Consider this the "before" Encinitas Village photo
August 21 was the last day of business for Garcia’s, a longtime Mexican restaurant in Encinitas’ Village Square I strip mall shopping center, on the 1400 block of Encinitas Boulevard.
According to neighboring businesses, the new owners of the 1970s-built center forced most of the center’s businesses to leave by raising lease rates exorbitantly or by not renewing leases.
As reported here in May of 2015, 7-Eleven was the first to go because it wasn’t upscale enough for the center’s new planned renovation. Even deep-pockets Southland Corp., owners of 7-Eleven, opted out of a 50 percent lease increase. (Although the business was a locally owned franchise, Southland owned the building, equipment, and paid the lease.)
All but two of the businesses are gone
In addition to 7-Eleven and Garcia’s, gone now are Encinitas Ford’s leasing office, AMP Hobby Shop, a pool hall, Bety’s Tacos, Rite-Cut Barbershop, Donna’s Tailor Shop, a guitar shop, and a drive-thru locksmith kiosk.
Postal Depot and Salon Central both signed long-term leases prior to the sale of the center. (Swami’s Café, though on the Village Square I directory of businesses, was the first to leave the strip mall, relocating a bock away, at 1506 Encinitas Boulevard.)
The old 7-Eleven site is being rebuilt to house a Habit Burger, the latest location for the 147-store chain.
The entire center is now under a full-scale major remodel, to be rebranded as Encinitas Village. But according to one local merchant, “It’s Orange County coming to our town.”
Several attempts to try and discuss plans for the new center — by email and phone to leasing agent Phil Lyons of Cushman Wakefield — were unsuccessful.