Bye-bye Wal-Mart in Garden Grove

What was once thought to be a forgone conclusion, the landing of a Wal-Mart Supercenter in central Garden Grove, is now another dead deal for the retail center at the corner of Brookhurst St. and Chapman Avenue.  For decades the city of Garden Grove has struggled to make the retail center become successful.  Thus far, nothing has worked. The proposed two story Wal-Mart was planned for the area of the vacated Vons Pavilions market on the south side of Chapman Avenue. OCR Story

At the July 18th public hearing on the proposed project more than 100 people protested the proposal and urged city officials to oppose the project. 

The proposed hearing on October 18th was cancelled after city planners were presented two weeks earlier with an unexpected scaled back version of the prior plan.  The OC Register reported on October 9th:

Wal-Mart has now decided to scale back the store to 105,000 square feet limited to one floor, instead of two.

“It was completely unexpected. City officials are concerned about Wal-Mart’s decision” said Karl Hill, senior planner.

“That building has been vacant for a while now,” he said of the former supermarket that closed at the Chapman Avenue site. “We don’t like to see that because the city does lose tax dollars and it tends to negatively affect other businesses around it.”

While Wal-Mart spokesperson John Mendez clamed to the Register that negative feedback from the community was not the reason for shuttering the project. “Although we wanted to be in the city of Garden Grove, this one does not make financial sense under current market conditions.”

But an earlier statement from the Register’s October 9th story makes me think otherwise.

“This store will fit (more) comfortably in the urban environment,” said John Mendez, a spokesman for the Arkansas retail giant.

Yeah, lets go with that.

  7 comments for “Bye-bye Wal-Mart in Garden Grove

  1. October 21, 2007 at 1:15 pm

    No Wal-Mart in Garden Grove??!!?

    Do you just expect our local Ma & Pa businesses to force themselves out of business?!?!?

  2. October 21, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    Just so we’re all on the same page here.

    I oppose a Walmart Supercenter anywhere in California and specifically in Garden Grove.

  3. Robin Marcario
    October 21, 2007 at 8:22 pm

    I spoke against the proposed Super Wal-Mart at the Planning Commisssion review of the draft Environmental Impact Report hearing in mid-July. I described the current configuration of the former Vons Pavillion, with the entrance towards the back, as a “White Elephant” and stated that doubling its size while maintaining the same poor design would be creating a “Mammoth Monopoly.” Their choice to kill the project speaks volumes as the state of the economy and the lack of money “trickling down.”

  4. October 21, 2007 at 11:40 pm

    I thought WalMart was scaling back the project to a traditional store rather than a SuperCenter. So local small businesses will still be affected. Garden Grovers will have a local opportunity to buy cheaply made goods at rock bottom prices from people who are paid minimum wage with poor benefits.
    But it won’t contain a full-line grocery store (only a few aisles of foodstuffs), so that pleases the UFCW, organizer of most WalMart protests.

  5. Anonymous
    October 22, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    I feel bad for the poor merchants in the same plaza as the proposed Walmart. I remember the owner of a video game store saying at one of the hearings that they would go out of business if Walmart didn’t come.

    I’ll agree that Walmart is bad for general merchandisers. It is hard to compete. But Walmart definately has a small selection of a lot of things. Speciality retailers benefit from being in the same plaza as Walmart. How else do you explain all of the retailers in La Habra that thrive next to Walmart. Everyting from Borders to Lowes and smaller companies like Payless Shoes

  6. October 22, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    That’s an easy one to explain.
    That southwest corner of La Habra has been under-retailed since Buffums and Bullocks closed up and the old Fashion Square mall was demolished. Super KMart a few blocks down closed up a few years later. In the last 15 years thousands of new homes have gone up within a mile or two of the WalMart site (Hillsborough development in La Mirada and Westridge homes on the new golf course).
    If Sams Club and WalMart had never been built, Payless and Borders would be almost as busy in a center anchored only by Kohls and Lowes.

  7. Anonymous
    November 1, 2007 at 1:37 pm

    Obviously you guys dont know anything about retailing. Most small retailers WANT to be next to a large anchor. They pay more rent for it. The large anchor such as walmart, target, albertsons, vons, etc doesn’t compete but drives much needed traffic to the center. All the businesses within that dead plaza had their hearts set on walmart coming in an anchoring the center. Now that area and center is going to be dead for years to come. I’ve been a commercial tenant rep for many years and lease rates and demand for space near a major anchor is always higher than small strip malls without an anchor.

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