September 18, 2007

Pockets of Success...mixed with...

We applaud the fact that the old Macy's (which has been empty for over a year) is now supposedly going to be occupied by a new Costco in the Fall of 2008. Obviously some of the effort was made by Macerich, the owner of the Lakewood Center Mall. We are also happy to see the new Tesco "Fresh and Easy" market and the Rite Aid (finally) pony up some money to match the upgraded exteriors that all the other retailers completed in 2006 at South St. and Woodruff Ave.[see related story here ]

Of course for every success in Lakewood there is a failure. Take a look at Bellflower Blvd. and South St. Two gas stations. They are ok but the small strip mall with the closed out comic book store (vacant since 2006) and the dive "bar" (still occupied unfortunately) are starting to look tattered. Especially the vacant comic book store. "Joe's Sushi" just down the street (5607 South Street, Lakewood, CA 90713) dressed up part of the strip mall on South St. (the east end of the intersection) but we suspect Joes may not last too long due to the poor location (not in Lakewood Center "Restaurant Row") and with it most of the improvements may fade.

The biggest eyesore is the "Itana Designs" "warehouse" that is never open and has no customers. It used to be an old Vons which closed at least 8 years ago (when the Pavillions opened at South and Woodruff). Very old 1950's style building which is likely a fire hazard. Apparently the city cant get anyone in there or force Itana to spruce up the site. I guess some incentives will need to be offered or a fire lit under the leasing agent, whom LAAG contacted, without a reply. Likely not a site high on their list. Most likely a "second tier" or "distressed property" from the looks of all the leasing signs. The whole North West corner of Bellflower Blvd. and South St. is going down hill fast due to the lack of good tenants in that center and a strong anchor tenant. The city needs to act now.

Below is our email to the property broker at about the status. There was no reply of course. Feel free to contact them. The url in the email has all the specifics on the location.

Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2007 23:35:12 -0700
From: Lakewood Accountability Action Group | LAAG
Subject: south and belflower in lkwd

so what is going on with this place. Are you leasing the entire shopping center? This whole shopping center needs to be rehabbed. What is the city doing to help move the property?

Lakewood Accountability Action Group™ LAAG | | Lakewood, CA
A California Non Profit Association | Demanding action and accountability from local government™

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