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Ross returns to Alameda Towne Centre

Submitted by on 1, April 29, 2010 – 9:00 am31 Comments

Management at Alameda Towne Centre have confirmed long-held rumors that a Ross Dress For Less will be returning to the shopping center. The 30,187-square-foot store is tentatively slated to open this fall in the former Safeway building.

“Ross is famous for the terrific values it offers customers every day on first-quality, in-season, name brand and designer apparel, accessories, footwear, and home fashions for the entire family. We are very pleased to welcome Ross to the Centre,” Michael Corbitt, retail portfolio manager for Harsch Investment Properties, was quoted as saying in a press release.

An Orchard Supply Hardware store had been planned for the site. Ross’s original tenure at the center ended when the store closed in January 2006.

In addition to Ross, the center will over the next few months be home to a Pagano’s Hardware Store, Pearl’s Deluxe Burgers, Sophistry Skin Care, and Fruits & Chocolates, a dessert shop, the release said.

“We have had a good amount of tenant prospect activity recently and with Ross and the other newly signed tenants in place we will be at approximately 90 percent occupied with several other additional deals in negotiations,” Corbitt said.


  • Boring says:

    I was so bummed to hear this. Really?!? Seems like a poor choice. Uninspired.Blah. Boring.

  • alameda says:

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    I thought their lease wasn’t renewed in 2006 because it wasn’t compatible with the kind of stores South Shore was hoping to attract … n’est-ce pas?

  • CJ says:

    Too bad. Such prime real estate and we get Ross? Now we have TJ Maxx, Kohl’s AND Ross? Will definitely NOT be a draw, or any pride for the community.

  • Kenny says:

    HUH? Unless they change their approach and do virtually everything differently than they did it when they were here before, it will be a dismal failure. OK, I’ve been to 1 or 2 Ross stores that were quite nice but the ‘old’ one here in Alameda was really bad. Understaffed with staff that didn’t have a clue as to what ‘customer service’ was/is, crappy merchandise poorly maintained. Ever been to the Ross in Rohnert Park? THAT one is like going into a nice Macy’s, so we know it can be done… We’ll see.

  • Mike says:

    The shoe department always looked like a bomb had gone off. What a nightmare. I have a friend who call it Stress For Less.

  • I live in another section of Planet Alameda, but this is great news. I know many people who were disappointed when Ross was closed. With the loss of the store in downtown Berkeley, those who do not want to pay too much for clothing lost a valuable option.

    Now people will have an opportunity to get unique clothing for quality prices, or as I used to say in 1999, “At Ross, you can floss for half the cost.”

  • mg says:

    Really???? Isn’t this the same as T.J. Maxx???? With the median income of Alameda, I would think there would be a more appropriate choice…. Disappointed….

  • Susan Katz says:

    Rats, I was really hoping the OSH thing was still alive. Or a Target or a Lowes (I know the spot is probably not big enough). Can’t imagine why I’d step foot in Ross. I think TJ Maxx is plenty, plus Old Navy & Kohls. I know the mgmt needs to get the place filled up, but Ross is a very poor choice!

  • jayne Smythe says:

    I’m with Reginald. I miss Ross. Glad to have it back! Yeah, they DO need an armed guard in the shoe department! What I don’t get is how they will be at 90% capacity at the centre, with all those little inner boutique spaces empty… Whatever!

  • KT says:

    Disappointing, definitley not the upgrade we were hoping for.

  • Karen Bey says:

    I projected that Alameda Towne Centre could become a discount center in an article called “Alameda Towne Centre, a Potential Treasure”. With a super Target store in the pipeline at Alameda Landing, Alameda is fast becoming known for our discount stores. Our retail developers are ignoring the local demographics and focusing on the larger demographics in the surrounding areas – just take a look at the Alameda Towne Centre marketing package for retailers. This is the package they use to attract potential retailers. Their argument has been: “the retailers we want, will never come to Alameda – or they will not come to Alameda at this time”. My thoughts are this: If we can’t attract the type of retailers we want – put a hold on retail development in Alameda until we can attract the type of retailers we want. But it may be too late…

    A better retail development strategy would have been to consolidate all the discount stores in one center and hold off on developing the retail portion of the Landing until the economy turns around. This way, we may have had a better shot at having a lifestyle center at Alameda Landing. We don’t need two discount shopping centers in Alameda, but that’s the direction we’re going. We’ll have sales tax revenues – but at what cost?

    My concern is that Alameda is going in the wrong direction if we want to preserve the quality of life on this Island. With the list of discount stores coming to Alameda, and we’re not done, because the proposed super Target store at the Landing will attract other discount stores — plus the fight against Measure E — an important Measure that will preserve the quality of education on this Island, Alameda is fast losing sight of our priorities. I’m hearing stories of families leaving the Island and moving to Moraga or other communities where schools are a top priority because they fear Measure E will fail. I predict other families will leave Alameda as they see overcrowded classrooms and our community lined with big box discount stores. The combination of the two – could have a devastating impact on the quality of life as we know it.

  • Jill says:

    Great. Another store with tacky, cheaply made clothes so we still have to drive 20 miles to buy clothes that are not embarrassing to wear in a store that doesn’t give us the willies. Harsch management must live in Walnut Creek or Pleasanton, because their decisions are funneling sales tax revenue that could be captured in Alameda into those towns.

    Remember when everyone thought Alameda couldn’t support a Trader Joe’s? Build it (decent shopping) and we will come.

  • dlm says:

    Well, as they say, you take the good with the bad. Alameda is at a remove from the mob scene that is the rest of the East Bay — no thru traffic, low crime rates, peace and quiet over all, day in and day out. So that’s the good part — the bad part is that we’ll never have the accessibiilty to make this a major shopping destination. Look at the places that do have that kind of access — look at Emeryville, with lots of stores, true, but unbelievably heavy traffic as well. Emeryville has some high end stores, but not in a million years would I want to live there.

    If I were up for major shopping, I’d take a ride into the city, to Union Square, Nordstrom Center, whatever, but I’m fine w/ the discount places here — I like cheap stuff, frankly.

  • Mike S says:

    Horrible news! I don’t understand why ‘we the people’ were able to fight against Target and OSH moving in but Ross can just set up shop? I don’t get it?

    I agree with the majority of comments. Bringing Ross back is bringing Alameda way down. I’m really disappointed.

    Can we stop the madness?

  • Betty says:

    I never shop at South Shore unless I go to Sees for a special occasion. All the retail stores are disgusting and who wants to go out to dinner and eat at a mall. I do not know anyone who goes to shopping at South Shore.
    The inventory at most of these stores are insulting. It’s not worth the time.

  • Anne P says:

    Isn’t there any city oversight on the mix of retail leases? Is Towne Centre operating on its own? A city should have a retail plan, similar to any general building plan. And the mix should reflect the demographics. Otherwise, the dollars drain away — online or out of town. Very short-sighted.

  • Karen Bey says:

    The problem is when we approve a retail development, it’s difficult to tell a retail developer who they can lease to. Many cities have a ban on super stores and we have a ban too —something I fought hard for, but both Alameda Towne Centre and Alameda Landing are exempt from the ban. And because we desperately need sales tax revenues, our retail strategy has been to replace lost sales tax revenues. That pretty much sums it up! If we have a plan, where is it? Where is the vision — or should I say what IS the vision?

    We need to be more agressive in going after what we want on this Island. It’s good to have Target and Kohls on the Island, but what’s missing is a retail strategy that creates a mix of BOTH discount and upscale retailers. Both centers are targeting the discount shopper.

    I agree with you Jill — build it and they will come! Our retail developers are ignoring the Alameda demographics, and ignoring the Piedmont, Rockridge, Oakland Hills, and Berkeley, demographics as well.

  • Scott says:

    Mire disount “B” level stores, Ross, TJ Max, Beverlys. Bring them on and lets cancel busses to the Ferry while we are at it.
    What is wrong with this Island? Are we being punished by all the old “townies” that are here from the Navy Days? You bought your homes for $100k – now starting prices are $600 – $2 Million.
    Can’t anyone figure out that we need to upgrade the island and bring it into the new century. I love living here, but do all my shopping in Emeryville, Oakland and SF.
    We need to get higher quality shopping here – Whole Foods, Target, West Elm, Banana Republic, Apple

  • dlm says:

    Well, that’s funny…I thought the older residents were supposed to be the exclusionary snobs. Now, if we could just come up with a good stereotype for the newer residents (which would include me, so it’s complicated).

    Anyway, with the palatial Whole Foods in Oakland, and the Target planned for the old Expo site, we won’t be seeing any of those stores here. Emeryville has already latched onto the Banana Republic, which must be part of that Bay Street whatever-it’s-called.

    It’s sad, really. I’m starting to feel sorry for the folks who still hold out hope.

  • Karen Bey says:

    What’s strange Scott is that alot of folks still shop off Island even though the whole point of expanding retail in Alameda was to stop the leakage. Our retail developers are targeting shoppers from the surrounding neighborhoods (based on their marketing piece),yet based on what I’m seeing on this blog and other blogs related to this subject, the leakage continues! The initial retail strategy was to create more of a mix and have two different types of centers to capture all the leakage.

    South Shore (before it became Alameda Towne Centre) was a blight to the community because it was became a full fledge discount shopping center anchored by Ross and JC Penney’s — thus the reason for the $60 million dollar redevelopment. Now we have Ross and Kohl’s ??? Except for Trader Joes and Borders, I’m not seeing much different than what we had before.

    And yes, DLM I’m still holding out hope for a better retail mix on this Island. I’ve been fighting for it for a long time — and I won’t give up until we get it!

  • Sal. V. Army says:

    “Great. Another store with tacky, cheaply made clothes so we still have to drive 20 miles to buy clothes that are not embarrassing to wear” Ya’ when I wear were sweatshop clothes made by children I prefer to pay top dollar. WOW who are you people!? Who exactly are we trying to attract? This isn’t Union Square thank god! Ross serves the working/middle class folk who make up the bulk of Alameda’s “anchor” residents. And Ross, for better or worse hires a wide range of people i.e MORE JOBS! Considering all the hideous atrocities in the world today it’s nice to know that “tacky…embarrassing” clothing is still at the forefront of concern. Too bad your ignorance doesn’t cause you the same level of embarrassment. I’m sure all the Afgani war refugees that are forced to live here, because their country has been leveled are equally concerned about the tacky clothes. Too bad they aren’t making it a soup kitchen!

  • FRED AND IDA says:

    WE LOVE ROS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • FRED AND IDA says:


  • Jackie says:

    I don’t mind Ross so much as the way some of their locations are run. The Ross in Berkeley looked like a normal store and I enjoyed shopping there, but the one in El Cerrito where I used to live was taken over by animals. The aisles were filled with merchandise people looked at and were too lazy to put back on the shelf, so they dropped it on the floor. There was no such thing as sales help. It was a zoo where you checked your dignity at the door, so I stopped going. I was disappointed to see Ross coming to Old Towne because TJ Maxx is already there, and TJ Maxx and Ross are identical. I’ve always assumed the same company owns both (their price tags and merchandise are identical). But if it’s going to happen, please, please, make sure Ross is run well and not another animal house. If it is, I won’t go there.

  • macdaddy says:

    dam da poeple in alameda are really ungratful. Be happy with what you got and what your getting. Ross is a very nice store and all da other stores in alameda town center have their own good qualities. stop complaining!!!

  • Maryanne says:

    Hurray for Ross — I can’t wait! And hopefully Target one day too! Like most of my friends and neighbors who live in Alameda, we have to shop OUTSIDE our home island because shops like these are not here. This will only encourage us to shop where we live but probably check out other local stores too. Now if only I had enough $$ and ‘breeding’ to turn my nose up at the very thought of these tacky cheap stores coming to Alameda hahahahaha!!

  • John says:

    This is a pretty pathetic flop. What’s worse is I live near this dump, It could’ve been great to have a nice shopping center to walk to, but there’s no point in heading to the discount trifecta that is Towne Center. Oh well, gotta keep shopping elsewhere.

  • Andrew says:

    What an awful decision. An absolute shame. I was actually excited to see an Orchard Hardware open up, but to have another lowly, cheap retail clothing store set up is gonna prove nothing but shambles for the north end of the center. Already counting down the days til it closes.

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