subdivide the space.
A lady said customer service is poor. The shopping center is not safe for the kids and that the elderly need its services. Ms. Davi said that there are not many supermarkets moving into 20,000 square foot spaces. The Cottle Lucky's wasn't a high profit store. She stated that it was clear that in the last three years that Lucky's was moving to the new super Lucky's. She said the Cottle Lucky's is not profitable.
The crowd fired back that "It's filthy! We won't shop there". Ms. Davi's response was that it is old.
A man complained that Mr. Wilson was rude when alerted to problems at the center that were out of his control. Mr. Wilson apologized if he was rude.
The Round Table owner spoke again this time defending Mr. Wilson for things that were not necessarily his problem. He also brought up the pigeon problem and asked the community if they could come up with a solution to address the dropping problem.
Ms. Joanie Francis of Century 21 stated that Plaza de Santa Teresa is the gateway to our property values. She wanted to know if Lucky's could prevent another food store from moving in. Ms. Davi stated that Rite-Aid has a pharmacy exclusive and Lucky's has a food exclusive at the shopping center. However, she received an ok from the Lucky's president to put in another food store. The audience had suggested a Trader Joe's and Ms. Davi said she knew the real estate representative for Trader Joe's and she will contact them tomorrow.
Tom would look into the possibility of a food court for the site.
Someone asked Ms. Powers if this area is a target for high density housing. She said this area is targeted, but the only high density housing is currently at the Oakridge golf course area.
A lady said that she is concerned and frightened because of people hanging out on Cottle. Lt. Moore asked that she call the police department with concerns.
A man who spends $5,000 at shopping center every year stated that he just wanted to have clean sidewalks, a clean parking lot, and empty trash bins. He also offered his planning skills to the city.
Someone wanted to know what is going to happen February 9th with the Cottle road property. Ms. Davi said the lights will stay on at the store, the security will still be functioning, the sprinklers will still go on and the property will not be boarded up.
Someone asked if security would be increased at the Plaza de Santa Teresa shopping center. Mr. Wilson responded if the tenants wanted to pay for it, security could be increased. The police department was willing to come around more often.
A gentleman asked how long Mr. Wilson know that Lucky's was moving? Mr. Wilson responded two years.
Someone directed a comment to Tom that in order to get a better quality anchor, he must "clean, clean, clean". Mr. Wilson plans to clean shopping center at a reasonable cost and will meet with tenants to see what maintenance they are willing to pay for.
Ms. Powers plans to have the economic development department work with Mr. Wilson and Ms. Davi to find a quality anchor tenant.
Someone asked if any other stores were leaving. Mr. Wilson said that McDonald's hasn't renewed their lease. They are also building a store at Bernal Oaks but will probably still stay at Plaza de Santa Teresa since the hospital drives a lot of business for them. Wolf Camera is on a month to month lease, but Mr. Wilson says he has a tenant if Wolf leaves.
One of the last questions asked Mr. Wilson if he would renovate if he buys the Lucky's property? Mr. Wilson responded that even if they don't buy Lucky's, they would work with new owner to renovate however they would still have to work with Rite-Aid.
A lady suggested that someone else should find a new tenant instead of Lucky's since it wasn't in Lucky's interest to find us a quality anchor store.
There is a follow-up meeting scheduled for March 18th. Check the events page for further notice.
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