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Rio Vista Center now on fast track

September 28, 2001|By MARIO RENTERÍA, Staff Writer

BRAWLEY — Negotiations between Vons officials and Rio Vista Center owners have finished, and a 48,000 square-foot building on the southwest corner of the shopping center here will house the supermarket chain.

Other businesses will move into other buildings in the shopping center. Some will be refurbished and others built from the ground up.

Rite Aid will get a new building that will be placed where the demolished Wells Fargo Bank in the southeast corner of the property used to be.

Imperial Stores will move into and remodel the former Rite Aid building.

New buildings will be constructed for additional shops in the center, among them a Radio Shack and a wireless telephone retailer.

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All the other small businesses will move into refurbished buildings, most in the north part of the center.

Work on the project has been ongoing for five years.

"I feel very relieved because it's been a great deal of work, a lot of pushing and shoving to finally make it all happen," said Imperial Stores President Phil Heald.

"I'm also very proud of the fact that it's going to be a major asset in Brawley to have this type of a new shopping facility," Heald added.

All the new buildings already have tenants except for a building that currently houses Imperial Stores.

Heald said he is in negotiations with a major business that seems interested in occupying the building. He preferred not to reveal the identity until the negotiations are finalized.

"When we get this new tenant in the building it will really become a strong shopping center," said Heald.

Duggins Construction of El Centro will handle all the construction other than on the Vons building, including landscaping. A contractor for the Vons building will be chosen after officials send out a request for a proposal to construction companies.

Vons officials are planning to build a membership gas station in the center of the parking lot between Vons and Rite Aid but have not submitted any paperwork to the city yet.

Heald said while Vons officials have not filed any paperwork, but they appear to be seriously pursuing the gas station idea.

Heald hopes the project will be done by early next year.

Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 337-3435.

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