Water Cooler – Shopping Center Makeover

March 19, 2014 12:20 pm · 65 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on Claycord.com where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it!

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon!

Today’s question:

In your opinion, what shopping center in Claycord could use a good makeover?

Talk about it….

1 Any Mouse March 19, 2014 at 12:25 PM

The entire Monument Bl corridor…. It’s straight out of the 60s. Plus it has an overconcentration of carnicerias.

2 CVHS Class of 90 March 19, 2014 at 12:27 PM

The one on Clayton Road with TJ Max. That entire shopping center is a dump. Way back in the 70’s and 80’s it was great. But they havent done a facelift to the shopping center since. While I loved Alpha Beta back when, the TJ Max store front looks like crap. Whole parking center is dirty too. Plus, Wayne, the guy that would “spot” everybody beer back in the ’80’s hasn’t been there in eons!

3 WC44 March 19, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Which Claycord shopping center does not need a makeover? Probably Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek which is the only one getting a makeover.

4 Noj March 19, 2014 at 12:29 PM

Dana Plaza
Sun Valley Mall
Park n Shop

5 JET March 19, 2014 at 12:32 PM

Bel Air Shopping Center (Staples, CVS) and Treat Plaza (both across from each other at Clayton Road/Treat Blvd)……

6 Gargoyle Socks March 19, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Bel Air Shopping Center is beyond a makeover. It needs a bulldozer.

The Terminal Center (CVS across from Concord BART) needs a makeover. I would suggest a bulldozer for that one, as well, but there are at least 3 little gold mines in that plaza…Alpine Pastry, Pancho’s and Luigi’s.

7 VikingPrincess March 19, 2014 at 12:43 PM

The corner of Morello and Taylor (where Kinders is). The restaurants are really good (exception to the Moroccan one..food is terrible and over priced, if you go for belly dancing then its really entertainment, not dining).
Anyhoo, I have always felt the restaurants were being poorly represented with the way the mall looks. I also think it would benefit greatly if a Sprouts or Nob Hill was added. It needs a grocery store! There is enough parking.

8 Anon777 March 19, 2014 at 12:44 PM

TJ Maxx/99 Cent Store/Etc

BelAir – Staples/CVS Etc.

9 Freedom of choice March 19, 2014 at 12:49 PM

Bel air on Clayton and treat such a dump, that is prime location but bums have taken it over peeing all over that place. What filth

10 Anon March 19, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Bel Air, it’s a dump

11 Amy March 19, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Concord has turned into a dive. So many strip malls with “For Lease” signs on buildings. It’s depressing. Concord has gone down hill in the last 30 years. Terminal Shopping Center is one to fix up. And why are there so many “massage” parlors and “tattoo” shops in that area?

12 The Mamba March 19, 2014 at 1:18 PM

Sun Valley Mall could do so much better.

13 BagsFlyFree March 19, 2014 at 1:21 PM

My “Final Four” list of worst shopping centers in Concord…

# 1 – Monte Gardens Shopping Center (on Willow Pass near Landana) This property is what you call a “pre-code enforcement” property. Basically the city has next to no power to enforce any newer codes to help freshen up the property and bring it into the 21st century. Everything from signs, sidewalks, lighting… everything is grandfathered in as is…… forever.

#2 – Terminal Shopping Center (Next to BART)
Outside of the Longs to CVS transition and the Big 5 move, this shopping center has a ton of wasted space, multiple empty tenants with a shuttered gas station to anchor the property. A complete demo would really help to utilize this space 10x better and brighten up the transition from BART to downtown (already in the city 10 year plan).

#3 – Bel Aire (Treat/Clayton)
Talk about sleeping at the wheel, the Oakland property owners for this shining turd of a property have wasted some of Concord’s best real estate for years. A full demo is needed to make best use of this space, as it’s rotting away by the day.

#4 – Park n Shop (mainly the side facing Auto Row, and from Starbucks
to Ranch 99. Park n Shop apparently has over 30 owners across the entire property. I guess that explains the mix-matching rehab projects and lack of general property improvements to parking or lighting. There is way too much space on the property for the current alignment of buildings.

There you have it folks, your 2014 Final Four!
Congrats Final 4 property owners, you are Concord’s #1 problem. If you don’t rehab your properties, please sell!!!!!

BFF Out!

14 The kapitser March 19, 2014 at 1:42 PM

All of Clayton Rd. What a cluster of poor civic planning. Amy is right. Concord has really gone down hill in the last 30 years. Try riding a bike down Clayton Rd. Cracked and miss matched sidewalks, sometimes no sidewalks. The homeless by Foodmax. It is starting to look alike lot Santa Ana.

15 Martinez Person March 19, 2014 at 1:42 PM

The Safeway in downtown Martinez. Big time. It is bad. And would kill two birds with one stone. I have no clue the last time that place was deep cleaned, maybe in the 70’s? Maybe.

16 Mr. Pink March 19, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Bel Aire
Terminal Shopping Center

17 huh? March 19, 2014 at 2:04 PM

TJ Maxx…this center has been a dump for several years…..and the Bel Air center is also one that should be razed…..

18 who? March 19, 2014 at 2:24 PM


19 Krystle March 19, 2014 at 2:42 PM

Walnut creek isn’t really getting a make over there just putting more high in retail in and make the parking garage bigger which that should have been done long time ago.

20 real north March 19, 2014 at 2:46 PM

Solano Plaza, Its Need More Stores/Places Over There Most Of It Is Still Empty

21 Julio March 19, 2014 at 2:58 PM

I’m all for tearing all of them down. They all look like 1950’s strip malls which is one of the worst designs we have ever been subjected to. Many of these malls have multiple owners which creates a big problem. Same as the center where the damned dome theater was. Too many owners was a problem there.

22 My order March 19, 2014 at 3:00 PM

1) Park and Shop: Some unique shops with lots of customers, but High volume of traffic and people, parking lot can be difficult to navigate. Lots of spaces in back but none in front. And it’s unattractive.

2) Bel Aire (Treat & Clayton): Unattractive, littered, trashy people who trash it and scare customers, needs better selection of shops. Plenty of parking though.

3) Terminal: just needs a facelift, and better signs to draw people into the desirable shops like Alpine Bakery, Big 5, and CVS.

4) The one at Ygnacio and Clayton Rd. with Orchard Supply/Ross/CVS, etc. There is a good selection of shops, but driving around the parking lot is awkward, and A) They need better signage at the driveway from Ygnacio near CVS so that people realize in plenty of time that’s where to turn B) There needs to be a better sign near the street advertising which shops are there…because one needs to drive sort of in a figure 8 or two figure 8s to figure out what shops are there and where they are.

5) TJMAXX: Just needs a facelift. There are plenty of shoppers at Beverly’s, TJMaxx and 99 cent, but it has a low-end look to it. More people would be attracted to it with a facelift.

23 anonanonagain March 19, 2014 at 3:14 PM

So many to choose from. I’d vote for the one on Treat and Clayton road where CVS, Staples and Radio Shack are located. The landlord doesn’t seem to care. Also where Rasputin’s Records and Blondies pizza. That place is STILL a dump and an eyesore. The city of Pleasant Hill should demand that the landlord clean that place up. Solar panels, bad paint job and the place looks like a slum……

24 Miss Ranchogirl March 19, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Terminal shopping center

25 Anon March 19, 2014 at 3:43 PM

1. Park N Shop- Willow Pass Road- very trashy- the buildings near Mimi’s need a major reno or demo- don’t even go in there anymore
2. TJ Maxx- Clayton Road- looks dumpy- shopping carts scattered throughout the parking lot
3. The Willows- has a good selection of restaurants but the layout is awkward
4. Bel Air- needs to be cleaned up

That’s my two cents.

26 Dorothy March 19, 2014 at 3:46 PM

All of them – and more than just a makeover face lift.

27 Charles-the-cat March 19, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Some of the shopping centers listed are ghost towns and have nothing but junk or empty stores. They need to be cleaned up and spruced up enough to fill the vacancies but no reason to go overboard. Park N Shop gets a ton of business and has some very cool stores. I would like to see that center get a major overhaul to (1) Improve the traffic and parking situation, and (2) give the place a better pedestrian vibe…maybe do something to connect it to Todos Santos.

28 Shopper Gal March 19, 2014 at 4:54 PM

Definitely Park N Shop.

Also, the shopping center on CC Blvd in PH that has the Grocery Outlet. It’s straight out of the 50’s and very sad looking!

29 DanMtz March 19, 2014 at 4:59 PM

Not so much a makeover, but it would be nice if the clock at Muir Station Center in Martinez was right more than twice a day.

30 KJ March 19, 2014 at 5:34 PM

Definitely, Bel Air on Treat Blvd and Clayton Rd. Most of the stores are empty and have been for years, which isn’t surprising given the condition of the place. What store owner would want to open a shop there?

31 marinemom March 19, 2014 at 5:57 PM


32 Mark March 19, 2014 at 7:08 PM

Ygnacio Plaza (across from Heather Farms). Put a good Chinese restaurant in while you are at it. The Chinese restaurant there now is absolutely horrible!

33 tear them ALL down March 19, 2014 at 7:22 PM

tear them all down! so out of date and do not offer anything today’s consumer is intersested in; mostly because they are all empty, dirty and ghetto looking. Every place to eat and shop is gross all along Clayton Road and I’m sick of all the homeless too that live around Clayton Road along the bike trails. You can’t even walk or ride a bike. Concord is not walk friendly. What were these idiots thinking. It is inexcusable that all new developments and shopping centers are not walk and bike friendly. Sun Valley is gross and there isn’t a good variety of shopping in there any longer. Macy’s looks like a warehouse with no carpet on the floor. Who the hell allows that at Sun Valley!

34 @ #18 Who? March 19, 2014 at 7:26 PM

Tear down ‘that crummy old house on Salvio????

Jesus lived there! I miss the sign on the gate that declared that. Also the bed set up outside in front of the work room on the left. This place was a gem. A real potential for haunting.

35 Mustang Sally March 19, 2014 at 7:32 PM

Where do I start?

36 Grace March 19, 2014 at 7:47 PM

Park ‘n Shop at least has lots of thriving businesses and almost adequate parking. T.J. Max Center’s also thriving. Some others really need help, Bel Air comes quickly to mind. Just be careful what you wish for, you could end up like Pleasant Hill.

37 Suzanne March 19, 2014 at 7:51 PM

Tear them all down! After 50 years, they all need a make over!

38 Elsie March 19, 2014 at 7:56 PM

They are re-making the Park N. Shop plaza–out with the old and in with something else.

39 Walnut Creekster March 19, 2014 at 9:47 PM

Countrywood Shopping Center. Get rid of worthless McCaulou’s and put in good shopping. Worst buyer ever…
Stale old stores no one wants to shop and rotten high priced restaurant’s like Sorrento’s and Panera..UGH!

40 JustMe March 19, 2014 at 9:58 PM

Clayton Valley Shopping Center. It was just remodeled, but has the worst layout I’ve ever encountered. There’s no flow to the traffic. Parking is horrible. You can’t see most of the businesses from the street. I think Wing Stop was open for a year before I realized they were there. They should have put the businesses on the perimeter with parking in the center, and have much better signage as to what’s there. I absolutely hate driving through that center. Just getting to Orchard is more of a chore than it should be– there’s no direct path! Park at Jamba Juice and want to get out? Good luck, it’s narrow and you have people coming from all directions.

41 Dr. Doc, PHD March 19, 2014 at 10:06 PM

Encina Grande in WC! That place is long in the tooth. The looks of it are saggier than my mom’s neck! Still luv ya ma!

42 MrDioji March 19, 2014 at 10:18 PM

I just want some empty storefronts to be occupied in my shopping center: Olivera Crossings on Olivera/Port Chicago…
A Fresh n Easy was supposed to go in a couple years ago. That would be great.

43 ale March 19, 2014 at 10:18 PM

Bel Air is bad..really gross
the one that had kmart in pleasant hill…but it looks like they are going to

44 ANONONON March 19, 2014 at 10:26 PM

As someone who made a living at designing shopping center, it is not which ones need remodeling, it is which ones need to go away. The idea of a shopping mall is a dying idea. Who wants to drive to a strip mall and deal with parking and traffic when you can go on line and order what you want and have it the next day. Even grocery stores are dying. We need to think in terms of what other uses are viable for the land because retail as we know it is over. The only retail that has any draw is mixed with entertainment and dinning.

45 Mom of the Horde March 19, 2014 at 10:47 PM

DVC Plaza Shopping center… it’s practically abandoned now.

I like Countrywood… I’m there a few times a week.

46 Eric March 19, 2014 at 11:13 PM

Am I the only one who admires the architectural styles of the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s???

47 @ANONONON #44 March 20, 2014 at 12:28 AM

I somehow doubt your claimed expertise in designing shopping centers as you completely left out a major reason people go to these strip malls: SERVICES. There’s more to malls than brick and mortar retailing.

How about nail & hair salons or storefront dental/medical/veterinary services? Fitness and weight-loss centers that provide personal counseling and coaching? One on one tax consultations or places to get photocopies in a hurry? Dry cleaning services? A Karate or dance studio for your kid. A place to get landscaping advice and buy bushes (have you ever ordered those from Amazon…didn’t think so).

People also like to do their errands in clusters. I can go to CVS to get a prescription and makeup (Ygnacio/Clayton Rd), go next door for some dinner items, go across to the Dollar Store for some party decorations, and swing by OSH to get custom mixed paint. On weekends, I can take my dog to Petfood Express for some fast vaccines.

Now explain how you overlooked all that as a professional?

48 I'm The Urban Spaceman March 20, 2014 at 12:39 AM

Maybe a plastic surgeon would be the ideal makeover specialist for these old, deflated stripper malls.

49 I'm The Urban Spaceman March 20, 2014 at 12:40 AM

Morucci’s Deli would be a great addition in Encina Grande/Nob Hill or replace Bentolino’s.

50 @#42 March 20, 2014 at 6:26 AM

Too many drunks and druggies hanging out at Olivera Crossings! That combined with the sky high rent means businesses don’t stick around …

51 Cuzzzzzzzzzzzzz March 20, 2014 at 8:13 AM

All of them need to go except Broadway Plaza and perhaps Park N Shop (aka Park N Shoot) which is attempting to get better with the addition of Ranch 99, JoAnn’s and assorted restaurants. But is I have to pick one that really needs to go the way of the DoDo I have to agree with all of those that are saying Bel Air………..Scuzzy doesn’t begin to describe it

52 @ Walnut Creekster March 20, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Funny, how people can view things differently. I love McCaulou’s, have shopped there since I was a Cal student. I love how they have cute things for all ages, reasonably priced, and you don’t have to fight the crowds at the malls. I have always thought they had a great buyer. I like Countrywood too, great shops like: Norcal Swim Shop, Milner’s Jewelers, and Genova Deli.

53 Suzanne March 20, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Let Walnut Creekster say what he wants, he will be right there to shop at McCaulou’s for his golfing pants.

54 macawlady March 20, 2014 at 10:10 AM

Park-N-Shop….I love it, and we frequently shop at Fry’s, Starbucks, the Dollar Store, and 99 Ranch. But the parking situation is horrible. My husband is disabled and we can hardly ever find a disabled parking spot, much less a regular one. I admit I don’t know what the solution is, though. What can you do when a shopping center has more customers than it can handle?

55 Sandra March 20, 2014 at 10:50 AM

We shop at many of the plazas around Claycord-they can all use a face lift. What I don’t like are the crowded features at some of the plazas and I will shop at those that are less crowded. There are good stores somewhere in each one, but then there are the rinky-dink stores that I really don’t care for. When it comes down to it, most of the shoppers I see will leave those shopping centers that are old and over-run at the blink of an eye. Still here and will remain so–and I will continue to shop at my

56 @ Suzanne March 20, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Ha ha, that is right, McCaulou’s, for when Forever 21 is not quite appropriate :)

57 Suzanne March 20, 2014 at 12:29 PM

yep-and when is it ever for golf :-)

58 VikingPrincess March 20, 2014 at 2:00 PM

#52 @@walnutcreekster
I love McCallous too! Usually find in specific towns BTW. Been to WC, Lamorinda and Sonoma…great service and quality. Fun shopping.

59 Chris Davis March 20, 2014 at 2:24 PM

The Vineyard with Kmart and Luckys. Such a dismal place.

60 Michelle March 20, 2014 at 3:27 PM

@Eric–I admire that era also, but some insignificant things just hang around no matter ho hard you try to get rid of it. I really enjoy going to these different era places, just for the architectual designs that you don’t see many places. :-)

61 Silva March 20, 2014 at 6:24 PM

I probably missed the boat by now, but McCallous is, has always been, and I’m pretty sure will always be a GREAT STORE!

62 Maya Piñon March 20, 2014 at 7:47 PM

I always like willows shopping center but it’s even getting ghetto, there was a big fight recently between adults at The Jungle. Sad so much has gone downhill!!!!

63 GardenGal March 20, 2014 at 10:20 PM

I’m personally afraid to go to Sun Valley Mall. Used to shop there all the time, but have read too many articles about gangs, kids milling around, stores geared toward teens (not that that’s bad, but I’m well over that stage), and thefts. A friend of mine had his 1937 hot rod stolen from the parking lot and never found. Such a shame.

64 Rose March 20, 2014 at 10:45 PM

If you are afraid to go to a place, the don’t go there, simple as that. Why put yourself through the emotional bother. Leave.

65 RanchgirlCA March 21, 2014 at 11:42 AM

So many that need fixing up, but the only one getting a make over is Broadway Plaza, which had nothing wrong with it besides the parking. To avoid that I shop very early. Lots of good centers already listed here, pick a few and lets go…

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