| Former Rite-Aid/Thrifty site sits empty|
09/15/08 22:23 La Mirada~The Mirada West Center has lost another tenant, and this could be one more nail in the coffin. Omni Video, in business, in La Mirada, in the same location for over twenty years-has ceased operations. Now, some would say all video stores will ultimately be gone because of outfits like NetFlix, but this closure has a significant local effect.
After all these years, this could be the beginning of the end for the Mirada West Center. Actually, of all retail centers in La Mirada, the center has long been one of the most consistent providers of sales tax revenue to the city- if not number one or close to it. Despite the closure of National Lumber in the early nineties, (the building has been LM’s #1 eyesore since), the center continued to trudge forward. One must wonder how wonderful this center could have been if not for the neglect by the city, the community, the property owners, whoever.
Earlier this year Rite-Aid (formerly Thrifty), and Kragen (Trak-Auto) both closed their doors after 20+ years. The latter moved across Imperial Highway to unincorporated Los Angeles County. Simon Discount also closed its doors earlier this year. All of these units remain empty. Some of the businesses that still remain in the center are icons, occupying the same building for two, three decades. They include: Jay’s Kitchen, Yum Yum Donuts (Winchell’s), Hi-Hat Cleaners, Ambrose Pizza (Straw Hat), La Mirada Optometry, Coin-op Laundry, Family Sports (Clothworld), and Bank of the West (Lloyds). Others include Tiffany Hair & Nails, A Total Woman, Tokyo Teriyaki & Sushi, Advance America Check Cashing, Fashion City and Kairo’s Jewelry. Vons grocery store has long been the anchor of the center. Perhaps these businesses that are shuttering are seeing the writing on the wall.
The La Mirada Blog is predicting that Vons Grocery will close its La Mirada store sometime around April 2009; and somehow end up building a new store at the old Crossroads Center sometime thereafter. Maybe this is a fitting ending to what has been the most under-appreciated retail centers in the community for years, despite its stability (The Big Lots Center is a close second).This is sure to be the final blow to the Mirada West Center; or is that the intention? What will replace Vons; another discount store? What will happen to the loyal La Mirada businesses that remain, that have been staples in the community for decades? How will they be able to stay in business without a major tenant such as Vons, anchoring the center? Will the City tear down the center and put housing? New City Manager Tom Robinson faces theses questions. Will this issue be addressed; or has it already been?