Discount retailer Burlington plans to open on part of the now closed Home Depot site in Pico Rivera, city officials said.
The company has already secured permits for minor interior work, including electrical and plumbing, Mayor Raul Elias said.
Also coming to the vacant site at 9200 Whittier Blvd. is a Chase bank, which plans to move its branch to the north side of Whittier Boulevard, officials said.
The 100,000-square-foot Home Depot was closed in 2018 when the home improvement retailer opened a new store in Monterey Park.
“It’s a positive point,” said city manager Steve Carmona. “This site has been vacant for a few years. We have worked hard to replace the sales tax.
Elias said the Home Depot site redevelopment is important “because of the visuals.” The site is now surrounded by a green fence. “This area, from an optical point of view, is not very good.”
Councilor Andrew Lara was more blunt, calling the site “a horror to the community with opportunities for illicit activity”.
Home Depot was among the top 10 producers of sales taxes in the city. State law does not allow publication of actual sales tax numbers because they are confidential information.
Officials from Seattle-based TRF Pacific, which owns the property, and Burlington, New Jersey, did not return phone calls asking for comment.
When The Home Depot opened in 1988 as part of the new Crossroads Plaza shopping center, city officials at the time announced it as the culmination of a dream of redeveloping the south side of Whittier Boulevard.
Prior to the opening of Crossroads Plaza and other newer malls on Whittier Boulevard, there were mostly stores dating from the 1920s and 1930s. Since then, they have all been demolished and replaced with malls or new homes.
Marco Zapien, president of the Pico Rivera Chamber of Commerce, said the new Burlington store would be good for business and the city.
“It’s very important because it’s on the main thoroughfare of Pico Rivera, and it’s a huge space,” he said.