One Eleven Town Center makes progress, hurts neighbors

Greg Lee, KESQ News Channel 3 & CBS Local 2 Reporter, glee@kesq.com
POSTED: 08:39 PM PDT Jun 10, 2013    UPDATED: 07:37 AM PDT Jun 11, 2013 
PALM DESERT, Calif. -

A Nordstrom Rack and a Whole Foods Market are set to open at the One Eleven Town Center in Palm Desert in 2014, but the construction is hurting some of the neighboring businesses. These are stores Mayor Jan Harnik says people have been asking about for some time.  "It's exciting and again, bringing the jobs and bringing something that people want is really important," said Harnik.

Harnik says the additions will create more than 150 full-time jobs for the valley.  The construction plans don't only call for the two new stores, but also a revamp for the whole area.  "The whole shopping mall is going to be getting a new facelift from new towers, to new awnings to stone, to the parking lot," said construction foreman, Rick Roberts from S.D. Deacon Construction.

Right now though, the parking lot is the root of some problems.  A handful of businesses rely on it to stay open and draw customers.  Places like Towne Center Cafe.  The Greek restaurant's suffered since construction started.  "It does not have a good effect right now," said George Argyros, the owner of Towne Center Cafe.  "Our business is down especially since we closed the parking lot."

Harnik responds with this, " "Hang in there with us, because we know when they're done with construction,  when they open, there'll be a tremendous pay off for them."

Snookie's Footsies is another store in the mall feeling the pain.  The slow down comes at an already tough summer season for the shoe and bag store.  Despite the struggles, Nancy Ratigan trusts the promise of long-term benefits.   "It's going to be worth it because it's going to build up the business around here, plus they're also doing highway work," said Ratigan.  "That'll give easy access to this shopping center."

As for Argyros, he will believe it, when he sees it.   "It's hard to tell yet this time.  I cannot predict the future."

Here is a statement from Whole Foods: 
"We are looking forward to opening our Palm Desert store sometime in 2014 at One Eleven Town Center. Our store will not only create 150 new jobs for the local community but will be a place for shopping, education, information and social gathering. The love of community, health, wellness and great food that is abundant in the desert is a perfect match for Whole Foods Market. We look forward to being part of this amazing and interesting culture and community."