Reply to the PE Article:
Possibility of market relocating spurs worries
GRAND TERRACE: Shop owners are concerned about the impact if Stater Bros. moves elsewhere.
01:23 AM PST on Saturday, March 18, 2006
By MASSIEL LADRON DE GUEVARA / The Press-Enterprise
As the approval of the Grand Terrace Town Center becomes more plausible, the question of where the local Stater Bros. market will operate has left some business owners worried.
For 32 years the Grand Terrace Shopping Center on Barton Road has housed the Stater Bros. and several mom-and-pop shops that have thrived because of the high pedestrian traffic generated by the supermarket.
If Stater Bros. relocates to the Town Center, as officials have said it will, the Shopping Center will die, said Cid Bailey, who co-owns the Beauty Gallery.
"Stater Bros. Does a really good job in bringing in business here," Bailey said. "Without them the center is no good."
The potential developer of the 20-acre Town Center, Doug Jacobsen of Jacobsen Family Holdings, said his plans include a Stater Bros. market.
During Council Meetings, City Manager, and Redevelopment Agency Director: Mr. Tom Schwab said, "WE have signed Lease Agreements with Stater Brother's Market.". When asked to produce the documents, he then said : "I have been to Stater Brothers, and I have seen the Documents, and it is only reasonable that Jacobsen, and Stater's don't want to make the financial information public." The city is involved in this development, and thus the Financial Commitments are or should be PUBLIC. He never did clearly state who the "WE" was when he represented the Leases were in existence.
The Grand Terrace City Council will review his development proposal Thursday along with a proposal, submitted by resident Jo Stringfield, that doesn't include the market.
Part of the use of the "Redevelopment Agency and those Funds" requires that businesses adversely affected by Redevelopment Agency actions be compensated, relocated, or bought out. Is it possible that the loss of business to the Mom and Pop Stores is an expense the "Redevelopment Agency" will have to pay for, in part due to the lack of planning to provide an alternative plan to all the businesses affected by the NEW Development supported by and the Redevelopment Agency?
The Current Shopping Center's manager said she realizes the need to keep the anchor store and has approached Stater Bros. and city officials with the option of expanding the market rather than relocation.
"I think it would better suit the community if the Stater Bros. Stays," said Anita McGaughey. "If you move Stater Bros. from one side of town to another, you haven't created any more revenue for the city. It would just be moving a business."
The Stater Bros. store is 25,500 square feet and the company's prototype is 43,000 square feet. McGaughey said she will work with the company so that the store can be expanded in any direction.
Jack Brown, CEO of Stater Bros., said the company is negotiating with Jacobsen regarding the Town Center project, but no decisions have been made.
"About two years ago, the City Council came to us and asked us if we would consider moving to a new area in Grand Terrace to anchor the first real shopping center," Brown said.
"We told them if that's what the folks in Grand Terrace want, we would be happy to do that. Since then, our only commitment is, if that is what the folks in Grand Terrace want, that's what we will do."
Brown said he will look at the proposal to expand the market in its current location, but will ultimately do what is best for Grand Terrace.
"The deciding factor will be if we can build a new, bigger store with adequate parking," Brown said.
The current location has "Adequate Parking", Yes, you may not be able to park in the first or second row, but there has not been a PARKING LOT Closed sign up at the current location. The Stater Brother's on Washington has less parking.
Now what is interesting is the Prior Statements of City Manager, Redevelopment Agency Director: Mr. Tom Schwab himself said that Stater Brothers has signed a LEASE commitment with Jacobsen Family Holdings. These representations of the facts are not in agreement. WHO is City Manager, Redevelopment Agency Director Working for? His statement, "We have a signed lease with Stater Brothers". Who is the WE, and Show us the WE the LEASE, or Step down, resign for yet another lie you have told the community, and city council.
Jacobsen said that after visiting the Shopping Center, he came to the conclusion that a larger store would not fit.
(Here is an interesting idea, ask a Developer, if his potential client could be facilitated at a competitor's location.) Has Jacobsen seen the Plans to Expand in the current location? There comment should have been No Comment. Is there a plan for expanding the current location, is it being held up by the Planning Department, or City?
"Mom-and-pop shop owners have nothing to worry about because everyone is welcome (in the Town Center); I would love to talk with them," Jacobsen said.
(Sure, he'd love to steal or move people out of one shopping center in to his. Leave empty buildings in some other Development, that makes a better town.)
Of course, this encourages the relocation of even more businesses, and more empty spaces or causing a distressed center at the current development. Again, no gain, just transference. Is there a lack of logic here or just greed?
Kim Sieng, manager of the China Bowl in the Shopping Center, said it would be better for business if Stater Brothers Does does not leave.
"A lot of people come in and eat lunch or dinner after shopping, so I'm not sure what I would do if they left," he said.
Stater Brothers Market may find itself in a position the old Grand Terrace Independent Market found itself. If there is an empty space left behind at their current location, a Cardenas, Trader Joes, or perhaps a Clarks Nutrition Center and Grocery Store will move in and provide a wider selection of produce, and natural foods.
IF Stater Moves, they may be faced with competition they did not expect.
IF Stater Brothers Moves, the new store or replacement anchor may bring More business to the Mom and Pops. That is yet to be determined. However, it seems not a good decision on the part of Stater Brother's Market, to welcome the competition.
The current retail space will recover in time. However, the ownership of the small Mom and Pop Owners may be crushed by the changes. In Addition: the Property Rights Issues may never be restored if Jo Stringfield is Forced off Her Land, and Forced out of Full Participation in the Development and enjoyment of the financial income potential from the development of her property when and if it is developed. This is the long term effect of where the Stater's goes in our town.