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What Should Go Here: Old Wingstop Building

The building has stood empty since the restaurant closed earlier this year.

The in the Freedom Centre has stood empty for the past two months. It's time to ask: what should go there?

That's a busy strip mall, with the , , and other businesses.

There are a couple other vacancies also, like across from the old Wingstop where Suzy's Deals used to operate and a larger space that was a last fall.

So what businesses should be added to the Freedom Centre? Share your opinion in comments.

Patch readers have offered lots of creative ideas about how to fill vacancies around town. Check out other "What Should Go Here?" topics here.

Jennifer Squires April 18, 2012 at 05:25 PM
On Facebook, readers are asking for a health food store and lamenting the loss of Suzy's Deals. What do you think?
izzy April 18, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Yes, yes, yes..Health food store so needed on the South side! Thrift store in another space would be fun too..but definitely something like Aptos Naturals or Way of Life would be great!
Valerie Lemke April 18, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Definitely not another Starbucks since they have two in that shopping center already!! ;-) I like Izzy's ideas of a health food store, or filling it with something that we don't have in the Watsonville area. I would love to have a Trader Joes, though it wouldn't fit there, I hope they come to Watsonville area at some point, and somewhere in that center would be a nice central spot. Rite Aid seems to be downsizing the merchandise in their store. They have a small amount of merchandise in a big space, maybe if they decide to move to a smaller space and make an express store, then TJ's could move there. Don't know if the old Wing Stop would be quite big enough for a Rite Aid though. Just thinking out loud, don't mind me. :-)
jana meares April 18, 2012 at 05:48 PM
New Leaf at the Halloween store, thrift store at Suzi's, and a noodle restaurant!
Cathy P. April 18, 2012 at 05:55 PM
It used to be a health food store before Wingstop. A true health food store -not another GNC- would be wonderful again. Being mindful of all the Senior Citizens who live in the apartments behind this shopping center (like my late Mom), it would be nice to put in something that caters to them too. Suzy's Deals was a great store, although dirty and untidy, to shop for bargains. Anybody else heard of Fresh & Easy? http://www.freshandeasy.com/
Valerie Lemke April 18, 2012 at 05:55 PM
p.s. I do realize Safeway would not want another grocery store so close by, but just for the sake of dreaming! Maybe TJ's could go into the vacated furniture store on the corner of Green Valley and Freedom by Walgreens instead.
Cathy P. April 18, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Valerie, I'm with you 200% about Trader Joe's but Watsonville doesn't have the demographics that TJs looks for (I know, I asked) BUT we can keep dreaming! Have you ever shopped at a Fresh & Easy, they're popping up all over in the Silicon Valley. I posted a link to their website. Really nice stores.
Cathy P. April 18, 2012 at 06:06 PM
Yeah, a noodle restaurant that also serves Vietnamese sandwiches. I crave those!
Valerie Lemke April 18, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Yes, Fresh & Easy is wonderful!!! I agree. They think they don't have the demographics, I was also told the same thing when I asked. I never understood that, and that truly bothers me on many levels. How would they know unless they tried? I think they would be very successful actually. But Fresh & Easy, would be a great addition too. That Halloween store too, yes, there could be a lot of great possibilities going in there. Watsonville needs a chance for something new!
Cathy P. April 18, 2012 at 06:40 PM
HEY EVERYONE, go over to the Fresh & Easy facebook page and ask for one in Watsonville (I did!) https://www.facebook.com/freshandeasy?filter=2
Cathy P. April 18, 2012 at 06:45 PM
One more thing, if a F & E store opens in town, they donate $1,000 to one deserving local organization. Wouldn't it be cool if those Dads from Mandilion (sp) got the money?
David H. Perez April 18, 2012 at 07:59 PM
I would agree that it would be nice to have a health food store there, but you know what Watsonville really needs? A frozen yogurt shop that sells an assortment of yogurt flavors and toppings. There is a chain called Tutti Frutti, and their stores seem to be popping up everywhere. Coldstone has only a limited selection of frozen yogurt, and they are expensive. I'm not sure if Baskin Robbins has frozen yogurt, but if they do I suspect it is quite expensive as well.
Watzon McWats April 18, 2012 at 08:40 PM
New Leaf, Bettys Burgers, Outdoor World, and a place that sells skate/surf culture clothing all come to mind. The problem with Patch commenters though is that I suspect we are the minority of the community and that the bulk of the community has little interest in our ideas.
Watzon McWats April 18, 2012 at 08:42 PM
Or maybe a more upscale pizza joint (Woodstocks, Pleasure Pizza, Pizza My Heart, etc.)
Kurt Overmeyer April 18, 2012 at 11:57 PM
Just an FYI - big companies like Trader Joe's look at a lot more than just demographics, they also look at what they call psychographics. It is really just a fancy way to say that they track how people shop. Retailers know that people who make certain types of purchases are also likely to make other purchases. For example, in Watsonville we have a large chunk of the population that owns a Dell Computer, has an Android device, eats at Applebee's and purchases clothing at Forever 21 or Kohl's. The people who shop this way are a good fit for Grocery Outlet, Safeway and Save Mart (and also for Fresh & Easy - good catch Cissy!). So when the City targets retailers, we try to figure out what companies are looking for certain segments of our trade area population. It wouldn't make a lot of sense to try to get an IKEA - they need a trade area with over 5 million residents, or Trader Joes which needs a trade area of 250k (and they have 2 stores in a smaller than that trade area where Watsonville shoppers drive) and are looking for different psychographics. We also analyze our retail leakage (what people are buying outside of our trade area in various segments) and try to fill in the gap. I saw people that were wondering why there was a gas station going up on Green Valley - it is because there is more demand here than there is gas. We have a lot of nibbles on Freedom Center - but we can't talk about them until they sign a lease and give us permission or say no way.
ExResident April 19, 2012 at 09:27 AM
Another one bites the dust.....PERFECT space for a taqueria...no ! wait! a Panaderia....or how about a MoneyGram office......or a carniceria....Laboritorios Chinos?
Cathy P. April 19, 2012 at 03:50 PM
I have to agree with that one Watzon.
Frankie J April 19, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Juicy Burger! And make the old Gotchalks a Dave & Busters!
Watzon McWats April 20, 2012 at 01:00 AM
I like the yogurt shop idea. Another thought of mine: Panera Bread. I stopped at one some place in the bay area once. Cook bakery/coffee shop kinda hybrid thing.
Cathy P. April 20, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Panera is a great eatery, I agree. Sandwiches, soups, salads, and free wi-fi! The bakery is to die for too. I'd vote for a Panera.
Valerie Lemke April 20, 2012 at 03:54 PM
One thing I know for sure, you are making me hungry! Panera Bread sounds like a great idea too. That empty furniture store by Walgreens on the corner of Freedom and Green Valley is also a big empty space. I think Watsonville has room for a lot of these ideas!
Kurt Overmeyer April 23, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Thanks for pushing this out Cissy.
Tina Perez June 11, 2012 at 11:19 PM
I like yogurt idea or health food store!
Selene Avila August 07, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Yogurt Land is opening soon in the Target shopping center area. Next to Savemart.
Jennifer Squires August 07, 2012 at 11:00 PM
The scoop on Yogurtland: http://patch.com/A-wH6V
Mary September 07, 2012 at 10:38 PM
A Health Food Store would be great and a book store too.

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