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By Clyde Langston, San Juan Capistrano
I believe an upscale shopping mall would be a great addition to this wonderful city. I have been a homeowner in San Juan Capistrano since 1997. I believe a commitment from Bristol Farms or Whole Foods is what we need to move this project forward. I am tired of driving to Newport Beach to go to Bristol Farms or to the old Tustin helicopter facility for Whole Foods. The City Council knows we need tax revenues, and this would be a great beginning. The council did the right thing with Costco and the auto dealerships at the south end of town.
Some people believe a hotel would better suit the city, but if the owner of the land could not find a developer in five years, it is time to reevaluate our options. I have read about the concern with having the right development when entering out city on Ortega Highway. For the past five years, the entryway to the dump off of La Pata is cleaner and better maintained than the entryway into our city. This is not about reducing our open space to build, as eventually something will be built on this site.
We have a proposal from a local developer to build the Shops at Capistrano, a small upscale shopping mall. Let’s see the type of retail shops they have in their plans. Let’s not scare off the developer like we did with In-N-Out Burger several years ago until we get all the facts. It is the right thing to do if we want our city to become more business friendly. We need to provide a positive atmosphere for any potential developer.
In closing, it is not the number of retail shops a city has, but it is the quality of those retail shops that will determine if our residents and residents of surrounding communities have the utmost desire to shop and spend money in our city. I believe a project like this will make that happen.