Albertsons has historically been very good at putting anti-competitor lease restrictions in place - but Alton was a Lucky before so probably never had that language. But Sprouts is in the same center on Alton and they probably did put some language in that no additional grocery can open there besides the existing Albertsons space. Sprouts plus H-Mart plus Aldi next door to each other isn't going to work. So Sprouts is probably the real reason for Aldi being declined, if they really were. And Sprouts might want that Rite Aid too because their current box is really off the beaten path and they are moving forward with their new downsized store initiative under the former 99 cents store CEO.Bagels wrote: ↑May 11th, 2022, 12:45 pm Well over a year later...
- Bass Pro Shops will be opening its second SoCal location (and first in the LA-area) in the former Walmart.
- Both Albertsons' remained shuttered, with H-Mart listed as coming soon. Construction on the Alton location hadn't begun as of late fall, but it appears there's some activity taking place now. Elsewhere it was suggested that H-Mart may not be proceeding with the project, and the building is being used for storage (not sure by whom), so who knows? Allegedly, Aldi was interested in the former Rite Aid space in the same plaza, and Irvine Company said no, so I assume they will have another grocer soon...
(Off topic but I wonder if those lease restrictions hurt more than they help - two Targets still don't have P-fresh in Murrieta and Aliso Viejo because of the lease restrictions - I'll bet the Albertsons and now Stater Bros there would do better if Target did carry food because people avoid these locations and drive past them for a full line store)
The original Irvine H-Mart at Alton and Jamboree has a terrible parking configuration that severely impedes their sales ("Diamond Jamboree" - ain't a diamond at all) and I would imagine that they would close that store to move to the larger former Albertsons a few blocks down - really don't see them running both stores. I wonder if the delay is waiting for the lease to be up on the old store so it can close and relocate? No way they make a profit on these two next to each other especially when the Irvine Company location probably is top rent.
The other location, a former Albertsons on Irvine Blvd. is rather infamous for a violent incident that took place years ago. This location didn't seem to do much business as an Albertsons. For reasons I can't comprehend other than a likely rent discount they reopened a divested Haggen as a Pavilions a few blocks north that was even deader than this Albertsons. Only thing I could think of is that Albertsons wanted a smaller square footage and that's why they reopened the Haggen divestiture when it became available again, enabling the closure of the Albertsons that went to H-Mart while leaving them with a near monopoly on that market. If H-Mart can't get out of that original Jamboree location then once again there is little chance they can profitably operate both of these stores either as they're too close.
Basically I think H-Mart is stuck because they signed up for two new stores that are practically on top of each other with a 3rd existing store in the middle and their plan hinges on getting rid of that existing store. I suspect that if they can't get rid of it they will proceed on Alton but they will try to find another operator to take the Irvine Blvd. one. Zion operates a very smelly, dumpy old former Vons about a mile down the Blvd. and that is probably who H-Mart wanted to complete with. Ralphs bookends this site East and West on Irvine Blvd. with two very busy Fresh Fare stores so they would not step in and want this site. 99 Ranch already has two stores in the area.
I just can't imagine that the delay is anything other than they just can't make the finances work with 3 stores here and are having trouble getting rid of that original store.