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Ross & Michael’s Heading For Madonna Plaza

 October 24,2017-
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    Here is the new retail line-up at the Madonna Plaza

The vacant Sears building in the Madonna Plaza in San Luis Obispo is slated for demolition, to be divided into three storefronts with Ross Stores and Michael’s Crafts to open stores, side by side.

Shopping center owner Schottenstein Property Group filed plans with the city and the proposed project was heard October 16 at the city’s Architectural Review Committee (ARC) meeting.The application was approved.

The proposed redevelopment includes demolition of the existing Sears structure (75,400 square-foot) and construction of a 56,257 square-foot building that provides for three new tenants including one not named.

Starting from the north, next to Petco, Ross would be 22,020 square feet, Michael’s is listed at 21,729 square feet, and Tenant C – 12,508 square feet.

With the closure of Sears this summer in San Luis Obispo as well as the shuttering of the adjacent shopping center anchor – Forever 21 in 2015,  the huge former Gottschalk’s building, the two centers (Madonna Plaza and SLO Promenade) owners have been working to rejuvenated the properties at a time when brick and mortar retail is downsizing.

So perhaps it is not surprising that the re-tenanting of Sears is looking like a shuffling of retailers already in town to the Madonna area.

Relocation Plans?

Asked if Ross and Michaels will likely shut down their existing location to make a move next year – Michael’s General Manager in San Luis Obispo, Brett Oliver, says he has been told they will relocate ”probably in about a year” he says. Oliver says the craft store in the Von’s center has 35 to 40 employees now and that the business is doing well.

”It’s exciting that we will move“ he adds. Arguably, the new location is a shopping center with more regional draw than the neighborhood Von’s center on Broad in the far north part of town.

The manager at the SLO Ross store Downton says he has not been told if the company will relocate or open a second store. Ross Stores does have a sister store, DiDi’s Discounts, that is not currently in SLO and could theoretically take one of the spots.

Located the far end of the Madonna Plaza, these two popular retailers,Ross and Michaels, draw good traffic and that should help bring more visitors to the Madonna Plaza/SLO Promenade shopping centers.

That is likely good news the may help fill several additional empty spots in the two connected centers that some have argued – because of the retail downturn nationwide – have lost their mojo in recent years.

Local commercial realtor John Rossetti says Sears had been paying a very low rental rate for years allowing the shopping center owner to re-lease the space at an improved return even with the retail downturn.Large spaces like those  that Sears and Gottschalks had, are out and 20,000 square foot spaces are in.

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