Aug 7, 2013 6:32 PM by April Hansen, KSBY

Fallas store will open in Santa Maria

In a couple of weeks, a Fallas store will open in Santa Maria.

On Tuesday night, the city council voted 4 to 1 to allow the discount store to move into the empty Mervyn's building, reversing its decision back in June to not allow the discount chain to come to town.

Mayor Alice Patino was the only one to vote against the store.

Fallas has invested $4 million in the Santa Maria store.

In the past few weeks, crews have been busy painting the outside of the building.

Fallas opened a much smaller store in Lompoc in June.

"The community seems to love us. We filled the need the community had," said Lompoc Fallas manager Darcy Rosales.

There was no public controversy when Fallas opened a much smaller version of their store in Lompoc.

Manager Darcy Rosales says the community needed another place to shop and save.

"Another place to shop other than the Walmart and the Ross. There just isn't a lot of options here in town for a low price," said Rosales.

But some city leaders in Santa Maria haven't given Fallas a warm welcome.

"The concern had been in the first meeting was that the other Fallas stores around the state were either not clean or had problems with them," said Santa Maria City Planner Larry Appell.

Appell says Fallas wants the Santa Maria store to be its flagship store.

"We want to make sure that we weren't going to get in a state of disrepair. That we weren't going to have the trash issues and the various issues that were negatives at the meeting," said Appell.

So to keep Fallas accountable, the city council has set 14 conditions for the store.

"Being able to maintain a clean store. Each day they open that they are to have their shelves straightened, the floors clean, the bathroom cleaned," said Appell.

Appell says with the help of the new Fallas store, the downtown will continue on an upswing.

"We're really hoping that this will help revitalize downtown. This, along with the theatre across the street," said Appell.

Appell says the store will bring in close to 100 new jobs for the community.

Fallas' district manager says it could be open in the next few weeks.



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