Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Tower Records Falling Down, Falling Down...

Time for many of you old time Costa Mesan's to shed a tear or two.  The old Tower Records store (and before that the Harbor Roller Rink), was demolished today.  You can read Bradley Zint's July 5th  Daily Pilot piece about the proposed demolition and building a Walgreen's Drug Store in its place HERE.  Zint tells us that the owner paid almost $10 million for this site in 2007, just before the economy went into free fall.
This morning I drove over to watch the demolition, but arrived well after it had begun.  I stood outside the green protective fence for awhile, then decided to sneak inside for better shots.  Nobody challenged me - or the real media photographers who were also there.

It was fascinating to watch the equipment grab  big mouthfuls of debris, then spin and deposit it so the smaller tractor could snatch up the recyclables and place them is stacks for later distribution.  They could have had ballet music playing...
Sometimes it was much like watching a mother bird feeding a chick.
I took a little break at the Del Taco store next door and visited with one of the homeless folks while I ate a snack, then returned to see what progress had been made.
I suspect it didn't take more than an hour or so after I left to completely level the site and await the trucks to haul the debris away.  Soon that Walgreen's store will be erected on the site and provide much-needed pharmacy service to the Westside.
So, we have this image of "progress" in our city to consider - an iconic site, where thousands of folks from the region would congregate to roller skate from the time the rink was built in 1950, through the other uses - a gas station and Tower Records - to now, where the purveyor of pills, Depends, shampoos, beach chairs, greeting cards, condoms and other necessities of life will do business for another decade or so.

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Anonymous Keepin Tabs said...

Geoff, did you happen to get the hobos name and birthday? It's always helpful for the police and fire departments to start a file on these nomadic fellows.

7/09/2013 04:45:00 PM  
Anonymous yay said...

finally, its been depressing to see that spot empty for so long

7/09/2013 08:26:00 PM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

Geoff? A much needed pharmacy? Isn't there one just across the intersection?

7/09/2013 08:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Bum Finder.com said...

These homeless bums need a tag in their ears so we can track their journeys to and from the hospitals, soup kitchen, Lions Park, liquor stores, pay phones, alleys, and assorted bum hangouts.

7/09/2013 09:50:00 PM  
Anonymous 44 HOBO1 said...

Glad the hobos will have a nice place to trash. Little wanna be taggers will have a nice new building to tag. The old owners who sold the building are still laughing at all the money they got. Suckers!!!

7/09/2013 10:13:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

just wondering... Geoff was being sarcastic.

7/10/2013 06:35:00 AM  
Anonymous I Heart Hobos said...

We need to bus them to the park by mesa verde. Maybe chest bump can have HS football kids take and vandalize all the hobos belongings in the middle of the night like they did signs during campaign season.

7/10/2013 07:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Max said...

The current council doesn't like to wait until a better deal comes along. The angle of the building and setback is going to make it stand out a lot more, and we already have plenty of pharmacies. It might get the attention of people driving to the beach though that need suntan lotion etc. during the Summer. The current council favors corporate junk like that as opposed to The Lab and The Camp style local businesses. The two overweight council members are especially in favor of corporate junk and have zero sense of style or design. If it's good enough for Irvine or any other generic south county city it's good enough for them. Costa Mesa used to have some great leadership that did a better job with the look and feel of the city. Mensinger and Righeimer are bent on ruining the reason most of us bought homes here, because it's not Irvine.

7/10/2013 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Max, if you've been paying attention then you've heard our Mayor and his pal state frequently that the safety and desirability of our city depends on the people we attract. Since you and I bought here specifically because it was NOT Irvine, I guess we are among the tens of thousands of people they feel are problems. You know, that 60% who rent, or the 37% who are Latino or those who demand better schools instead of sending their kids to other cities for education.

They will continue to distract us with parties, create new committees to do nothing or, worse, to ignore the will of the electorate with another bogus charter scheme, stack those committees with cronies and sycophants and ignore the will of the many. Hmmm, maybe I should have moved to Irvine after all.

7/10/2013 10:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Butthead said...

Need any help packing?

7/10/2013 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Nah, I'm good... thanks. After nearly 40 years, I'm here for the duration. Besides, you'd miss me.

7/10/2013 01:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Mijo No Es Cholo! said...

Investors love costa mesa. Especially on the westside where they can collect more rent by illegally converting garages to bedrooms!

7/10/2013 01:51:00 PM  
Anonymous No more corporations! said...


I agree! CM should start denying applications to any corporation that wants to invest here because we don't want corporate junk! We have to change the codes ASAP, because right now they don't say anything about the ownership of a business, just business types. Maybe we can change the code to say that only non-Irvine businesses can open here, or maybe only eclectic businesses.

I would have much rather kept the vacant Tower Records building, the bums and vandals need a place to be their eclectic selves!

7/10/2013 03:04:00 PM  
Anonymous JT said...

no more corporations, would you rather be a manager of Sonic Burger than an owner of a successful mom and pop restaurant? Aside from the nowhere jobs they provide, they detract from the value of the city. Laguna Beach and Corona del Mar and other cities that have less of a corporate presence and do a better job of attracting local businesses tend to be nicer communities to live in.

7/10/2013 06:24:00 PM  
Blogger duck pond said...

No mention to the fact that Liquor Barn occupied the site as well.... so much for research regarding this site.

7/11/2013 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger duck pond said...

No mention to the fact the site also used to be a Liquor Barn. Harbor Roller Rink was iconic for years but losing the "Mesa Lanes" bowling alley across the street in the 80's to build a "Federated" was the beginning of the end.

7/11/2013 08:58:00 PM  

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