A woman walks her dog outside an empty Dollar Tree store in Marin City, Calif. on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016. (Alan Dep/Marin Independent Journal)

A woman walks her dog outside an empty Dollar Tree store in Marin City, Calif. on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016. Photo: Alan Dep/Marin Independent Journal

By Mark Prado, Marin Independent Journal

The Dollar Tree at the Gateway Plaza in Marin City closed this week, one of a number of changes that are coming to the shopping center, according to the site’s leasing agent.

Dollar Tree had an option to renew its lease, but it was the center’s management that decided against having the store at Gateway, said Terrence Tallen of Mill Valley, president and chief executive of Tallen Capital Partners, which is overseeing the redevelopment and leasing at the center owned by the Southern California-based Gerrity Group.

“It was a terrific tenant to have during the recession, but we are looking to upgrade our roster of tenants that we have there,” Tallen said. “Dollar Tree is a good business, but didn’t provide the good quality fresh food that the community needs.”

Getting a grocery store for the center is a project Tallen is working on. Meanwhile, Tallen is speaking with Petco to take over the Dollar Tree space.

Locals said the Dollar Tree — which offered food, stationery, household supplies and a myriad of other items all for a buck — will be missed.

“It was a great place to get supplies for our students at an inexpensive price,” said Felecia Gaston, who heads Marin Performing Stars. “I’m sorry to see it go.”

Mary Ann Griller of Sausalito, who shuttles seniors, said the Dollar Tree was a popular stop.

“The seniors loved to go there,” she said. “It was a real mainstay for them. They could save money there.”

The center is expected to add clients in 2016, Tallen said. Buffalo Wild Wings and Blaze Pizza are looking at coming to the locale, as is a major movie theater to occupy the old Best Buy building, one of the anchors of the center.

Best Buy, which occupied a 48,500-square-foot building, left the shopping center in February 2014 when the company decided not to renew its contract.

Talk of a movie house at the shopping center comes at a time when neighboring Sausalito saw its three-screen theater in downtown close last week.

Also in early 2014, Babies “R” Us left its 25,500-square-foot building, but West Marine — which sells equipment related to fishing, boating and water sports — has opened in that location.

The entire site will undergo redevelopment soon to make it more appealing to the local and countywide community, Tallen said. Plans should be announced in the coming weeks.

The center, built in 1995 at 100 Donahue St., has several commercial tenants: Ross Dress for Less, CVS Pharmacy, Subway, Sleep Train, Outback Steakhouse, Burger King and Panda Express, among others at the 182,030-square-foot site. The shopping center also hosts the Marin City Library and the Hannah Gallery, which showcases local artists.

The Gerrity Group bought the shopping center for $36 million in 2011. The former owner, Pacific Coast Capital Partners’ Bay Area Smart Growth.

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