Retail vacancies a drag on reinvigora...

Retail vacancies a drag on reinvigorating iconic L.B. street

There are 56 comments on the Long Beach Press-Telegram story from Oct 25, 2008, titled Retail vacancies a drag on reinvigorating iconic L.B. street. In it, Long Beach Press-Telegram reports that:

Empty storefronts, including this one in the 500 block, dot Pine Avenue. Retailers such as Crate & Barrel, Oreck and Comic Book Guys have come and gone.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Long Beach Press-Telegram.

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LB Native

Temecula, CA

#1 Oct 26, 2008
I have love for the LBPD, but the officers that patrol Pine Ave on foot are real jerks! They harass and scare away any would-be customers. Just last week after celebrating a 40th birthday at George's with a party of 20 and having dropped hundreds of dollars, we get threatened to be arrested for jaywalking (crossing on a green light but with a red hand)! We were off to shop a bit and continue spending money on Pine but instead left with a citation from the LBPD and a bad taste for Pine. I think we'll stay on Second St. where the officers are much nicer!
RLM965

Bellflower, CA

#2 Oct 26, 2008
Stay completely out of Long Beach if you want to relax and enjoy yourself. Other Cities will welcome you. At least you still have your car!
LB Expatriate

Leander, TX

#3 Oct 26, 2008
It's a simple problem that requires a true commitment by the City. Everyone saw this failure coming but chose to ignore it. Big box stores won't draw people downtown until shoppers feel safe. Yes, "visitors" like downtown because problems can be masked by lighting. How did 2nd Street become successful? How can a 55 year old man get beaten several blocks from LBPD? The answer to Pine Ave's failure is tied to its history. The solutions are with leaders not willing to play "politiks" as usual.
Robert J G Jackson Sr

Huntington Beach, CA

#4 Oct 26, 2008
Step one is to listen to people like Zeiden who have left or are leaving. He got angry because when he called the City to try to work something out, he didn't even get the courtesy of a return call, according to an article here in the P-T a few months ago. Do an exit survery of these people and businesses and find out what their problems have been, why they're leaving. Step two is for some people in the City government to be dedicated to luring new retail to the area, and to service existing businesses. People within the government need to be responsible to respond to ideas as well as complaints, and to cut deals where it's appropriate to do so. Presentations need to be prepared. According to this article the DLBA has recently hired a retail consultant to lure businesses. Why doesn't the City have such a position? Step three is to make the street itself attractive and appealing. As it is, the street is dark, dingy cold looking, and looks dirty, like a movie about some future city after a nuclear catastrophe. Enourage more sidewalk tables at the restaurants, work with them to get lots of flower boxes lining the outside rails along the sidewalk so that the street becomes brighter and filled with flowers, and attractive and appealing. Hang flower pots from the street lamps. I understand there is some move to light the street better at night. All of this would help. One has only to drive down Pine, and then do the same down 2nd St, or arround Shoreline Village, the Aquarium area, and Rainbow Harbor to see why the Pike and Downtown are failing. For example, the Pike seems walled off from Pine, so that some conventioneer attending meetings at the Convention Center wouldn't even know that the stores are there just across the street. There is simply nothing to attract people to the Pike or to Downtown at the present time. There is no entrance, and no attractive scene luring the driver, or the pedestrian. It is relatively easy to fix. These are all well known solutions which are known to work.
Robert J G Jackson Sr

Huntington Beach, CA

#5 Oct 26, 2008
One further point is that the graffiti mentioned in this article is the first indication to most people that they are in the wrong place, and something to which they react immediately.
LBResident1

Malibu, CA

#6 Oct 26, 2008
Pine Avenue merchants must also look at their business practices as one of the problems. Our group of 10 had planned to visit a sports bar on Pine to watch a major sporting event. We were greeted by parking fees and a per person minimum food charge, and we hadn’t even ordered a beer. We moved our party to an Irish bar on Broadway. Free parking, no per person food minimums and lower drink prices. Yes, the City can do better, but so can the business owners. Give us a reason to visit your businesses and we will come
George A Hydock

Venice, CA

#7 Oct 26, 2008
Aren't you glad, though, the We- Support- Small -Businesses -and- Want- Them- To- Thrive- REPUBLICAN Walmart folks have a successful WALMART to steal all your business away??? And I'm still seeing McCain-Palin stickers everywhere!! When are people going to learn the REPUBLICANS don't give a ---- about anyone but themselves!! Keep voting that way and you'll get everything you deserve...

Since: Dec 07

Long Beach, California

#9 Oct 26, 2008
Thanks, everyone, for sharing your thoughts. You can go to http://www.presstelegram.com/survey or click on the link "Let us know how you would improve Pine Avenue" in the Pine package on the home page and offer comments, many of which will be consolidated and used in a follow-up on Sunday, November 9.

We appreciate your interest and thanks for reading the Press-Telegram.

John Futch
Executive City Editor
Juan Pardell

San Francisco, CA

#10 Oct 26, 2008
Long Beach, will never have an upscale downtown. Blame the geniuses, who approved placing a Walmart in the area for my assertion.
OC Observer

Paramount, CA

#11 Oct 26, 2008
I've lived in the area for most of my life. Pine Ave. and the downtown area was a neat place to go back in 60's and 70's but now parking is a big hassle and there's too much riff-raff wandering around. I won't go where it's too inconvenient to go.
Juan Pardell

San Francisco, CA

#12 Oct 26, 2008
OC Observer wrote:
I've lived in the area for most of my life. Pine Ave. and the downtown area was a neat place to go back in 60's and 70's but now parking is a big hassle and there's too much riff-raff wandering around. I won't go where it's too inconvenient to go.
I don't find a lack of parking in downtown Long Beach. What I know is the parking garages, particularly the Aquarium and Pike facilities, are overpriced.
Constitution Party

Fountain Valley, CA

#13 Oct 26, 2008
There is absolutely nothing welcoming about downtown Long Beach. Generic restaurants & shops. Wannabe gang bangers. Indifferent cops. Long Beach has had numerous opportunities to make this area stand out from the crowd, but continues to cater to the lowest common denominator.
JustWondering

Westminster, CA

#14 Oct 26, 2008
You know what I think is funny? Whenever a crime occurs the first thing some people do is to blame the police.

Like the poor old guy that gut jumped 30 seconds after a patrol car drove by. Or to believe you have the right to illegally walk across the street because you spend a lot of money at the local eatery.

Where is the public when someone gets jumped? Where is the crosswalk when you cross the street? Just because money is spent allows you to cross the street when it is not legal?

Come on Long Beach you need to step up yourself and take control and assist the local authorities and citizens. Report crimes when they happen. Identify these punks who go around stomping on people and be responsible when crossing the street!
just sayin

Long Beach, CA

#16 Oct 26, 2008
I live in LB and when the AMC movie theater opened I went to Pine to enjoy myself there and in the eating places. Then roving thugs started coming to Pine and brought their violence with them. LBPD has to police the entire city with too few cops but 2nd St is far safer because the residents & business owners seem to have more clout in city hall. Just a month ago Pine lived up to it's reputation when a 55 y/o man was almost beaten to death, just because!! Downtown is a joke and if you're not sure go just north a few blocks and you're in one of the most unsavory areas. If I am going to spend my dollar I want my car there when I am finished and I want to be healthy enough to get to it! To the city if you want Pine to succeed CLEAN IT UP..get ride of 7-11's, Walmarts and any reason for raps groups to want to be there.
Make thugs uncomfortable to set foot there.
Jack C

Manhattan Beach, CA

#17 Oct 26, 2008
Pine Ave has got to reinvent itself, and so do the bars and restaurant there. if John Morris is so concerned about his retirement why does he stick with a restaurant that might as well be anywhere, there product is no different than any other mid level sports bar, be different and offer something customers a whole experience, instead of stale beer and chicken wings. people need to be inspired not just offered the same old same old.

if i had my way i would close off a 3 block radius on pine to traffic. Try to move the young thugs from the area by actually putting a decent police force down there.

If you really want to improve the area why not try to bring a major sports team to the area, La has changed alot over 10 years by having lower price's on lofts and housing and new rstaurant and attractions especially around the staples center.

Long beach could be the home to the next NFL team. which would bring on average 60-70000 people for sporting event and concerts.

and when you guys, yes you old guys and you know who you are bring in duds like walmart to an area you are trying to reinvigorate have you not just taken a step back instead of moving forward, you need high end vendors in the area to attract people, you cant expect to get a upscale customer when you offer walmart and nordstroms rack as your 2 major restailers.

And as for the rents maybe just maybe offer attractive lease's and perks for big and small vendors alike, if you muppets on the planning commisson keep going like your going we wont end up with a downtown it will be more ghost town.
RAE

Westminster, CA

#18 Oct 26, 2008
Kick out the homeless and the gangs first, then control the rowdies and drunks at night. Then and only then do you have a chance to clean up Pine Ave.
Steven M

Lancaster, CA

#19 Oct 26, 2008
I don't know which area I'm more disappointed with more, Pine Avenue or the Pike development. I have continued to have an open mind about Pine and patronize many new restaurants and businesses there. In my opinion, there are two reasons Pine has become a complete disaster. First, the city botched the development; if you ever have been to Portland, you can see what real development is all about. Second, let's all address the politically incorrect problem of what some people have referred to as "thugs." The Blue Line Metro collects them from all of LA and dumps them off at Pine Avenue. Who want's to deal with that element when you want to go out and enjoy yourself for an evening or day of shopping?
Use Of Force

Long Beach, CA

#20 Oct 26, 2008
Along with all the remodeling and physical update to Pine and The Pike I think the police need to step it up.

I want to see police make contact at the bare minimum to folks who jaywalk, loiter, illegally smoke with in 20 feet of a door way, and any other petty little law that we all know but don't always respect. My reason behind this is that it will cut down on the scary individuals, gang bangers, drug dealers, homeless, and other wanted people that seem to frequent the area by scaring them off once the word get out that the police are serious. Making the small issues a problem will drive the bigger ones away.

I gave downtown a chance last year, I guess I was confused by the lights near the brewery and I moved into a Long Beach Loft and I have to tell you the place is very scary. I watch many people get beat up from high upon my floor. The place changes at just before 9pm and is hell around 2 am. I moved out as soon as the lease was up.

I would also change the metered parking hours to include the hours of after 9pm and into 3am. A lot of problems happen when the club crowds intermix with the local groups. I like the structures and I think their prices are great because you get validation when you buy something or you pay a parking fee if you just loiter.

I say open up earlier parking times Why penalize the morning shopper who actually shop in the area. The place is really nice to visit from 9am till about 1pm when the creeps start to emerge.

I also think the metro blue line brings a lot of problems to the area. I say shorten the schedule on late nights and weekends. Last train at 9pm.

Ronald

Lutwyche, Australia

#21 Oct 26, 2008
Steven M wrote:
I don't know which area I'm more disappointed with more, Pine Avenue or the Pike development. I have continued to have an open mind about Pine and patronize many new restaurants and businesses there. In my opinion, there are two reasons Pine has become a complete disaster. First, the city botched the development; if you ever have been to Portland, you can see what real development is all about. Second, let's all address the politically incorrect problem of what some people have referred to as "thugs." The Blue Line Metro collects them from all of LA and dumps them off at Pine Avenue. Who want's to deal with that element when you want to go out and enjoy yourself for an evening or day of shopping?
Steven M.

First of all, many of the "thugs" that terrorize Long Beachers are residing in the city, having been drawn here as permanent residents by the dysfunctional 60s era social policies of the local political class. Not all of them arrive on the Blue line. Many of them are "our neighbors".

Secondly, restaurateurs rely heavily on sales on the margin for moneys needed to pay the rent and for a small profit margin. Once the radical extremist politicians took it on themselves to prohibit the serving of decent women and men who smoke tobacco in local restaurants, these fine decent hard working entrepreneurs no longer had the benefit of economy of scale.

As a result, they found that they did not have enough non smokers willing to pay increased prices, smaller portion size and restricted side dishes. Soup and salad became soup OR salad for the non smokers at a higher price not because of any animosity towards non smokers, but rather, because of the loss of so many of their best customers demanded it on economic grounds.

That is the problem with decent taxpayers permitting radical extremist politicians run every aspect of their lives. While their discredited social theories are fine, "in theory", they seldom work very well in the real world. They often create many more problems than they are supposed to solve.

Ronald
lbresident

Long Beach, CA

#22 Oct 26, 2008
Use Of Force wrote:
Along with all the remodeling and physical update to Pine and The Pike I think the police need to step it up.
I want to see police make contact at the bare minimum to folks who jaywalk, loiter, illegally smoke with in 20 feet of a door way, and any other petty little law that we all know but don't always respect. My reason behind this is that it will cut down on the scary individuals, gang bangers, drug dealers, homeless, and other wanted people that seem to frequent the area by scaring them off once the word get out that the police are serious. Making the small issues a problem will drive the bigger ones away.
I gave downtown a chance last year, I guess I was confused by the lights near the brewery and I moved into a Long Beach Loft and I have to tell you the place is very scary. I watch many people get beat up from high upon my floor. The place changes at just before 9pm and is hell around 2 am. I moved out as soon as the lease was up.
I would also change the metered parking hours to include the hours of after 9pm and into 3am. A lot of problems happen when the club crowds intermix with the local groups. I like the structures and I think their prices are great because you get validation when you buy something or you pay a parking fee if you just loiter.
I say open up earlier parking times Why penalize the morning shopper who actually shop in the area. The place is really nice to visit from 9am till about 1pm when the creeps start to emerge.
I also think the metro blue line brings a lot of problems to the area. I say shorten the schedule on late nights and weekends. Last train at 9pm.
Best post of the bunch. Broken window theory. Enforce the small stuff and the big stuff has a way of getting solved in the process. Ex. NYC

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