Southern California discount retailer Treasure Hunt has expanded into Calexico, opening Nov. 15 in the former Vons grocery store location on West Second Street in the area known around town as “El Hoyo.”
The outlet at 361 W. Second St. is the latest in a number of local, regional and national businesses that have begun a consistent return to the border city over the last few months, with more development on the way, city officials say.
The recent spate of openings is seen as a sign the economic outlook in Calexico is improving. The city had lost several major retailers in recent years, including Toys R Us and JC Penney.
“Big corporations are starting to regain their trust in working with us and opening up in Calexico. It shows we have come a long way from closing doors and putting up red tape,” Mayor Pro Tem David Romero said in a Nov. 16 interview. “It shows we’ve come a long way in having fiscal development … We are open to your business in Calexico.”
Romero said he likens Treasure Hunt to a Burlington Coat Factory with the kind of merchandise it sells. The website of the Los Angeles-based Treasure Hunt describes itself as specializing in “secondary market products.”
Treasure Hunt has retail locations in Indio and Fontana in Riverside County, as well as a wholesale branch under the name CCM California in the city of Commerce. Romero said Treasure Hunt also has expanded to the cities of Riverside and Ontario.
Other Businesses Opening
Some other recent openings in Calexico have included national GCAM Plasma Donation Centers. A first location opened several weeks ago at 355 E. Third St. Another GCAM is scheduled to open at 114 Heffernan Ave., according to GCAM’s website, although no specific date was listed.
Romero said yet another plasma center is opening on Second Street and Heber Avenue. Assistant City Manager Miguel Figueroa indicated that location, BIOMAT USA Inc. Plasma Center, is already open at 326 E. Second St.
BIOMAT is owned by Grifols, one of the world’s largest plasma-collection companies and a maker of plasma-derived medications.
On a more local level, Romero said Guadalajara restaurant has opened Birrieria three weeks ago at 845 Imperial Ave.
Calexico In-door Swap Meet opened recently ago inside the former Garcia Foods Center at Cesar Chavez Boulevard and Grant Street. The Calexico Chronicle published a feature on the opening of the business a few weeks ago. Calexico In-door Swap Meet is a collection of former Santo Tomas Swap Meet vendors.
Figueroa said Mexicali’s Canal 66, an independent Spanish-language television station, opened an office in Tony’s Plaza next to the McDonald’s restaurant on Imperial Avenue.
La Fuente restaurant recently opened at 737 Emerson Ave. in the former Tortas and Beer location, Figueroa added.
Romero said Dr. Tien T. Vo opened the Vo Medical Center, a clinic and urgent-care center, in the former HomeTown Buffet location at 222 E. Cole Blvd. several months ago.
Other big developments yet to open include a FedEx shipping and distribution center and a Planet Fitness next to Cardenas Market in the 2300 block of North Imperial Avenue.
Figueroa said the FedEx center has no projected opening date. It’s located in the heart of the Towncenter industrial hub at 221 Robinson Ave., he said.
He added it’s a 43,220-square-foot facility with 42 bay doors for loading and unloading packages.
Planet Fitness’ floor plans have been approved by the city for a 22,000-square-foot fitness center, Figueroa added.
“At this time exterior and interior improvements have commenced. They are using social media platforms to inform the community that they are opening in Calexico,” Figueroa added. “All of this activity shows you the city of Calexico, that people are wanting to take the chance of building in Calexico. … We’re regaining trust again,” Romero said. “We hope this momentum continues.”