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I spoke with Tom Wilson of Duckett-Wilson Development Company. Duckett-Wilson is the property manager and one of the owners of the Plaza de Santa Teresa shopping center at Cottle Road and Santa Teresa Boulevard. I asked him if he could provide an update to the community regarding the developments at the shopping center.
As reported on July 29, 1999 by Elizabeth Cord, Santa Teresa Citizen Action Group President, 24 Hour Fitness Center has signed a long term lease to occupy the site formerly occupied by the Lucky grocery store. The lease is contingent upon the City of San Jose approving the land use change from grocery services to a 24 hour fitness business. Mr. Wilson has been working with the city and doesn't expect a decision from the city until mid-October. Mr. Wilson expects 24 Hour Fitness Center to fit right in and provide a family oriented fitness facility. Mr. Wilson has been working with an architectural firm for a shopping center upgrade if the city approves 24 Hour Fitness Center as the new anchor tenant. He can't commit any money to upgrade the center without a firm anchor tenant.
I asked Mr. Wilson if the city had approached him about the Santa Teresa Public Library moving into the abandoned Lucky site. He said the city had mentioned that once in a meeting. He believes that would be the "kiss of death" to the shopping center if the library were to expand there. Mr. Wilson doesn't believe library patrons would be compatible with shopping services, but they would take up parking spaces.
I mentioned that I noticed that there is a "For Lease" sign in the window where Wolf Camera previously was located. Wolf Camera has since relocated to Bernal Plaza. It had been reported that Round Table Pizza had wanted to expand their current location into the adjacent vacated Wolf Camera location as well. Mr. Wilson said Wolf Camera just completed their lease last week. He said the Round Table Pizza expansion plans can now go forward. Mr. Wilson didn't provide a time-line when the expansion plans would be completed. The sign in the window is just to protect Mr. Wilson's interests.
I asked Mr. Wilson if he heard that McDonald's may leave. I told him about a previous conversation I had with a McDonald's manager, that McDonald's plans to vacate the Cottle Road location if they are even 10% less profitable after the new McDonald's opens at Bernal Plaza. Mr. Wilson said he didn't hear anything specific, but he did say that McDonald's is on a "month to month" lease. He still believes that McDonald's wouldn't leave with the hospital being directly across the street. He doesn't believe hospital people would drive to the new McDonald's location but instead would just go to the Jack in the Box. He said Jack in the Box is happy and doesn't see any reason they would be leaving.
I asked Mr. Wilson if Rite-Aid had expressed any thoughts of leaving. Rite-Aid has closed some of their stores which are locked in the middle of shopping centers recently. One of note is the Almaden Road and Curtner Avenue location. He said he hasn't heard anything about Rite-Aid but doesn't expect them to communicate their plans to him since Duckett-Wilson doesn't own the Rite-Aid building.
I mentioned that I noticed the 98 Cent Store has changed their name. He said even the 98 Cent businesses are consolidated and that the 98 Cent Store chain has been acquired by another company. It is now a $1.00 or less store.
I asked if any other tenants have mentioned that they may leave. Mr. Wilson said no. He said the rest of the tenants seem to be very happy, but have expressed the need for a strong anchor tenant.
Finally, I asked if Mr. Wilson has any plans to try and get grocery services in the shopping center. Although he has tried, every smaller food service type of business he contacted has turned them down. The primary reason he stated was the fact that Rite-Aid has been filling the convenience item gap and he also mentioned that the shopping center is not in a 360 degree customer traffic pattern.
I invited Mr. Wilson to address the community in September at our next big community meeting, but he had other commitments. He said it is just as well as he would only be speaking on speculation. He figures that in October he should have more firm information to share and would try to update the community then.
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