The 18,000 square foot Antique Center building – which takes up a large portion of the north side of the 4800 block along Newport Avenue – is up for sale or lease. The Antique Center business is also for sale.
Umpteen years ago, village merchants and leaders believed that what the then-failing main commercial street in OB needed for an uplift was to become the “antique row” of San Diego. Up to then, there was only one antique storefront in the area, one owned by local Gary Carlson (class of 1966 PLHS).
So, more antique stores moved in and set up shop along Newport. And for years, OB cultivated the image as the city’s place to go for antiques. Yet it had to compete with other “antique rows” – such as the one along Adams Avenue in Normal Heights.
For a long while then , Newport bustled with customers and sellers of antiques; there was even a monthly “antique day” where part of Newport was closed off so dealers could display their wares.
As time and reality passed, the individual antique store sparkle started to fade. The next survival step was to create malls where individual antique sellers could lease stalls and continue to exhibit their goods with less overhead. The era of the mega-mall began.
The Great Recession didn’t help the plight of storefront business owners and over the last several years, the fading popularity of antique storefronts was plainly evident. However, a new sparkle has developed in OB’s principle commercial area – craft beer pubs and breweries.
The explosion on Newport and within the Newport area of beer tasting rooms has been extremely noticeable – and telling (is there 7 now?) of the dawn of a new age, a new era.
The old era ends. The sale of the building – one of the last mega-antique malls – is being handled by the Franco Realty Group. The asking price is $6,500,000. The entire lot is 29,956 square feet. Here is how the realtor indices:
… for lease or sale one of OB’s largest commercial properties along the main business corridor. This is a unique opportunity for a new landlord to reposition a coastal trophy asset. Ocean Beach is currently experiencing tremendous growth along Newport Ave.
The alleged “tremendous growth along Newport Ave.” has not been shared by all the merchants, but it has been good for the new breweries, perhaps. Yet with having to pay $361 a square foot for retail inside the building, the “coastal trophy asset” has to be repositioned because Newport Avenue is a mean and tough street.
For residents and other merchants, facing the prospect of another large, empty building on Newport, the concern is what could go in there?
(Hat tip to Judi Curry)