Former Labor Ready office in North Park
  • Former Labor Ready office in North Park
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Labor Ready, the temp-job agency located at 2884 University Avenue in North Park, is closed for business. A sign on the door reads: “North Park office will be consolidating with the El Cajon and Downtown offices. We will not be taking any more applications, and will not have any new jobs available.”

The Reader did a story on Labor Ready, when it appeared they had gone belly up. They later reopened, but it hadn't looked busy there since.

Former Casa de Luz

Former Casa de Luz

The newest vacancy adds to other spaces currently for rent in the area around 30th Street and University Avenue. The vegan restaurant Casa de Luz went out of business last year, after the owners renovated a former Salvation Army thrift store at significant cost.

That 6244–square–foot space at 2920 University Avenue is available for lease or for sale. A multiple listing service (MLS) flyer shows the sale price at $3.2 million. Angela Landsberg, executive director of North Park Main Street, told the Reader that she “looks forward to getting a new business in that space soon. It will almost certainly be a restaurant.”

At 2930 University Avenue, a former beauty shop stands vacant. For a short while the space was rented by a medical marijuana dispensary. The space is undergoing renovation and will house an “Asian fusion” restaurant, Landsberg said.

A rundown storefront at 3020 University, constantly tagged with graffiti and signs, remains an empty eyesore. It was reputedly going to become an Irish pub, but nothing has materialized. It was previously cited by the city for code violations. “The case was referred to the code-enforcement unit of the city attorney’s office,” said Landsberg.

East of that dilapidated storefront is the ornate, long-empty F.W. Woolworth building at 3067 University Avenue. It was long ago slated for renovation and adaptive reuse via funding from the now-defunct San Diego Redevelopment Agency.

The property constantly gets hit with graffiti. “Currently Civic San Diego is charge of managing the property,” Landsberg said. “I am working to get them to improve the condition, but there are no funds to do the work.” That building project is still in pause mode, along with other former Redevelopment Agency properties in California.

Landsberg is bullish overall on North Park commercial properties, including these and similar ones.

“Vacant spaces are highly sought after,” she said. “Landlords are being choosey, which is a good thing. The prospective tenants and landlords understand that North Park in 2014 is a much different place than it was ten years ago.”

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SanCarlosGuy2001 Feb. 16, 2014 @ 11:13 a.m.

The NP business district has improved. However, at the moment there seems to be a slump. The terrible condition of the building at 3020 University is a disgrace. I've contacted Todd Gloria's office twice about it but nothing has been done. The problem with these vacant buildings is that they detract from all the great local businesses and progress that has been done in the area. I'd also like to see more development along the Western section of University from the Albertson's store west.


dwbat Feb. 16, 2014 @ 2:21 p.m.

Yes, it actually needs development from University and Arizona all the way to Florida Street and University. But businesses still want to be in the 30th and University area "hotspot" of eateries, bars and retail. The owners of 3020 University just don't care about the appearance of their property. And it's apparently easier and cheaper if they end up paying a fine to the City.


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