41st Avenue Losing Major Retailers
Within 2 days of each other during the week of August 20 Orchard Supply Hardware (owned by hardware giant Lowe’s) in the King’s Plaza Shopping Center and Sears in the Capitola Mall announced they would be closing their stores here in Capitola before the end of 2018. According to Capitola City Manager Jamie Goldstein the loss of these two retail establishments will indeed have a major effect on the city’s sales tax revenue until other businesses are found to take their place.
Orchard Supply Hardware
Lowe’s abruptly announced Wednesday, August 22 that they intend to shutter all 99 Orchard Supply Hardware stores by the end of the year in California, Oregon and Florida even though several of the OSH stores had recently opened in California and Florida. OSH closing sales have already started. The San Jose-based hardware store chain was founded in 1931 and North Carolina-based Lowe’s purchased the hardware chain in 2013.
A spokesperson for Sears Holdings said 46 unprofitable Sears and K-Mart stores nationwide will be shuttered in November as the retail giant tries to “streamline” operations, improve its capital position and focus on the most successful stores. Liquidation sales will begin as early as Aug. 30. Over the past year, the chain has announced the closures of more than 160 Sears and Kmart locations.
St. John’s Helpful Shop Closed After 65 Years
The shop operated by the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist raised thousands of dollars for local charities such as the Homeless Services Center, Save Our Shores and 21st Century Vets during its 65 years selling donated goods. The family that owned the building kept the rent low making it possible for the shop to raise $36,000 or more annually in recent years.
Other Village Retail Closures
Two other shops have announced they plan to close in September: Reclaimed in Love, which sells locally-crafted wood crafts, and BFF Boutique, which sells vintage and designer recycled fashions.
Capitola Trestle Controversy
The Santa Cruz County Superior Court ruling on Monday, August 20 cleared the way for a local initiative measure to go before Capitola voters this November. If approved by voters, the initiative would direct the City of Capitola to “take all steps necessary to preserve and utilize the Corridor and Trestle for active transportation and recreation.” It would also prevent the City from expending funds or resources “related to the construction, reconstruction, operation, maintenance, financing, marketing, or signage for a detour of the Trail onto Capitola streets or sidewalks.”
In essence, the ballot measure would try to require the city to keep the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network location such that it would have to cross Capitola Village’s trestle bridge over Soquel Creek. However, the current design of the structure is deemed to be too narrow to simultaneously support rail service and the scenic trail.
The current condition of the trestle is such that it needs significant reconstruction before it could again be used for railway traffic. This may make it possible for the needed renovation of the trestle to include improvements making both rail and trail possible, but at what cost needs to be determined.
Greenway Capitola sponsored the ballot initiative and is an associate of Santa Cruz County Greenway, a group advocating against the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission’s plans to operate a rail line with a trail.
Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (https://sccrtc.org), Santa Cruz County Elections Department (http://www.votescount.com), City of Capitola (http://www.cityofcapitola.org), Greenway Capitola Website (https://greenwaycapitola.org), Greenway Santa Cruz County Website (https://sccgreenway.org)