The End of the Era of Mega-Antique Malls in Ocean Beach – Antique Center Building for Sale or Lease

by on April 19, 2017 · 24 comments

in Ocean Beach

It’s the end of the era of the mega-antique mall in Ocean Beach.

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)

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Geoff Page April 19, 2017 at 12:23 pm

Bring back the Coronet!


Frank Gormlie April 19, 2017 at 7:59 pm

The old 5 and Dime was great; you could get lost in it – browsing the aisles for every single item known to humanity.


Geoff Page April 20, 2017 at 10:37 am

Yea, it was cool.


Steve April 19, 2017 at 12:37 pm

They should make it a supermarket! If they started construction today it would still probably open before Apple Tree!


Chris April 20, 2017 at 5:26 am

That would be nice but wouldn’t parking be an issue?


Frank Gormlie April 20, 2017 at 3:02 pm

That was a joke.


local April 19, 2017 at 1:12 pm

HA! Yes Steve!

But seriously, could it work as a supermarket? Competition could be good and we all remember the produce and meat selection at Apple Tree.


Frankie July 23, 2019 at 12:41 pm

Apple Tree is on Newport in the old bank building next
to the large parking before Starbucks.


Dave April 19, 2017 at 3:15 pm

How about a Trader Joes?


Marylou April 20, 2017 at 11:30 am

NO…… conglomerates… chains inOB


Don April 19, 2017 at 5:18 pm

oh jeez, here comes another booze tasting room…


Frank Gormlie April 19, 2017 at 8:01 pm

They would have to break up that 18K sq feet space for another tasting room. And then what to do with the rest of it?


Dave April 20, 2017 at 1:06 am

Craft beer bowling alley by day, with a flooring overlay to cover the lanes and convert it into a mid-size music venue for acts too big for bars but too small for arenas by night…yeah, I know everyone will hate this one.


Patty Jones April 20, 2017 at 7:28 am

Bowling! I love it!


Frank Gormlie April 20, 2017 at 3:04 pm

OB had the last manually-operated single lane bowling alley in the country. What’s now the James Gang. It had a wooden lane that made the balls go wonky.


Chris April 20, 2017 at 9:38 am

Too bad something like Baja Brew Colectivo y Jardin Cervecero ( work out. Put all the tasting rooms in one building and then it can free up spaces for other types of businesses. It can include food and maybe live entertainment. This place is amazing and it’s halfway between Ensenada and TJ. Pipe dream I suppose.


Geoff Page April 20, 2017 at 10:39 am

That’s a really good idea, Chris. It would be fun to make the rounds of various craft beers in the same building.


Chris April 20, 2017 at 4:48 pm

Thanks Geoff. If you ever get a chance, make the trip down South to this place. It was awesome and I think a similar concept could maybe work in OB.


nostalgic April 20, 2017 at 9:47 am

Whatever goes in there will reset the parking paradigm in downtown OB for the future.


Frank Gormlie April 20, 2017 at 3:06 pm

A dance hall – with live music. That would turn that end of Newport into a rockin’, drinkin’ and nightclubby heaven.


nostalgic April 22, 2017 at 7:07 am

The building is so large, maybe they could put the parking inside.


OB Mercy April 25, 2017 at 9:02 am

How come no mention of who owns that parking lot?? I thought I read it here a couple of years back that it’s owned by South Beach Bar & Grill for their customers and that made the sale a difficult one if they can’t offer the parking lot along with the bldg.

Can you ask about this Frank? I don’t see Craig, the owner very often, been meaning to ask him that one.


Debbie May 5, 2017 at 5:07 pm

Excellent question Mercy…here is what the reader says about that


OB Mercy May 5, 2017 at 10:09 pm

Yes Debbie, I write for The Reader too, but Julie got a jump on me. I get all the Reader stories about OB in email notifications.


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