What To Do If Gottschalks Closes, Wal-Mart Pursues Relocation?

Alternate uses for Laguna-99 Shopping Center should be considered Recently the possibility of Fresno-based Gottschalks Departmen...




Alternate uses for Laguna-99 Shopping Center should be considered


Recently the possibility of Fresno-based Gottschalks Department Stores filing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy has been widely reported. After suffering a historically weak Holiday shopping season, the 58-store chain is nothing if not vulnerable.

With or without a Chapter 11 filing, the chain is weakened. The usual path for a retailer is such a position is to close under-performing stores and if anecdotal information is correct, Gottschalks' Elk Grove store fits that description.

By no small coincidence, it is located in the same shopping center as Elk Grove's lone Wal-Mart location. Wal-Mart has no made secret their desire to open a super-center somewhere in Elk Grove.


So what happens if Gottschalks Elk Grove store closes and Wal-Mart gets their super-center? Obviously if this were to happen, the Laguna-99 Shopping Center would become a ghost town.

This would not be all bad. To the contrary, it could be an ideal opportunity for the City of Elk Grove to eliminate another strip center and replace it with something more meaningful or at least useful.

Perhaps the city could condemn the property and rezone it for mid-rise office space. It is ideally located near the highway and could be used to attract state offices.

Because of it's strategic location, perhaps the parcel could become a transit hub with park and ride.

Regardless of it's ultimate fate, the possible demise of this shopping center could provide Elk Grove with a golden opportunity. Now is the time to start planning.

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