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What Do You Want to See Here?: Southampton Shopping Center

What kind of business would go well in the Southampton Center?

The is home to some big sales tax generators.  and bring in lots of business.  The Starbucks always seems to have customers too. 

Southampton Center is also home to a lot of empty storefronts.  moved to First Street, the veterinary clinic is on East Fifth and the Veriszon store is just gone.

Now, has made the move to First Street and Harpin’s is moving soon too.

has made the move from First Street to the Southampton Center and the restaurant seems to be doing fine.

What kind of business would you like to see move into the Southampton Center?  If you are a business owner in Southampton Center, what kind of business would you like to see move in?

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Robert Livesay August 15, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Trader Joes I believe does not like the demographics of Benicia. Maybe Fresh and Easy could be a very good choice. Trader Joes is very difficult to talk too. They inow where they want to go way in advance and it does not seem Benicia is a high priority. Lets hope not.
JB Davis (Editor) August 15, 2012 at 07:46 PM
I'm pretty sure Raley's has gotten a non-competition clause in their lease. The owners of the shopping center aren't going to put in a Fresh and Easy or a Trader Joe's.
Jeff Schwartz August 15, 2012 at 07:55 PM
There will never be anything of note there until a new landlord arrives.
Richard N August 15, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Ain't gonna happen with Raley's on the lease list.
David Johnston August 15, 2012 at 11:43 PM
I think some sort of analysis needs to be done as to why merchants are leaving. Why can’t anyone except Jamba Juice do well in that one corner? (assuming Jamba Juice is doing well) Is it the parking? Store front exposure? Really, what other kind of business could do well there? There’s already fast food (a few actually), sit down restaurants, laundry services, convenience store, hardware and supermarket, banks , pet supplies and eye glasses. Specialty clothing? I don’t think so; there was a specialty shoe made a go of it and failed/moved on. We have gyms and a few aerobics places already in town. Only thing that comes to mind would be something like a game hall – pool tables, video games and the like, and maybe a used book store, like Half Price Books or an independent. A tropical fish store? I sit here before my computer and I’m trying to think about what kinds of things I drive to Vallejo for that I can’t already buy in town. Big box items mostly – Costco and Target, neither will come here. Steak! As in we need a good steak house, but Southampton is not the location for that. This is a small town, and most niche markets have been filled. I don’t hold out a lot of hope for the shopping center in the current economy.
David Johnston August 15, 2012 at 11:46 PM
By the way - and I've posted it before, I try and keep my tax dollars in Solano County. I don't drive across the bridge to shop unless I can't get it locally - I am loath to pay the extra $5 tax to cross the bridge.
Scott Burford August 16, 2012 at 12:06 AM
Lets bring in Wal Mart. Hey, we all know most people in Benicia drive up to American Canyon or across the bridge to shop there. At least we'd keep the tax revenue in Benicia! And if you think that would never happen, whose kidding who?? OK, I'm kidding. But I made many of you just a little bit furious for a minute there, didn't I??
Scott Burford August 16, 2012 at 12:08 AM
On a more self-serving note, I'd like to see Rasputin Records and Golfsmith as well as a locally owned micro-brewery/sports bar. Covers all of my bad habits.
John Headley August 16, 2012 at 05:29 AM
An Asian massage parlor? Wait a minute... Another Asian massage parlor?
Michelle Kye August 16, 2012 at 07:33 AM
From what I've heard from merchants in the plaza, the rent is too high for many independent businesses to succeed in that location. Still, for my two bits, I'd like too see a chicken wing restaurant, or a Chipolte, or a Panda Express. I think a chain probably has the best chance of survival.
RJ Stewart August 16, 2012 at 03:00 PM
A Krispy Kreme donut shop would be nice. It would attract the students from the high school, provide potential clients for the neighboring fitness establishments, compliment the starbucks, and all the while insuring a police presence.
Diane Reeve August 16, 2012 at 04:58 PM
I would like to see a Walgreens, Rite Aide or CVS. I prefer Southampton and Raleys but find myself going to Safeway just because it is next to Rite Aide. Deli/specialty food store is a good idea. What's the problem with the Goodwill Store?
Diana Harris August 16, 2012 at 07:36 PM
I'd love to see a Cheesecake Factory! Then we woudln't have to drive all the way to Walnut Creek. :)
Michelle Kye August 16, 2012 at 07:54 PM
M'mm doughnuts would be wonderful!
JB Davis (Editor) August 16, 2012 at 08:17 PM
I think there was a doughnut store in the shopping center for a while. Does anyone else remember that?
Lynne Pimentel August 17, 2012 at 01:48 AM
Great idea! You have all the bases covered!
Joe Bateman August 17, 2012 at 02:09 AM
Mike and gayles has been driven out!!!!!!. Just got email that says sept 3 is last day. Very unfortunate. It was our favorite place to eat on a sat or sun morning....
Kenny August 17, 2012 at 03:25 AM
What is right with the Goodwill Store? Which brings me to this question; How the hell can they afford the rent in such a large space when nobody else can make a go of it?
Diana Harris August 17, 2012 at 02:25 PM
I'd like to see a bakery...A place with a beautiful atmosphere inside like a special little place you might stumble upon in Europe. Fresh baked Artisan breads, rolls, bagels, etc., serving soups, salads, sandwiches, & espresso. I'd also like to see something like Genoa's Italian Deli in Napa with all their gourmet offerings or something like the Oakville Grocery north of Yountville.
Grace Martinez August 17, 2012 at 11:59 PM
I'll second Joe Bateman, Mike and Gayle’s is shutting down! We've really enjoyed having a nice homey, burger place within walking distance. A bakery with great breads and cupcakes would be fabulous, but I don't see it happening with so many of the quality stores leaving due to high rent.
kwishart August 18, 2012 at 03:47 AM
Any of the stores we all drive to Vallejo or Concord/Walnut Creek to go to...Marshalls would be great and Trader Joe's....Napans fought for TJ's and they changed their minds and put one in.. and a Whole Foods and they are both.quite successful!
Art August 24, 2012 at 02:46 PM
To address Kenny's (and others') question regarding how Goodwill can afford the high rent, the answer lies in cost of their inventory.... Unlike all other retailers, Goodwill's COGS (Cost Of Goods Sold) - their inventory - is ZERO. Everything they offer for sale was donated to them, unlike all other retailers who have to give fifty to seventy-five percent of the selling price to their suppliers. Additionally, their staffing (number of employees), and their training, appears to be minimal, unlike what we see and expect at Ace or Raley's, for example. If all businesses in the Southampton Center could get free inventory and have few employees, they too would survive and flourish.
Patricia McMinn August 24, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Don't need a casino, or Cheesecake Factory- it would bring too much traffic. Trader Joe's would be good- Yogurtland or something. Alameda has four of them with all the toppings!! Fresh choice would be nice- don't know if we have the parking space. A nice Italian deli, good Chinese food etc., Italian bistro, Boulangerie restaurant-soups like Walnut Creek has.....
Patricia McMinn August 24, 2012 at 07:24 PM
a Yogurtland or something like that. Alameda has 4 with all the toppings! A nice Italian bistro or a Boulangerie like Walnut Creek has with fresh breads, soups and salads. Trader Joe's would be nice or Fresh Choice- might bring too much trafftic though.
Marnix A. van Ammers August 24, 2012 at 08:04 PM
I finally made my first purchase at the Goodwill Store, a pair of sweat pants. Didn't realize I would not have to pay tax. I was actually looking for a pair of cargo short pants like the pair I have. I can't seem to find them in the stores anymore. Anyway, the Goodwill Store is fine with me. I agree with Diane Reeve and would like to see a Walgreens, Rite Aid, or CVS in that shopping center. I'd also love to see a good bakery there. I'm rarely satisfied with the bread choices at Raleys (or anywhere in Benicia/Vallejo).
T. Gunter August 25, 2012 at 05:23 AM
I wouldn't mind a great little Vietnamese sandwich shop, or a full service Halal butcher.
Lisa Reynolds August 25, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Zachary's pizza - no brainer
Gayle August 26, 2012 at 04:07 PM
I miss the days when the shopping center had a toy store, music shop, bookstore, shoe store, and a Sprouse-Ritz (a small actually department store) where you could be day-to-day clothes for men, women, and children, as well as material. I didn't have to leave town to buy everything I needed. Now the only "go to" place there is ACE. I don't like the tobacco shop and check cashing stores.... think they contribute to the higher rate of violent crime
Nancy Gilman September 04, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Would like to see a Sweet Tomatoes
Trudi York Gardner November 02, 2012 at 07:54 PM
CHOCOLATE SELLS----- A chocolate product/themed/food cafe that serves (eg) HFS (hot fudge sundaes with the hot fudge as good as the Walnut Creek's San Francisco Creamery's--really outstanding), Different types of hot chocolate drinks a la Oakland and S.F's Bittersweet Cafe. Chocolate cakes, pies, tarts, mousses, souffles, lava cakes, ice cream/ice cream sundaes. For sitdown noshing at cute tables, indoors and out. For late night desserts as well (up to, OMG, 11:00 pm or 12:00 am). Designed also to pull in readers, laptop folks, students but warmer environment than Starbucks. The San Francisco Creamery serves dinner as well as its famed ice cream desserts and it is packed much of the time and appeals to all ages.

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