H-SANTA MARIA

Aug 7, 2013 12:13 PM by KSBY Staff

City Council approves Fallas store in Santa Maria

The old Mervyn's building in downtown Santa Maria will soon have a new tenant.

Tuesday night, the City Council approved plans for a discount store named Fallas to move into the long-vacant building.

The vote was not unanimous. The council voted four to one, with Mayor Alice Patino being the only one to vote against the store.

The Fallas team returned to the City Council Tuesday night with their revised conditions from June, stating they are going to provide a top-notch, high-standard store filled with high-end brands at low prices.

There was a lot of support from the public, as many people stated they just want to see the empty building filled.

Each year, the City loses out on $50,000 in local sales tax by leaving the old Mervyn's building empty.

The Fallas team says the Santa Maria store will be a flagship store and an upscale version of their other stores in California.

"We're thrilled. We've been excited when we first acquired the property. We think Santa Maria's a great community, and will draw customers from all around the city," says Sandy Menichelli, CFO, National Stores.

Mayor Patino says, "It's over. They said they were gonna do things. There are conditions put on the project, and I'm sure they're gonna uphold those conditions, so they have an opportunity to make that a good store in Santa Maria."

Mayor Patino has stuck to her stance that she does not believe Fallas fits the downtown specific plan.

Tuesday night, she told KSBY News she thinks council and City Staff needs to sit down again and discuss their vision for downtown because business is different now than it was a couple of years ago.

Fallas' chief financial officer says they're estimating doors to open at the new store in about 60 days.

Fallas' corporate company, National Stores, says it has invested $4 million into the new Fallas store in Santa Maria.

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