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Escondido says no to 99-cent store

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ESCONDIDO, Calif. – The Escondido Planning Commission denied an appeal Tuesday by a landlord to reverse the Escondido City Council’s earlier decision not to allow 99 Cents Only Store from moving into a downtown location.

The City of Escondido denied a proposal for a new 99 Cents Only Store to replace the Old Navy clothing store on North Escondido Boulevard.  The plan was to fill a 17,000 square foot retail space.  The city took action and has limited where and how many of the fixed pricing retail stores are allowed.

99 Cents Only StoreCity leaders said the discount stores cheapen commercial areas and discourage upscale businesses from opening nearby.

The regulations have come under fire from the discount chains and landlords with vacant storefronts.  They said the city is doing itself a disservice.

Marco Gonzalez, an attorney for the landlords, said the city will miss out on about $5 million annually in sales tax revenues by passing on the store.

“I think the city would do better to focus on not having vacancies,” said Gonzalez. “Unfortunately, this policy is going to promote vacancies.”

The landlord and retailer are threatening litigation, and some residents believe they have every right to. The public gave their two cents about whether or not downtown Escondido should get the discount store.

Shirley Davis shops at the 99 Cent Only Store at least twice a month and buys all sorts of items, including reading glasses, tools to plant hangers.

“Whatever happened to free enterprise?” said Davis. “I think they ought to be everywhere… the value is wonderful.”

Davis and other residents said they are not happy about a recent decision by the City of Escondido.

“I think that’s the wrong thing to do,” said Davis.  “There are a lot of people in this town that don’t have a lot of money and some don’t have jobs.”

Even though Tony Valenzuela shops in the 99 Cents Only Store, he said he is still against more discount stores coming to Escondido.

“I think it’s getting carried away,” said Valenzuela. “They are pretty much everywhere you turn nowadays.”

Valenzuela said he would like to see some higher end retailers come to Escondido.

“It would bring more money to this area,” he said.

The landlords are considering asking for an appeal by the City Council, according to Gonzalez.

9 comments

  • PB GEEK

    WOW!!! I never thought I'd take Marco Gonzalez's side only any issue, but in this case I will. I'm assuming this is the same Marco Gonzalez who tried to get the fireworks shows banned.

  • Dee

    PB Geek? What happened to you man? More 99 cent stores? More low-lifes? Never a good idea.

    David (from old News8)

    • PB GEEK

      Dee, I'm still the same pro-capitalist I've always been. If it's a bad business, it will fail and ultimately close down just like the Old Navy store that previously occupied the space. Government dictating what an owner can or cannot do with their property is never a good idea. It always ends up setting a precedent for future encroachments on life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

  • Guest

    Drive down downtown Escondido via Grand Ave., store after store closed. Escondido can't be picky about business now.

  • Marco Gonzalez

    For the record, at the hearing I indicated the new retail tenant would generate at least $5M annually in sales, not sales tax revenue.

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