Oxnard City Council Says
YES to FRY's Electronix !
City Council votes 4-1 in favor of bringing Anchor Store to 'blighted' Marketplace Shopping Center
The Oxnard City Council approved a 2.8 million dollar loan guarantee to entice
to locate their newest store at 1901 Ventura Blvd., Oxnard - along the 101 corridor.
Fry's will occupy the former Home2Home, Home Base, Home Center - and various
other iterations of Home Stores that filled the 100k square feet of commercial
space. The Marketplace Center has been anchor-less for the past three
Surrounding stores, mostly owned by mom-&-pop except for one national owner, have been suffering daily, weekly, monthly and yearly from a profound loss of sales revenue since the home stores vanished.
Center owners were approached
by and courted proposals for the anchor store vacant space. A lazer-ball/tag
a skating rink, a pizza fun center, an "Indian" Casino, and several other minor proposals were floated; none having the best chances of generating cash for the Marketplace. The best bet guaranteed about $20-million per year. Fry's sales are closer to $50-million on a dull year and $75-million on a good year. Tax revenues alone from Fry's sales over the period of the City's loan will cover the loan amount and the blessing of City Council to forgive the loan is based on double the income back in sales taxes alone. There is no accurate method to measure how much income will be generated in all of Oxnard by the mere placement of Fry's at the Marketplace, but, for the amount the City Council pledged, it is more than guaranteed in coming back to Oxnard residents a hundred-fold better than $2.8-million.
The only vote against the proposal came from Councilmember John Zaragoza who felt that using such a large amount of City reserve cash may not be in the best in the interest of the city. The remaining Council saw this amount as a minor investment to revitalize a dying market center and to literally prevent large neighboring Sports Chalet and Office Depot stores such as the from bailing from the Marketplace Center if the Fry's deal was not approved by Council.
Marketplace Center owner Mike Penrod told the City Council that without Fry's coming in and being the anchor, that his entire center would surely fold and multiple families and businesses suffer. Fry's was seriously considering Camarillo as their first choice, but a lagging development proposal in Camarillo made Oxnard the better choice. According to Penrod, Fry's has had their eye on Oxnard for the past three years and Oxnard was always considered prime choice.
Various other store owners from the Marketplace Center appeared before Council asking them to consider voting 'yes'. Former INCF Chairs Joe Ruscio, Ventura Fernandez, and Bert Perello came to the podium to address their concerns which weighed more negative against the project. Mayoral candidate Bill Winter spoke in open favor of the Council approving the loan and getting Fry's to come to Oxnard.
Councilmember Andres Herrera made the motion to approve the project. Acting City Clerk Jill Beaty read the roll and Zaragoza, the first vote, rang out 'No'. Herrera citing a problem, made an effort to get Zaragoza to say 'yes' by modifying his motion making the deal easier for John Zaragoza to vote in favor of it. Herrer added a provision for a line item to be inserted to handle the technicalities of the loan option....Zaragoza kept his "No" vote on the table. The remaining voting by Pinkard, Lopez, Maulhardt, and Herrera out-voted Zaragoza's one vote.
The addition of Fry's to the Oxnard Business-scape will attract customers from as far away as Westlake Village to the south, Fillmore to the east, Santa Maria/Paso Robles to the north and San Nicolas Island to the west. Fry's will definitely put Oxnard on the Electronic Map and the 250 jobs it will bring and the advertising revenue alone will make Oxnard a much more prosperous community.
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