Across the Area

Source: Sears is nearly all malled out

WESTMINSTER MALL is located at Goldenest Street and Bolsa Avenue in Westminster. The Sears store there is slated to close this year (Orange County Tribune photo).

We all saw it coming. Anyone looking for a parking space at the mall could almost always find lots of real estate outside a Sears. Now, the reality is here.

According to USA Today, Sears Holdings on Tuesday announced it was closing 78 more K-Mart and Sears stores nationwide, including two in Orange County.

Slated for closure in 2018 are those in Brea Mall (April 2018) and in Westminster Mall (also April 2018). That leaves just three remaining in the OC, as near as we can figure: Costa Mesa (South Coast Plaza), Orange (The Village) and Buena Park (Downtown Buena Park).

City officials in Westminster sought to be ahead of the curve in 2017 by changing the general plan to allow mixed-use and residential development at the Westminster Mall, anticipating the likely demise of their Sears, which has been one of the anchors there since the center opened in 1974.

Who’s next to fall? Macy’s is pulling back, although sources at city hall say they expect that the Westminster store will survive for a while because – they feel – it’s one of the better-performing in the chain. We’ll see.

The Voice takes on Westminster

If the likely closure of the Sears at the Mall isn’t enough bad P.R. for Westminster, a recent article on the Voice of OC website is another headache. The article posted on Dec. 22, is headlined “Corruption Rampant in Westminster, Former Police Chief Claims.”

Much of the article focused on a complaint filed by ex-Westminster top cop Kevin Baker, the text of which was procured by Voice after several public records requests and a successful lawsuit.

Baker accused the city council of acting like a “gang” and of members using their influence inappropriately.

We don’t vouch for the content of the article, but we do point it out. Here’s the link:

https://voiceofoc.org/2017/12/corruption-rampant-in-westminster-former-police-chief-claims/

In-N-Out is still in

The proposal for a new In-N-Out restaurant on the site of the former Bob’s Big Boy (now a Coco’s) at Chapman Avenue and Harbor Boulevard was supposed to be on the agenda for Thursday’s meeting of the Garden Grove Planning Commission, but the meeting was cancelled for a lack of business.

FRONT ELEVATION view of the initial plan for a new In-N-Out eatery at Chapman Avenue and Harbor Boulevard in Garden Grove.

That’s because In-N-Out asked for a continuance in response to complaints (suggestions?) that the new building would replace an historically significant structure, designed in the Fifties in the futuristic style called “googie.”

The original proposal was for the roofline, signage and columns to be kept, but that wasn’t enough to satisfy Preserve Orange County and others. So now it’s back to the drawing board for what may eventually be one of the busiest In-N-Out eateries in the area, located close the Disney resorts and a dozen hotels.

Usually Reliable Sources is an occasional feature about under-the-radar news and events of interest to those in Garden Grove, Huntington Beach and Westminster.

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