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History and Commercial Archaeology of Chain Supermarkets and Other Retailers

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 Post subject: History: Eichenbaum's Woodside Village West Covina, CA
PostPosted: Fri 30 Jan 2009 11:21 pm 
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Joseph Eichenbaum designed many shopping centers in Southern California. Among them is Woodside Village in West Covina on Amar and Azusa. He originally called it Rolling Greens Plaza in 1968 as he worked on and off with Donald Bren (developer of the adjacent residential area). The land was part of the massive 3000 acre Unack Ranch.

In 1968, Eichenbaum worked out his plans for a shopping center in the master planned community of Woodside Village (county area that was later annexed by West Covina in 1970). He arranged for it to be on the corner of Pass & Covina Road and a just built section of Azusa Ave (built to state expressway standards of the time, as it was being proposed as the Huntington Beach Freeway, aka "Mountain-to-Sea Highway"). Pass-Covina is now a section of Azusa and a part of Amar Roads.

The first anchor tenants that signed on in 1968 were Vons and Thrifty Drugs as well as Bank of America. Vons closed in the early 1990's and was left vacant until the early 2000's. Thrifty rebranded to Rite Aid in 1998 after Rite Aid's acquistion of Thrifty-Payless. Eichenbaum added Pep Boys as a standalone building in 1983. The left most wings, Jack In The Box/Subway, and Blockbuster Game Stop were added by the new owner after Eichenbaum sold the center in the late 1980's/early 1990's. I don't know when Shakey's was added or if it was already attached to Vons when it opened in 1970. When Vons closed, it sported the Bill Davilla-era Red-White decor package. Rite Aid sported Thrifty's 1980's era decor until it remodeled in the early 2000's. My earliest memory of Vons was when I was a toddler and there was a cashier (who later transferred to the Badillo/Grand store in Covina) who liked me so much I often got rides on the checkstand belt and occasional goodies from her labeled "The Vons Companies Inc".

The late 1990's saw the sharp increase of the Filipino population along Amar Road between Azusa and the City of Walnut. Alpha Beta across the street opened in 1973 and closed as a Food4Less operated conventional AB in 1996 and was soon taken over by Seafood City, a major Filipino grocery chain based in Pomona. Island Pacific, a rival Filipino chain moved into the former Vons space in Eichenbaum's center, completely remodeling it. As the primary anchor, they renamed the center Island Plaza. Late last year, they repainted most of the center into the yellow scheme (Island's main color).

luckysaver


Last edited by luckysaver on Sat 31 Jan 2009 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: History: Eichenbaum's Woodside Village West Covina, CA
PostPosted: Sat 31 Jan 2009 12:36 pm 
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Joined: Mon 21 Nov 2005 9:44 pm
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At the very east, there was a TJMaxx that was an anchor store. It closed in the late 90's. What was this before?


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 Post subject: Re: History: Eichenbaum's Woodside Village West Covina, CA
PostPosted: Sat 31 Jan 2009 1:02 pm 
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Joined: Thu 22 Feb 2007 5:10 pm
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Jeff,

I called it the west wing because I'm looking at the center facing the Puente Hills, not the BKK landfill.

Eichenbaum never added the west wing (TJ Maxx, Goodwill/Hallmark). This was added by the subsequent owner after Eichenbaum. Farr's Hallmark anchored the west wing adjacent to the Woodside Apartments next to Pep Boys and it is currently Goodwill.

TJ Maxx closed in the early 2000's and a closeout retailer (RhinoMart) took over. RhinoMart closed Spring 2008 and the space is now vacant.

The space between Island Pacific and Rite Aid is Giant Dollar (a dollar chain in predominantly latino areas). It was House of Fabrics during the Eichenbaum era. For a short time after Vons closed, it was Joann, after Joann acquired Fabricland (the parent of House of Fabrics).

Eichenbaum also developed Eastland in 1956 off I-10 and Barranca near IKEA <maybe Chad can look this up on the LA Times Archives or this book that Mr. Groceteria has, http://cgi.ebay.com/ARCHITECTURE,AUTOS- ... 2004r17115>.

Eichenbaum was known as the "father of California shopping malls". His family's foundation is still active today even though he has long been gone. They currently own the land of the Restaurant Row next to IKEA (it was mentioned in a 2003 article announcing the opening of Hooters on Garvey/Barranca). I think he was also involved in that concert venue in Restaurant/Hotel Row on Garvey that didn't quite work out after 2 years.

luckysaver


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 Post subject: Re: History: Eichenbaum's Woodside Village West Covina, CA
PostPosted: Fri 13 Feb 2009 5:08 pm 
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Joined: Wed 11 Feb 2009 10:56 pm
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Location: southern California
luckysaver wrote:

Alpha Beta across the street opened in 1973 <snipped>


The one thing I always remember about this store is that to this day, it's the only place I have ever seen an ant invasion in the freezer section. Strange, the things the mind retains...


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