By Victor Calderon
Business owners at the Hillside Shopping Center in Carmichael say they are looking forward to redevlopment plans by the center's new owners that will breathe new life into the now plain locale.
Investors started a company called Milagro Investments and purchased the mostly vacant center on Fair Oaks Boulevard, southwest of the intersection with Marconi Avenue.
The four-acre complex rents about 42,400 square feet and was built in the 1970's, the Davises say. Three out of 10 businesses remain open- , and catering.
The new owners have said they intend to redevelop it into a tree-lined gathering place with local and national dining and retail options and that's good news to the ears of those already there.
"I am hoping for the best I can possibly ask for; (Mr. Davis) is great," said Shafika Mangal, general manager for The Palace, which hosts banquets and events such as a . "Hopefully he gives us help here to bring people in."
Allan Davis said he hopes to attract a small grocer/retailer similar to a Fresh & Easy or Trader Joe's. Mangal said either of those would be welcome or she would like to see an Asian food market.
Sharing the main building with The Palace is Reid's self defense training center. Linda Reid, a co-owner with her son Daren, said she remembers the center housing a beauty college, thrift shop, flower shop and restaurant several years ago, before she even moved into the center.
Reid's, which has been in Carmichael for more than 30 years, had been located next to further up Fair Oaks Boulevard.
"I think it's nice to have new owners because we need new businesses here," Reid said. "If there's a grocery store there would be more of a crowd."
Currently, most students hear about Reid's by referral, word of mouth and the Internet. A poster board near the get some people's attention.
Despite the sour economy, the studio has about 50 students of all ages, Reid said.
"We have a good reputation because we work with people," she said. "We sacrifice for the students."
Reid also operates Never a Victim, a non-profit corporation that aims to empower women and children through self protection.
Management at the Waffle Barn could not be reached for comment.
What do you think of the Davis' planned retail and dining center? What kinds of businesses would you like to see there? Tell us in a comment below.