City addresses rumors on new stores

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

City addresses rumors on new storesOfficials for the city of Ridgecrest dispelled rumors that any vendors have signed leases to occupy the old Mervyn’s Building on China Lake Boulevard, but assured residents that they are working with several companies who are considering bringing their goods to Ridgecrest.

Last week a local realtor posted on Facebook that clothing store Marshall’s, craft store JoAnn’s and an unnamed shoe store would soon be occupying the long-empty building.

Gary Parsons, the city’s economic development director, said that although the city is aware of talks with outside retailers, he is not aware that any of those companies had a formal leasing agreement to occupy the building.

Since Mervyn’s closed in 2006, the city has reportedly been trying to attract a new department store to a city.

Although several specialty shops have opened since then, city surveys estimate that local residents do upwards of 70 percent of their clothing shopping out of town — contributing to the local loss of sales tax, which funds city infrastructure and services.

City officials say the challenge in finding a new tenant for the Mervyn’s building has been in locating a company that can make operations financially viable in a building so large.

Parsons said that the building has been subdivided into four separate storefronts.

The News Review will report the official word on incoming businesses as it becomes available.

Story First Published: 2013-10-09