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Mom and Pop shops doomed in Harbor

If you follow "OneView InRedondo's" facebook updates, you will find a chain of comments related to the City Manager's request for a pay raise.  Our former Harbor Facility Manager, Mary Anne Campeau, weighs in on the City Manager's management methods:  the beatings will continue until morale improves.

But one of her comments is very revealing of the ongoing CenterCal Harbor "revitalization".  Campeau is speaking about the City Manager's direction for the harbor area:

" I am an example of his fury! I was too close to the businesses... he saw it as "they: verses "us".  He would state in management meetings...he wanted all the small (mom and pop) gone... he envisioned national companies taking over... and the Council supported his vision."

Finally, a voice from inside City Hall confirms what BBR and others have been saying all along.  Any local flavor and our beloved local establishments like Polly's on the Pier, Naja's, and Captain Kidd's are doomed if the current CenterCal plan goes through.  We will have a waterfront mall of cookie cutter national chain stores that will have a tough time competing with the other local malls that are refurbishing and expanding and have better traffic circulation and parking for customers.  One wonders why the Chamber is supporting this development and throwing long term local businesses under the bus... I would bet CenterCal is "contributing" to the Chamber to influence their support - just like AES does.

CenterCal, the City Manager, and some of our elected officials try to mislead us by saying these local establishments will be part of the CenterCal Mall.  But there is no way these businesses can survive the increase in lease that CenterCal will require.  The CEO of CenterCal tipped his hat when he stated "they will have to change their business model".  He even went so far as to visualize Naja's as a bistro.  (And, no, I am not making that up!)  So while some storefronts may say "Naja's" and "Polly's", they will not be the mom and pop places we all know and love.  And now we have Ms. Campeau revealing the City's "behind closed door" dealings and true vision for our harbor.  It appears she was fired because she supported current harbor businesses.

Ms. Campeau confirms our harbor is doomed to become yet another national chain cookie cutter outlet location and the "Redondo Beach" will be sucked out of our harbor.  To add insult to injury any views of the harbor will be blocked by the wall of mall outlets.

We might as well rename it the CenterCal Mall (and  harbor) right now.
  The CenterCal Plan is not a "revitalization" of our harbor.  It is overdevelopment and over-exploitation.   It is a wholesale sell out to the developer.  Any semblance of our quaint harbor will be buried beneath and hidden behind the bloated cookie-cutter overdevelopment of national chains.   And when these national chains leave for greener pastures, we will be left holding the bag.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Walt Hyneman January 10, 2014 at 12:56 PM
Why stop at cookie-cutter chains?... The city should approve Walmart to move in. They can even open a port right next to the mega store for easy loading of products from China. It seems like nobody cares and big money wins.
Jim Light January 11, 2014 at 01:49 PM
What is really sad is that the statements of the former Harbor Facilities Manager show by the time residents get to comment, the decisions are already made. Aspel says these decisions are made in the public process, but this reveals that the REAL decisions are made long before the public even gets to testify or participate in a workshop. The Council has allowed our city to work through back room deals. And then if you try to change their pre-made decisions, they demonize you. That is why this city has had referendums, initiatives and lawsuits. These demonstrate the failures of the public process in Redondo. What we see in a Council meeting largely window dressing and a chance for the Council to berate those who oppose their predetermined will.
Just Tim January 12, 2014 at 12:01 AM
So, anyone up for a citizen referendum, that states that any development or change at the pier, requires a minimum of 75% of leaseholders be local businesses. That would allow for new development, while still keeping local mom and pop shops in the mix.
Mike Syi January 12, 2014 at 09:15 PM
Yes the face of a beach community will change with the new big chain stores selling their products. The problem is that when this happens and they fail they will leave a big empty building that is too large for locals to open up shop. Redondo is not thinking this out. Hermosa will be putting up a large wall to keep out the chain mega stores. That is good!


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