San Diego’s core neighborhoods have been building on top of themselves – remodeling and transforming into vibrant strips of boutiques, gastro pubs and coffee shops.
North Park went from a place where you wouldn’t want your car to break down to a hipster’s theme park. The northern part of South Park became a place for families to walk. Adults enjoy craft beer and children play in sand boxes.
Sometimes change is good. Sometimes change is hard, and not at all welcome. Just ask people in Ocean Beach. The neighborhood’s very structures and character are making it so only large corporations can seem to fill some of the empty spaces.
And that is clashing with OB’s character.
OB is San Diego’s answer to “what if nothing happened after 1976?” That’s not an insult. It’s a lively beach town, with colorful locals, legendary food and relaxed nightlife. We know the people of OB for their sense of community, togetherness and events that celebrate their culture. OB might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but everyone is welcome.
Unless you’re Target. More specifically, Target Express. It is the latest megacorporation working to fill one of the community’s historic structures. It may be the only entity that can.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
"If you do need anything else, I just think Amazon,” Newsom said. Ummmm, wouldn't local jobs supporting a Target Express be preferable to supporting employees in Seattle??? Anyway, as someone else pointed out, don't shop there if you don't want to, but please don't enforce your shopping preferences on everyone else.
When Target came to South Park, they worked closely with community leaders to come up with merchandise that was complimentary to the surrounding businesses in the neighborhood. There were plenty of histrionics before they opened but from what I can tell little (none?) of the fear-mongering has come to pass. I've visited the Target Express twice since they opened: both times for electronics that I couldn't find in my own neighborhood of North Park. I loved that I didn't have to schlep down to Mission Valley, wasting time and gas, and could easily zip in and out while supporting local jobs.
OB isn't against Target Express. Just the aging, vocal minority. I'm beginning to think the NIMBYs of OB are not very "progressive" at all. They just want their neighborhood to look and feel the same as it did 50 years ago, working class renters be damned. If our community cares so much about the middle-class families, they should be happy we are about to recieve a store that makes OB more affordable and walkable.
The fact is there are just under half a dozen properties in OB that were built specifically for chain stores over the years. The antique store in question used to be a Coronets- a chain store. There aren't any mom-and-pop operations that can afford to lease this space, and the other ideas floated by residents against the Target are frankly pipe dreams. Through the OB grapevine, we've already learned that Target isn't planning on offering much food or drug store products because they are already served by CVS/Rite Aid/Apple Tree. Or maybe the NIMBY crowd would rather the property sit unoccupied and blighted like the old Apple Tree sat for 3+ years before CVS finally moved in.
OB needs to start doing a much better job of managing their limited parking resources if they expect businesses to thrive. Google Street View shows all of the public spaces in front of the store filled, meaning people are going to drive on without stopping, and that means lost customers.
@Derek Hofmann The article states that there are 33 onsite parking spaces. On Google Earth, I counted 20 spaces in the narrow parking lot to the east of the site and another 13 behind the building off of the alley. I can't say, however, what controls there may be for who can actually park there. There's a sign at the driveway from Newport Ave. which clearly states that there is no public parking in those spaces.
Despite what you see on Google Street View, my experience (as one who lives in the area) is that the parking turnover is fairly regular. I've seldom been unable to find a space within a block or so of where I want to be. Shoppers are most likely to be OB locals with occasional beach visitors who will know how to negotiate the parking limitations which I think, currently, is 2 hours max. along Newport. I've never paid much attention because I'm seldom there for that long.
Easy solution -- don't support the chain stores. Money talks. Somehow Starbucks, Jack-in-the-Box, Subway, and CVS are able to survive in OB; obviously people are spending their money there.
Regarding the Starbucks store opening on Newport in 2001, the outcry would have been more substantial except 9/11 happened; and protesting a coffee shop suddenly didn't seem quite as important.
Does this "staunchly anti-corporate" Amazon customer hear herself? How many "independent vendors" has Amazon put out of business? I think it started with the demise of independent booksellers and has quickly worked its way through the retail industry.
@Maureen Ostrye Actually, independent bookstores have not died entirely but have enjoyed a resurgence just like vinyl records came back in popularity after the first music CD craze. http://www.kpbs.org/news/2016/apr/29/10-san-diego-shops-visit-independent-bookstore-day/
Nevertheless, I think your point is well made.
Maybe Target should open a Mom and Pop's division, calling it Targét, to gain popular acceptance in Ocean Beach?