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New Discount Store Destined for Downtown

The Watsonville Planning Commission is also expected to OK liquor sales at new airport eatery.

Bargain shoppers, Watsonville's Main Street will soon be a mecca for great deals, if the Watsonville Planning Commission approves plans for another dollar store during its meeting Tuesday.

A Gilroy man wants to open a discount retail store at 375 Main St., next to LA Western Wear, where he would sell items for a dollar or more, according to the staff report prepared by Marcela Tavantzis, interim community development director and Keith Boyle, a principal planner.

During , downtown merchants asked city leaders to do more to increase foot traffic and shoppers in the business district.

The new dollar store could "create additional energy downtown that will be support of the retail environment," Tavantzis and Boyle's report stated.

The near-6,500 square foot space, formerly Coast Savings and Loan, is currently vacant.

The store would join other discount retailers in the downtown including the Discount Mall,  , thrift store, the , and the .

In other Planning Commission business, and the new proprietor at the Watsonville Municipal Airport restaurant is looking to get the business's liquor license reinstated.

Andrew Crocker, who runs 99 Bottles of Beer in Santa Cruz, is reopening the restaurant at the airport as Props.  for many years, but closed down in 2011. 

Props plans to be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.

According to the staff report, there has a been a restaurant and bar at the site for several decades with little to no incidents. Staff is recommending Crocker's proposal be approved.

The Planning Commission meets at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, fourth floor of the Civic Plaza, 275 Main St. in Watsonville.

Cathy P. June 08, 2012 at 06:18 PM
@RM: Let's be honest? If city leaders got rid of their "it's not going to happen" attitudes, we'd have plenty of shopping for everyone downtown. Downtown will never be a shopping destination until there are businesses worth shopping at, "Build it and they will come." The city's belief that another dollar store is better than nothing (or better than another empty storefront) is horse pucky!
RM June 09, 2012 at 03:14 PM
@itsmecissy I agree with you. But it will be hard to get the first store to commit. The vast amount of theft that occurs in town (just look at Staples for that), will not encourage retail businesses to come here. Not to mention the unemployment rate. I completely agree that downtown needs an overhaul, but you will be hard-pressed to get any serious retailers to come in any time soon. There needs to be some serious changes to our local leadership before that happens.
Robin Bolster-Grant July 13, 2012 at 08:17 PM
I'm a new transplant from Bonny Doon to Watsonville (literally haven't unpacked yet) and this thread is interesting to me. I agree the shopping and eating choices downtown are pretty limited, but hardly nonexistent. And, I would sooner stroll Main St. after hours than I would Pacific Ave. in SC. The history and architecture here offer something you can't find in many other parts of this county. I hope everyone who posts here will take their energy and ideas to the city leaders and let their voices be heard - if not, there is clearly no impetus for change. Crime rates are down significantly and the economic turnaround - slow as it is - will provide some real opportunities for those paying attention. I may be a newbie to this town, but I understand small business pretty well. 25 years ago I started a newsstand/bookstore in downtown Pasadena. The place was filled with homeless folk, the buildings were underutilized and dingy-looking, and every other storefront was a pawn shop. The city leaders got together with the local business leaders and other civic orgs and made a plan. The neighborhood gentrified to the point that I couldn't afford the rent. Sad for me, but today Old Town Pasadena shines with its shopping/dining/pedestrian eye-candy offerings. Sorry to go on and on - I have been trolling the internet trying to find the local scoop and stumbled on this site. Stay plugged in and perhaps we'll bump into each other at the next City Council meeting! Robin BG
Watzon McWats July 13, 2012 at 09:33 PM
Welcome to town Robin. We need more business minded folks like you around. :-) Re: The discount store: I am %100 opposed to this idea for many of the same reasons others outlines above. Why does Watsonville want to be the city of dollar stores and cheap clothing? WHY!? I don't understand it whatsoever. We have these great historic buildings, we're 10 minutes from the coast, and 10 minutes from the mountains. There's no reason that this town isn't happenin'. I'm starting to question myself and wonder if it's the City Council, or the people of Watsonville as a whole that make it this way. More and more I have a feeling that your average patch commenter and facebook user isn't your average Watsonvillian. Glad to see that this is going back up for review. I hope we get a good heads up so that many of us can attend that meeting.
Watzon McWats July 13, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Amount of theft that occurs in town? Our rate of theft per capita is half that of Santa Cruz, and one third that of Capitola, both being large centers of commerce in our county. I encourage you to judge our town by the facts, not the reputation it gained thirty years ago.

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