The signs are up at Town and Country Village saying discount retailer Five Below will be opening soon in the currently unused half of the old Save Mart store. You know, the Save Mart store that the County let tear down the old, but large and high quality apartments that people stationed at McClellan AFB used to live in? Yeah, that one. It was vacant for a long time until Sprouts went into the western half of the building. Now, using the County’s famous, “Something is better than nothing” approach to economic development, our community will be getting another discount store. And we really, really need another one, don’t we?
Of course we wish the new store and the retail center well. But, frankly, how much sales tax revenue will yet another low-end merchandiser bring? Not that much. This is what happens when people with no imagination - no sense of what the future could bring - are making the decisions. It’s why we have an abundance of fast food, fast casual food, X-rated massage parlors, liquor stores and usury check cashing places all around us that backfilled where our good stores and restaurants used to be. That’s the downward spiral that has to change (to mixed use, most likely). But, as was concluded at the Community Forum on December 2nd, it won’t change unless we, the residents and businesses of Arden Arcade, step up and take charge of our own situation.