In my previous post, I was exploring some of International Plaza’s neighbors that are also part of the TIF district and in danger of condemnation. In the photo above, the building in the background is the Arlin-Golf Plaza strip mall.
As I walked around to take more pictures, the sign promised a small but thriving mall. I’ve driven by here a lot in the past, and that’s certainly what I was expecting. The reality was somewhat different:
Seen from the other side, there was one storefront showing signs of life:
That’s Salon Colláge, owned by Judith Cervantes. (I think. I’m terrible at getting and remembering names, but I spent a few minutes searching databases and that’s the name I came up with.)
Like most salon owners, Cervantes has done a lot of work to customize the storefront to her needs:
Most of the rest of the storefronts in the Arlin-Golf Plaza appeared vacant…
…or nearly vacant…
The only other storefront that looked like it might be open was something called Starmakers.
I peeked in the window and saw this:
That makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? In a mall that’s threatened by eminent domain, where someone with even a long-term lease could get kicked out at any moment, you’re only going to get businesses that don’t need a huge investment in remodeling. Thus, tables and chairs.
So, what’s the reason why this property is blighted? According to Hsu, it’s this:
You see, you can only turn right when leaving the parking lot, which is a poor traffic pattern. So this whole property’s got to go.
That leaves only the residences tucked into the west side of International Plaza, just northeast of Arlin-Golf Plaza:
They’ve got to go because, well, they’re residences, and it’s bad to have residences right next to commercial property…even if the people who live there don’t mind.