While numerous older North Park storefronts have been snapped up recently for new businesses, others sit there with no takers. Following are examples.
Discount International Fashions, 3002 University Avenue at 30th Street has remained vacant since it went out of business in December 2014. Attorney/real estate broker Alfred D. Atallah says, “We are looking at a few options as we speak. I don't know of anything in particular holding potential takers back.
Most of the inquiries we get are food-service based although I do think general retail would be a great fit, especially for a brand looking to take advantage of the advertising potential that comes along with this hard corner.”
The 3020 University Avenue space, repped by Next Wave Commercial, is apparently having difficulty signing up a lessee. It’s being marketed mostly as a restaurant space, but is considering retail usage. There have been bites, but no sale has been confirmed.
Angela Landsberg, executive director of North Park Main Street, offered some insight into why some properties don’t get leased. Landsberg said “if the rental rate is too high or the space doesn’t have the required capacity, it will stay empty.” She cited the 3002 University Avenue vacancy, saying it can’t easily be a restaurant for a couple of reasons. There is no space outside for a dumpster, and the electrical capacity in that building is inadequate for a restaurant’s requirements, she said.
The historic F.W. Woolworth building at 3067 University Avenue still awaits its renovation and new life. The developer, International Design & Management, is ready to move, but is waiting for the delayed go-ahead from Civic San Diego.
Regarding Woolworth’s, Landsberg explained that CivicSD is required to enter a compensation agreement with Affected Taxing Entities over sale of that property. Those entities include the City of San Diego, County of San Diego,and school districts. Attorneys are now negotiating these payments, Landsberg said.
The empty Wang’s North Park restaurant building at 3029 University Avenue has had difficulty finding a buyer or lessee. Landsberg said a new “possibility” is underway, but she isn’t allowed to disclose details at this time.
Meanwhile, Lady of the Lake, a New Age book and gift shop, closed down a few months ago and is now in Temecula. New lessee Nomad Donuts - Bakery & Café, currently at 4504 30th Street, is remodeling the 3200-square-foot space space extensively. Owner Brad Keiller emailed: “I'm hoping to soft open around 8/16 but I can't confirm that until I hear from SDG&E. Our grand opening is slated for Friday 9/8.” The original location in Normal Heights will remain open.
Abundant Grace Christian Center closed its doors at 3117 University Avenue sometime back, and moved to 5858 El Cajon Boulevard. Their old location will be a craft brewery, as Billoury LLC has applied for an ABC type 23 license (“small beer manufacturer”). The “registered agent” on file is Steve Billings, and the limited-liability company is located at 3612 Bancroft Street.
While North Park Optometry at 3068 University looks like it has closed down, it hasn’t. A notice assures customers they are just remodeling, and they will be back in business soon. Their planned reopening is around August 16.
Landsberg’s final statement about the local commercial leasing market is this: “If North Park is to have long-term success. the property owners need to be reasonable with tenants concerning rents and the cost of improvements.”