18 Comment

  • Because we need another phone store on Columbia Road. Boo.

  • A huge downgrade. Very disappointing.

  • I wonder if the owners are keen on cell phone companies because they don’t require many adjustments to the existing structure, can set up shop quickly, and can also be removed quickly. I imagine that the owners really want to tear this entire strip down and increase density, but have to wait because of funding, permitting, or some other reason.

    • I thought we heard that this strip was primed for redevelopment? A ton of shops in this strip have the vacant tax rate notices on the front door. The only hold out appeared to the be the pho shop.
      And I agree, the phone stores are easy tenants – no remodeling, modular fixtures that can be moved in over a single weekend, and short leases.

      • The rent is also probably too high for a small business tenant.
        I mean I didn’t go to game stop, and I only purchase a phone once every couple of years online, so this makes no difference to me.

      • I think the redevelopment is planned for the strip farther west of the block. There is a big old office/apartment building separating the two rows that I *think* is staying.
        I’m so sad about this. This strip is a nightmare to walk down as a young woman. It needs more proactive businesses that will get rid of the loiterers/drug dealers/pan handlers/people drinking out of brown paper bags.

        • I asked the woman working at Burger King if they were going to close anytime soon for renovations, about a month ago, and she said, so they say, but they’ve been saying that for months and nothing, so who knows. I was hopeful they would renovate all that space and put in some nicer establishments.

          Agreed, as a young woman, not a pleasant block to stroll down.

        • There’s a couple of shelters/hospices on that block which will probably won’t change unless the organizations decide to cash out and settle elsewhere, which is very unlikely.

          I’ve also recall a rumor that there are plans for a 10 story mixed development in that area that would keep the “historic” storefronts.

          Personally, I can’t wait for the hotel to open and I’m very excited to see how it will transform the area.

          • I think the shelters/hospices are one block up — on the other side of Ontario Road, on the block where Chief Ike’s used to be.

        • Ashy Oldlady

          Really? I’ve been walking along that strip of businesses fairly regularly for more than a decade at various hours of the day, and it’s never really seemed all that sketch to me.

          • Yeah — not sketchy to me either, except maybe for the occasional homeless person sleeping in the doorway of the Imperial (the five-story brick building).
            I always wanted to see nicer retail along the 1700 block of Columbia, but I never found that stretch of (between Ontario and 18th) “a nightmare to walk down as a young woman” when I lived in the area.

        • ‘There is a big old office/apartment building separating the two rows that I *think* is staying.’ Yes, that’s the Imperial, and it’s not going anywhere. It’s a mixed-use office/condo building; it’s not owned by the same group that bought up the spaces in the strip to the west.

      • Have spoken with the staff of Pho 14 – it sounds like that strip is getting leveled and will be replaced with condos/apartments (and probably retail on the first floor), but that the plans are still in the works. Pho 14 doesn’t anticipate to close for around a year. This AT&T is probably a temporary set up?

        • The strip that is getting leveled isn’t the strip with the (former) Game Stop and the 7-Eleven — it’s the strip on the other (west) side of the Imperial (the five-story brick building)

  • Egad

    I still miss the old Ritmo Latino that sat on this block.

  • So sad it’s closed.
    AT&T of all stores

Comments are closed.