Haute Cuisine Its Not, But at Least it Clears One Elk Grove Retail Vacancy

Written By EGN on Tuesday, March 13, 2012 | 03:00

This former video store is being
converted to a themed pizza restaurant.
Is the economy finally showing signs of recovery? If this recent activity along E. Stockton Blvd. is any indication, a naissant rebound might be underway.

One of the numerous problems that has plagued Elk Grove since the credit collapse and the onset of the Great Recession has been excessive vacant retail space. While much of the excess came from never-occupied retail space built purely on speculation, not to mention the half-built Elk Grove Promenade, much came available from business failures.

Such was the case with numerous Blockbuster video stores and the Hollywood Video pictured here on E. Stockton Blvd. While the space in the Marketplace 99 strip center has been vacant the last couple of years, a recent sign on the building announced the coming of a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant.

Since then, the front of the building has been torn down and heavy equipment has been excavating what appears to be an expansion of the space. So is this a sign of recovery?

It might be. According to Elk Grove Economic Development Coordinator Heather Ross the city is experiencing an uptick in inquiries.

"We are hearing from brokers as well as existing and prospective business owners with questions about retail, office and industrial space," Ross said. "Many of these inquiries have led to the opening or relocation of numerous businesses."

While Ross was unable to provide data regarding vacancy rates in the city, she said compared to other cities in the region Elk Grove has very few large previously occupied spaces vacant.

"We are encouraged by the fact that we have only two large vacancies currently (the former Gottschalks and Borders) while many other cities have a multitude of large retail spaces lying vacant," she added.

So while local foodies, chain-aversion restaurant goers and any parent with children older than eight or nine will no doubt avoid the Chuck E. Cheese like they would an over-eager insurance salesman, having them here sure beats another vacant space.

Let's just hope all the parents taking kids there don't forget to take their kids home.


Anonymous said...

"While Ross was unable to provide data regarding vacancy rates in the city, she said compared to other cities in the region Elk Grove has very few large previously occupied spaces vacant".

What???? Taxpayers are spending $750,000 a year on salaries, benefits, and travel expenses for two Economic Development staff and they don't have data on vacancy rates????

I suggest they subscribe to a real estate market database and understand the dynamics at play in our region. A quick internet research reveals over 400,000 sq. ft. of vacant office, industrial, and retail vacancies in Elk Grove.

To say we only have two large vacancies is insulting to the taxpayer, the struggling small business owner, and the strip mall owners trying to find tenants.

Newcomers like Chuck E. Cheese, Dickey's Barbecue, Smash Burger, and Leatherby's ice cream are not going to be the saviors of our city. Nor should they be held up with pride to show us how our $750,000 investment is paying off. Neither should shifting state jobs from one location in the region to another location--and throwing $3.5 million dollars of our tax dollars at them be hailed as some kind of big coup.

Elk Grove--junk food capital of the central valley! Proud Heritage, Bright Future.

Anonymous said...

Very well said. Might want to start thinking about the other two large Video stores and the Bel Aire location on EG Blvd. glaring us in the face within maybe a 1/2 mile of each other.

Now I know small children love CEC, but I also am not so naive to know what also comes with that. Been there, done that!

Anonymous said...

It is so hard to open up a business in Elk Grove. Maybe we need to get rid of some council people and change the rules. They are very selecttive on who they want but do not follow the people at large wishes.