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New Vallarta Supermarket May Indicate a Long Time Demographic Shift In Northwest Pasadena

Published on Thursday, April 20, 2017 | 5:46 am

[Updated Thursday, April 20, 2017 | 8:14 a.m.]   That the Vons Store closing on April 15 in the Renaissance Plaza on the southwest corner of North Fair Oaks Avenue at Orange Grove Boulevard is soon to be replaced by a Latin food products-based Vallarta Supermarket does not come as a surprise to many community members who say the changeout expresses the demographic evolution of Northwest Pasadena.

District 3 Councilmember John Kennedy is hosting a community meeting Thursday evening to discuss the Vons to Vallarta transition.

After Vons decided not to renew its lease, a search began by Albertson’s (which had bought Von’s/Safeway) to find a tenant that they could assign their lease to fill the 50,000-square-foot facility.

“Like all retailers, we are constantly evaluating the performance of our stores, a Vons spokesman said, referring to the Renaissance plaza store. “Closing an underperforming store is always a tough decision…”

According to Danny Bakewell, Jr., who spoke this week on behalf of the Plaza’s ownership, Vallarta was carefully selected as a company that met a set of criteria that indicated they could commit to a 10-year long term lease and continue to provide services for the community.

Both Vons’ lease and the city’s agreement with Pasadena Commercial Development allow an assignment of the lease to another retail style supermarket, and Vons has decided to pursue this option for the last two remaining years on the lease by signing an agreement with Vallarta.

“This was to ensure that the community got what was promised to them, which was a first class grocery store operator in place. We have a full service grocery store. We have an excellent operator. We have done all of our due diligence in Vallarta and I think the community will trust us as they have for the past twenty years. They will be very satisfied and very happy with the grocery store that they get,” said Bakewell.

Vallarta is now moving forward with a $5 million renovation to the Fair Oaks Avenue location which will have extensive specialty services and will maintain both the Wells Fargo Bank branch and pharmacy within the store.

Vallarta has hired Pasadena firm DL English to design the interior improvements at the site.

According to Pasadena’s Economic Development Manager Eric Duyshart, the new Vallarta location is expected to employ over 200 people.

“Construction plans have been submitted to the City,” he said. “The renovation will necessitate closing the store for several weeks and there is an expected opening planned for November 2017.”

With the Fair Oaks location transitioning into a Vallarta store, Vons will still maintain three other locations in Pasadena: at 1390 N. Allen Avenue, 155 California Blvd., and 2355 E. Colorado Blvd.

The Vons to Vallarta Transition Community Meeting will take place Thursday from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Renaissance Plaza Housing and Career Services Department Conference Room located at 649 N. Fair Oaks Ave. Suite 202.

For more information, contact Jana West or Susana Porras at (626) 744-4738.

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