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Plaza’s Giant Hole
Richard Earnest | San Dieguito Drive

Seven empty storefronts at the Plaza. Photos Art Olson


The community is now well aware that the Harvest Ranch market at the Plaza is no more. The various markets that have resided there have had spotty success and acceptance over the years and this latest failure leaves a giant hole in the Plaza, eliciting genuine concern amongst residents. As the new chair of the Economic Improvement Committee of the Del Mar Village Association (DMVA), I want to say a few words about what the DMVA is doing to help fill that critical hole in our retail business.

We have renamed the Economic Restructuring Committee with the word “Improvement” because it more directly defines our emphasis. We don’t really need to “restructure” anything. We do, however need to assist our existing businesses to improve and help convince new businesses to replace the growing number of vacancies in our downtown.

Our committee will be doing several things to help with the market situation at the Plaza. First, we will reach out to the community to get an idea of what our residents would like in that space. This article is one of those actions and we would love to hear from you as to your ideas and preferences for the former market space at the Plaza. Second, we will be talking to Plaza management about their efforts and priorities and giving them our feedback from the community. Third, we are having our own conversations with local markets and food chains and other retailers to gauge interest in pursuing occupancy at the Plaza. Besides all that, DMVA is pursuing an update and strategic opinion from the well-respected revitalization consultant Kennedy Smith to get a more global perspective on Del Mar’s economic way forward.

Needless to say, we are busy and paying close attention to the business environment in our downtown and measuring the effects of the growth of local shopping and dining in our immediate area. There is no question that the recent improvements in Encinitas, Solana Beach, Flower Hill, Highland Town Center and others have had a negative effect on business velocity in Del Mar. In order to keep our village an attractive destination for residents and visitors alike, we need to continue efforts to help and encourage our local businesses.

Please let us know what you kinds of businesses you would like to see come to the Plaza.


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