FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: City of Hemet Announces HOBBY LOBBY to Locate Newest Store in Hemet Valley Mall

Hobby Lobby store exterior in Hemet Valley Mall - Tallen Capital PartnersHEMET, CA. – Hobby Lobby of Oklahoma, Hemet Valley Mall ownership and the City of Hemet announced today that Hobby Lobby has signed a ten year lease for 50,000 square feet in the Hemet Valley Mall.

Hobby Lobby will be occupying the west end of the Hemet Valley Mall where Gottschalk’s department store, and subsequently Forever 21, had been located. Hobby Lobby will join Sears and JC Penney as the mall’s anchor stores. The Landlord was represented by Retail Investment Property Advisors, Inc. a subsidiary of Tallen Capital Partners, LLC, and Hobby Lobby was represented by Lea Clay Park of Edge Realty Partners in the transaction.

Hobby Lobby currently has 18 stores in California with a 19th California store opening in Norco in February. The Hemet store will open in the third quarter of 2014, bringing about 35 to 50 jobs to the community paying $14 per hour for full time and $9.50 per hour for part-time associates.

“Each new Hobby Lobby location enables us to become an integral part of the community by contributing to increased foot traffic, generating sales tax, and adding new jobs, while sharing in the growth of both the state and the city. We look forward to serving local shoppers by providing an easy, convenient and service-oriented shopping experience that is unmatched in the craft and home decor market,” stated John Schumacher, Assistant Vice President of Advertising.

The landlord’s Chief Operating Officer, Michael Rubin, and its Vice President of Real Estate, Christie Parker said, “we are extremely pleased to have finalized this significant lease with Hobby Lobby. We believe that they will bring great vitality to the Hemet Valley Mall and that the customer traffic that they will generate will greatly benefit our current and future tenants and help return the Mall to the prominence it has long enjoyed in Hemet.”

Hemet Mayor, Larry Smith, was enthusiastic about the announcement saying, “mall ownership, the City Council and City staff have worked very hard over the last three years to find a new west-end anchor tenant for the mall. We couldn’t be happier that another national retailer has chosen to invest in Hemet and create new jobs in our
community.” Mayor Smith added, “Hobby Lobby was attracted to Hemet because of our location, our growing population and the cooperation we would provide them in expediting their permits and approvals.”

Wally Hill, Hemet City Manager said, “We are very happy to see that new retailers want to be in Hemet. Everyone in the City works hard to accommodate and assist new businesses with locating in Hemet. We are very pleased that Hobby Lobby has chosen the Hemet Valley Mall and we look forward to them being very successful here”.

Hobby Lobby was founded by David Green in 1972 and grew from one 700-square-foot store to more than 500 locations in 45 states. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, Hobby Lobby and its affiliate Hemispheres employ more than 22,900 individuals nationwide. Hobby Lobby carries no long-term debt, and is typically open 6 days a week.

Hobby Lobby made headlines by being a trend setter in retail by raising its employee’s wages to a minimum of $13 per hour in 2012. This is the fifth year in a row that the company has raised wages for full-time hourly employees up from a minimum of $9 in 2012 and that’s the fourth year in a row the company has increase the minimum wage for its part-time hourly employees. This increase for full-time hourly and part-time hourly employees will raise the pay of more than 17,726 employees nationwide. Hobby Lobby’s new minimum wage for full-time hourly employees is 93 percent above the national minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. “We are very fortunate to be able to increase hourly wages for our employees, because we know our company would not be successful without the great work they do each day in our stores across the nation,” said David Green, founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. “We know that if we reward our employees for their hard work, we will be rewarded in turn with their loyalty and dedication to their job and to our customers.” “As a family-owned business, we want our employees to feel like they are part of a family,” Green said. “This is one way we can show our appreciation for their work and make them feel like part of a team.”

In 2013, Hobby Lobby projected continued growth with plans to open about 33 additional stores, which will create an additional 1,200 jobs across the country. The company will be opening stores in Maine and Connecticut in the next several months in addition to the new Hemet store. (Source: Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.)

Contact: Wally Hill
Hemet City Manager
January 20, 2014
Phone: 951-765-2301