County officials have received a call from a representative of the national chain Wal-Mart about opening a store at a vacant lot at Lincoln and Figueroa, but according to a representative of the property owner, there is not yet a deal in place with any specific retailer to open at the location.
Gene Detchemendy, a Pasadena leasing agent who represents the property owners of the site, told Patch that he is talking with several national chains to open a grocery store on the site, but has not yet agreed to a deal with anyone. He declined to name specific companies that he has discussed the site with, but said he has spoken with multiple national retailers about it.
on the existing structure on the property and rumors began to spread that a Wal-Mart-brand grocery store would open there - a local real estate listing for a nearby home claimed one was planned for the site, and readers on this site debated the merits and drawbacks of a Walmart. The rumored Walmart was also discussed at the .
Recently, representatives of Wal-Mart contacted the County Planning Department about rules for a store opening ceremony in Altadena, according to Edel Vizcarra, the planning deputy for County Supervisor Michael Antonovich.
Vizcarra told Patch that the call the department received pertained to rules about displaying balloons or banners, or something else related to a store opening ceremony.
Detchemendy said he has heard of the call and has spoken with county officials about it, but said he does not know who at Walmart made the call.
He said that the site would be too small for a traditional Walmart, but also noted that the retailer has started building smaller stores focused on grocery and food items that would fit on the lot.
Representatives of Wal-Mart have not returned multiple phone calls from Altadena Patch asking about the site.
The lot is owned by M & A Gabaee, a Los Angeles property development company. Construction on the parking lot and storefront on the site began in March, part of an effort to get it prepared to open as a supermarket, Detchemendy said.
Detchemendy also said the location has gotten some interest from other retail options, such as dollar store chains, but said he believes there is more community interest in a grocery store.
However, getting retailers to commit to Lincoln Avenue has been difficult, he said - many see nearby liquor stores and vacant lots and lose interest, he said.
"It's just been very hard to get someone to come off Lake [Avenue]...that's why this thing has sat vacant for 6 or 7 years," Detchemendy said
Detchemendy said that he hopes to have a deal for the site before the end of the year, and that he plans to make a presentation before the Altadena Town Council once a deal is in place.
He said he has been to several of the meetings and wants to incorporate some of the ideas mentioned there into the store location, such as providing bike parking.