Elk Grove's East Franklin Blues, Part II

Why Founder's Landing matters One aspect of the foreclosure crisis that gets little attention is the effect it has had on the comm...

Why Founder's Landing matters

One aspect of the foreclosure crisis that gets little attention is the effect it has had on the commercial real estate, specifically how small businesses have been hammered. Also, when a smart growth concept fails, who pays.

A good case study is the Founders Landing strip center in Elk Grove’s East Franklin neighborhood.

As part of the sprawling development on the city’s far southwest side, East Franklin came online just as real estate prices were nearing their peak. The entire area includes a number of large shopping areas.

However, Founder's Landing is different. Located on the corner of Whitelock Pkwy. and Atkins, the shopping center is just 21,600 sq. ft. The center is designed to be within easy walking distance for hundreds of dwellings (with some homes literally within throwing distances) and incorporates certain elements of the smart growth concept.

Among the tenants was a Mountain Mike’s Pizza, a dry cleaner, a nail & beauty salon, a dentist, a convenience store, the karate school and a clothing store. This development is close enough to the immediate neighborhood to provide quick convenience within walking distance or, at least not having to get in a car and drive a long distance for a six-pack, a pizza or a haircut.

Unfortunately, several of the businesses have closed. They too are the victims of Elk Grove's foreclosures crisis, not to mention Elk Grove's formerly high development and impact fees.

The Mountain Mike has a sign saying it will reopen soon (presumably by a new franchise or the company); the dry cleaner is washed-out; the clothing shop is an empty closet and the chicken restaurant has flown the coop. Not only are the empty stores a sign of the foreclosure crisis and recession, they represent the dashed hopes of each business owner who surely poured their hearts into their businesses.

Hopefully as the economy recovers and real estate stabilizes, Founder's Landing will find it's groove and become a successful convenient neighborhood retail center. If it doesn’t, developers will surely point to this a justification to kill any vestige of smart growth in Elk Grove.

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