Monday, January 14, 2008

The Sad Stripmall

I recently began carpooling with the wife to take advantage of the carpool lane as well as the convenient egress directly on to Santa Ana Boulevard when driving north on the 5 Freeway. This eco-friendly decision has proven beneficial in many aspects including saving time, gas, as well as having to stare at this eyesore while sitting at the light at the end of the offramp.

Way back in 2005 when the wife and I first visited the Santiago Street Loft sales office, this strip mall was the first thing we saw as we exited the freeway.

Unsightly and unkempt, we hoped that with what we heard about Santa Ana (supposedly) undergoing a huge revitalization, this center would re-emerge better than ever, and could now be considered as part of the gateway into the new Downtown Orange County.

But alas, here we are in 2008 and the center looks worse now than when we first saw it three years prior. Businesses come and go in this tiny complex, and as they do, the center seems to look more and more dilapidated.

With its close proximity to the freeway and street frontage, I can only hope that someday, an investor would come in and provide this center and its tenants the much needed improvement love.

It’s ironic that this little center, the doormat into the city of Santa Ana is the epitome of what Santa Ana is today–a once proud and promising location, which over time has become run-down due to years of neglect and poor management.


The Frito Bandito said...


Never went to Tacos Neza.

Always wondered about it.

Oh well.

Anonymous said...

Aren't the landlords or business owners held to any standards? Codes?

Ms Martinez? Code Enforcement? Hello?

Anonymous said...

Yay someone else said it for me. Standard, Every Day, Code Enforcement would really help in this town. This strip mall is a result of that not happening. Renaissance plan is code enforcement political correctness run amok. Politicians don't want piss anyone off by letting code enforcement (or the Attorney) single them out. Egregious-urban-blight code violators didn't get that way over night; periodic, cooperative efforts of Code Enforcement and City Attorney would benefit everyone.

Anonymous said...

Sec. 41-1027. Neon signs.
Any vacuum tube sign lit by neon gas shall comply with the following standards:
(1) Letters shall not exceed nine (9) inches in height and sign area is limited to four (4) square feet.
(2) Any letter style is permitted as long as letters are continuous. Painted out spaces between letters are not permitted.
(3) Neon bands may be used to frame the sign but must be contained within the allowable sign area.
(4) The use of one (1) neon sign per street front to advertise products by brand name, logo or trademark is allowed.
(Ord. No. NS-2117, § 1, 3-18-91)

Anonymous said...

common guys... we do live in santa ana... if santa ana actually enforced code enforcements.. about 3/4 of santa would be shut down, not to mention half of the population evicted from their residence due to the code enforcement of multiple households at one address.
ben.. don't you like watching the cowboys dance in the parking lot

Unknown said...

Did anyone notice the hommie on the end unit who used duct tape to make his sign, TIGHT!

Anonymous said...

Just to let you know since you are not a Santa Ana Native. That complex was not always that run down. Before the freeway was re-done and took over that land where more business stood, it was not half bad looking.

Ben Dayhoe said...

I heard mixed reviews about Taco Neza, but I guess the fact that they aren't there anymore could be an indication unless they relocated. I can imagine that the taco market is tight in SA being there's a taqueria on almost every corner.

I'll read up on code enforcement. I don't like dropping the hammer on anyone, but the property owner really should have some sense of pride and respect for the tenants.

I do enjoy watching the vaqueros. Except for the drunk one that walks through the streets at 2AM screaming and yelling at the top of his lungs.

Mr. Messiah,
That homemade lettering was pretty bad. I wonder if the City said anything to them and that's why it's not there anymore. Hopefully the city holds business owners to similar strict standards that our own association holds us to for our business signs.

Boy I hope that center didn't always look that bad! Shheesh! I have high hopes for that area after seeing what's been done adjacent to the Edinger offramp...well, except for the removal of Mr. J's :(

Anonymous said...

12:57pm, what may I ask is a Santa Ana "Native?" Do Please, indulge us. BTW, bang up job you "natives" did on taking care of that strip mall, really, just great. Was it inspiration for the rest of the city?

Anonymous said...

That strip mall was a big hint of what you were getting into. You have a problem with truth in advertising that Santa Ana was displaying with that freeway strip mall?

Anonymous said...

Why don't us loft owners pitch in and buy that strip mall and open a club/bar and gallery with a wi-fi cyber cafe? I got cash to burn anyone with me? We could also advertise for our art walk!?!?!?

DG said...

Yeah! And open a medical marijuana dispensary with a hookah lounge and a massage parlor!! and hire the vaquero as a human sign!!