Grocery Outlet, other stores coming to town

Incoming businesses moves forward amid economic uncertainty

Grocery Outlet, other stores coming to townBy BRIAN COSNER

News Review Staff Writer

Despite an economic downturn due to COVID-19, new business prospects are still moving forward in Ridgecrest. In addition to a Holiday Inn Express breaking ground on North China Lake Boulevard, Grocery Outlet and Panda Express are moving forward with their plans to open up shop locally.

Mayor Pro Tem Lindsey Stephens announced as much at City Council last week during her Economic Development Committee report. She also announced that this year’s International

Council of Shopping Centers, scheduled for May in Las Vegas, has been suspended.

City representatives normally attend the ICSC conference annually in an effort to attract new businesses to Ridgecrest. Previous retail contacts have included Panera Bread, PetSmart and Ulta.

Grocery Outlet has begun renovations on the old Anytime Fitness building in the Ridgecrest Plaza Shopping Center and Panda Express plans for a location near the Walmart Supercenter have been submitted for review.

According to city Administrative Analyst Meliza Ancheta, there are “no solid timelines” for either project yet. She added that developers are “very aware” of China Lake’s pending reconstruction projects and are likely to avoid scheduling construction simultaneously to base efforts.

“I’m very excited to see these new businesses coming in and that our efforts of recruiting are fruitful,” said Stephens. “We are continuing to work on more, and we hope this quarantine and economic downturn doesn’t affect some others we have worked on.”

The city Economic Development Committee meets the second Wednesday of the month. Members of the public can attend virtually by visiting

Pictured: A Grocery Outlet banner can be seen outside the old Anytime Fitness building in the Ridgecrest Plaza Shopping Center. — Photo by Laura Austin

Story First Published: 2020-04-24