Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Whither Trader Joe's?

Trader Joe’s has decided not to open a store at the old American Legion building across from the Farmers Market site in Downtown Ventura, but it still seems likely that TJ’s will try to build a store somewhere Downtown or in Midtown..

Property owner Jim DeArkland made TJ’s decision public at Monday night’s council meeting. In his comments, DeArkland said TJ’s did not find the city’s commitment to providing parking for the site binding enough. (The city had written a letter committing to keeping the parking on the Arts Village site next door at least until replacement parking was provided in the immediate vicinity.)

Our city manager, Rick Cole, took issue with DeArkland’s characterization, saying there was more to it. While being very respectful to DeArkland and his role in trying to bring TJ’s downtown, he said that the costs associated with the site were also a factor. Rick said the city is still talking to TJ’s about where to locate in Downtown or Midtown.

I have not been involved in these negotiations and honestly don’t know anything more about it that what I heard in public on Monday.

However, this really is all part of the complicated chess game of downtown parking. I’ve included a little more about that in the blog below on the Downtown Specific Plan.

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