Peek inside the Rossmoor Shopping Center

Owner tours renovated businesses
Rossmoor News – January 29, 2020 | by Maggie Sharpe,  Staff writer

The Rossmoor News took a walking tour of Rossmoor Shopping Center last Thursday morning, with shopping center owner Terrence Tallen of Tallen Capital Partners, LLC.

Tallen updated the News on how things are coming along.

First stop was BurgerIM, next door to busy Starbucks, where the mid-morning coffee crowd milled around. Newly hired BurgerIM employees were in the middle of a training session, getting ready for the following Sunday’s projected opening.

“The owner has a big interest in getting Rossmoor involved,” said Rossmoor resident Herb Cockcroft, who was hired as a supervisor and is excited about his new job.

“This will be terrific,” said Tallen to owner Uday Molugu, as he viewed the new restaurant and chatted with the trainees.

Next stop, the spacious new building next to BurgerIM is still empty. However, Tallen thinks that will change soon.

“We have a letter of intent with a household-name restaurant,” said Tallen, who couldn’t reveal the name. “We hope to make an announcement in the next 60 to 90 days.”

The new CVS store, with its stone and wood detail, is a source of pride for Tallen.

“The design of this CVS is a model for many CVS stores in communities across the U.S.,” said Tallen. “I give full credit to Walnut Creek’s Design Review Committee for its good taste and planning.”

There’s still no definite word on the Rossmoor Diner.

“Things are still at a status quo with the diner, but they’re open and operating – so we’ll see,” said Tallen.

Further along, Tallen pointed out that the old CVS store will soon be home to John Muir Health Outpatient Center, which is moving next year. Currently tenants of the Golden Rain Foundation, John Muir Health recently extended its lease through Jan. 31, 2021 at its current home on Rossmoor Parkway.

“If John Muir is interested in expanding, they could take over the space vacated by US Bank – the buildings share a common wall,” said Tallen.

As the “tour” moved toward the Safeway side of the shopping center, Tallen pointed out that Wells Fargo Bank and the post office are here to stay.

Workers from WC Butler Construction, which has handled the center’s remodel from day one, were busy on the new central courtyard, adjacent to Wells Fargo.

“It’s going to be a parklike setting where people can sit and relax or enjoy a meal, or a drink, or a cup of coffee,” said Tallen, adding that surveys have revealed strong interest in having a full bar option in the shopping center.

Tallen indicated where workmen were smoothing out a wide strip of concrete along one side of the courtyard. “That’s going to be an outdoor patio with seating and a decorative trellis,” said Tallen.

He said the patio will be accessible from a new upscale restaurant, or restaurants, that he envisages moving into the 6,500-square-foot space at the front half of the building – the back space has already been leased to Salons by JC.

Jaime Perez, project manager for the remodel, said shoppers will soon see a big difference. “

By the end of February, this courtyard will be completely transformed,” said Perez.

Perez and Tallen discussed the future of the mailbox currently in front of the new plaza. Perez said it will be moved to a spot nearer to the current bus shelter – and might eventually be taken away altogether.

Tallen described Salons by JC as “the centerpiece of the new courtyard.”

“They should be open by mid-February,” said Tallen. “They are exciting new tenants and should bring in 300 or 400 people a day.”

A walk through the airy 8,000-square-foot Salons by JC space revealed wide corridors with 50 private rooms, where everything from hair and nail care, to massage therapy, waxing, tanning and makeup services will be available.

“One-stop shopping,” said Tallen.

He is confident that once Salons by JC is up and running, it will spur a huge uptick in activity at the Rossmoor Shopping Center, both from shoppers and new retailers and restaurants alike.

Tallen stopped at the UPS store to say hello to owner Amy Parnes, who Tallen described as “the unofficial mayor of the plaza.”

“I’m very happy to be in the plaza,” said Parnes, now in her 13th year as owner of UPS. “And I want to thank all the Rossmoor residents for hanging in with us and finding a way through the maze during construction.”

UPS, Tice Valley Hair Salon, and Sparklizing Cleaners – all here to stay – are now easily accessible again.

Tallen is pleased with the new look for their store fronts.

“It’s uniform, modern, set back from the parking lot – beautiful,” he said. “We want the shopping center to have a nice blend of national, regional and local mom-and-pop businesses.”

With that, the tour arrived at Safeway, which Tallen – and Rossmoor residents – would love to see remodeled and upgraded. He hesitated by the store entrance.

“What’s the first thing you notice when you come in?” he asked. Everyone agreed. It was the smell of fish from the nearby fish counter.

He is hoping that once Rossmoor Shopping Center is a buzzing hub for shoppers, Safeway may think twice about its decision not to remodel the store’s interior, as it’s done for neighboring groceries.

It’s been a long haul since the shopping center renovation began in 2016.

“There’s been a lot of progress since I last visited in October,” said Tallen. “Things are really coming together.”