Nipomo, Calif. — The long-planned new Nipomo Mall has opened, bringing more shopping and foot traffic to the bustling downtown area.
The mall is located along S. Frontage Road, near the intersection of Tefft Street and the up and down ramp of Highway 101, and has four new businesses.
The mall is on the site of the former Nipomo entertainment complex that burned down in 2008.
Afterwards, the abandoned property was turned into the site of a makeshift skate park. The park was demolished in April 2021 to make way for the construction of a new shopping center.
O’Reilly Auto Parts opened earlier this month, while Grocery Outlet Bargain Market opens tomorrow at 7am
“I’m excited,” owner Neslyn Rabia said. “I can’t even wait. I want to open the door today. We’ve seen people come by, 10, 20, 30 people, and we keep seeing them so excited. I’m excited to open tomorrow.”
Tractor Supply is expected to open next month, and Wendy’s is still under construction.
Also earlier this month, the Dutch Brothers, not part of the new mall, but located near the property where the former Little Jocko restaurant was located, opened two weeks ago.
Once all the new businesses open, it will provide an opportunity for shoppers in the South San Luis Obispo community to spend more time shopping in town rather than driving out of the area.
“I thought it would be a good idea to have additional shopping in Nipomo,” said Brother Ross, a Nipomo resident. “If you go down to Santa Maria, it’s nine or ten miles. If you go down to Arroyo Grande, it’s nine or ten miles, so it’s nice to have more shopping in Nipomo.”
In addition, the new store will also bring more employment opportunities to Nipomo. Grocery Outlet currently has 35 employees, with many more to work at Tractor Supply, as well as those currently at O’Reilly Auto Parts.
Amanda Reid, a grocery store cashier, said: “It’s going to provide jobs for people of all ages, from my age to a little older, all the way to high school, it’s amazing, there are so many jobs Opportunities are open.”
Rabia said she’s targeting Nipomo for the new grocery store, noting the market potential and demand she sees in the growing town.
“I’m a native,” Rabia said. “I do live here. I live close by. I’m here to support my community. I’m here to support my town, give them a big change, and have some great prices on our selection of products , these products we are present, the discounts we offer, the customer service we bring. We just want to be here as a good change, but we also want to be here to support our community, to have choices. We just want to be here Support our customers.”
While the new store will bring more shopping options to the growing community, it could also create more congestion on South Frontage, which has been plagued by traffic problems for years.
“I’m very concerned about the increase in traffic,” Brothers said. “Most of the roads here, especially away from the main road Tefft, are two lanes, one in each direction, and I think it’s going to be a bit of a traffic jam at any time of the day, not just in the morning and after get off work. .”
For the past few years, San Luis Obispo County has worked to ease traffic problems on Tefft Street and other nearby roads.
Last year, the county completed a major road improvement project, widening ramps on two highways. In addition, traffic light times on Tefft Street have been changed and left turns on S. Frontage Road are restricted.
“Be patient with us,” Rabia said. “I know there’s going to be a little bit of traffic on the frontage. We know that. We’ll be patient with each other. We knew from the beginning, especially in the first week of the grand opening, that there would be traffic, let’s be patient with each other, let’s love each other, that way We can get something great for Nipomo.”
An opening date for the new Wendy’s has not been announced.