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    Fresh & Easy Mum on Loma Linda Site

    Construction on a 15,000-square-foot store was completed months ago, but site sits vacant and the parking lot is empty.

    LOMA LINDA, Calif. -- After postponing a planned expansion in Northern California, Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, the fledging U.S. division of British supermarket giant Tesco is being very quiet about a Loma Linda store that never opened. Construction was finished several months ago, but the building sits vacant and the parking lot is empty, according to the San Bernardino Sun.

    Fresh & Easy spokesman Brendan Wonnacott would not tell the newspaper when the store will open.

    The Sun also reported Councilman Robert Ziprick said city staff members have asked company officials about an opening date, but have not received an answer.
    "They have obviously taken a look at the local economy and the national economy and said, `Now is not a good time,'" Ziprick told the Sun. "We have to respect that it will be operational as soon as they believe it's prudent."

    The two-acre site was recently sold for nearly $2.9 million. Downtown Gateway, a California limited partnership based in Los Angeles, bought the land from MV Investors Inc. in Los Angeles.

    Fresh & Easy owns the 15,000-square-foot building and leases the land.

    The store is on a busy corner passed by more than 42,000 vehicles per day and just south of the 10 Freeway, where traffic counts at its exit reach 400,000 vehicles a day, according to a real estate broker who represented the buyer and seller of the property.

    Related News:

    -- Fresh & Easy Plowing Ahead Despite Losses -- April 22, 2009

    -- Tesco Goes Slow and Easy with Fresh & Easy -- April 21, 2009

    -- Fresh & Easy Launches Multi-Buy Discount -- April 17, 2009

    -- Fresh & Easy to Enter Stockton, Calif., Market -- April 15, 2006

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