Letter to the Editor

What stores to have

Morro BayAugust 7, 2013 

Clint Pearce has successfully developed two shopping centers and redeveloped Madonna Inn. He and a partner are risking $20 million now in an investment that will likely top $100 million when completed. Those without a dime at stake are telling him what stores to have as tenants. They want what Santa Barbara has, what Santa Maria has.

Some unpleasant realities: The Santa Barbara/Goleta population is 160,000. Santa Maria’s (which got a Macy’s in a brand-name switch) population is 101,000. Department stores demand/require a close-in “critical mass” population within 10 miles. San Luis Obispo (population 43,000) may reach that in 25 years, given the city and county population growth cap.

Department stores, already a diminishing element in merchandising, will be few indeed in 2038.

Mr. Pearce has his planning firmly based in housing priced to teachers, police officers, mid-management employees. They’ll need a good food market, drug store and service station. If they need Macy’s, it’s 30 miles down the road, or as near as their computer.

The Tribune is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service