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New McDonald's, other national food chains, likely coming to Alhambra

A new McDonald's, and potentially Panda Express, Starbuck’s Coffee, Waba Grill, Wing Stop, could be coming to the corner of Commonwealth and Date neighboring Albertson's.

At Monday night’s Alhambra City Council meeting, CFT Development, which has developed strip malls and freestanding buildings for Panda Express, discussed the potential tenants including McDonald’s who has already committed to the project and is currently negotiating a lease. CFT, the sister company of the Panda Restaurant Group Inc., has owned the property for more than 20 years.

CFT representatives addressed the council stating that this proposed project will be dining oriented with food courts and restaurants. They stated that the site also is a long-term holding project for a retail community.

The proposed development may also lead to an increase in jobs for youth, the Pasadena Star-News reported. "It will hopefully lead to some hourly rate jobs and part-time jobs going to young people, or others looking for part-time work," City Manager Julio Fuentes said. He also said there would be new construction jobs and upper management positions.

It has not been made clear how much in-kind or financial assistance the city will be giving to the developer. The proposed project may necessitate the sale of some city-owned property adjacent to the site, Fuentes said.

The proposed development project is still in progress. “We need to see more names before we proceed,” said Councilman Stephen Sham.

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9 thoughts on “New McDonald's, other national food chains, likely coming to Alhambra”

  1. There is an over concentration of fast food restaurants in impoverished communities like South Central.

    Our small town belonging in a Norman Rockwell painting is slowly being turned into a suburban ghetto by a short-sighted city council.

  2. More fast food joints? How about more decent restaurants. Studies show that fast food (unhealty) joints are concentrated in “ghetto” areas, so I guess city council thinks Alhambra fits the stereotype. Oh well, I’ll just continue patronizing out-of-city restuarants.More traffice for sure, guess I’ll have to start exploring different ways of traveling.HELP!!!

    1. @ Richard Nieto

      So are you saying the city council thinks Alhambra is ghetto? I see fast food joints everywhere, even in non-ghetto areas. In my opinion, I see a higher concentration of Asian restaurants than McDonald’s or Starbucks (the projected tenants of this site). I wonder what claims studies will show about Asian food joints!

  3. @ Robert K.

    Thanks for your input. I’m sure traffic will increase somewhat near this intersection, and your skepticism, I’m sure, is supported by many. I’m not saying this food court will be a complete substitute for the Costco customers who frequent the food stands at Costco. I just feel this new development will give people more options to decide where they want to eat depending on the distance and time they have available. Most Costco customers are value-driven (price conscious) consumers and the main alternatives they have now, within reasonable walking distance, is Souplantation and Sizzler; both of which are sit-down restaurants. I feel the other places are just too far and I hardly see many people walking down Commonwealth to eat at Carl’s or El Pollo Loco.

    If people don’t like the restaurants that will be here, that’s fine. I’m sure they (businesses) will perform their due diligence and conduct the necessary market surveys to ensure the viability of their stores. If we, as residents, happen to be tired of a particular store (like Panda Express), I’m sure that business will flop if there is not enough people entering its doors; let a new one that fulfills the needs of the local community take its place. And if people think there is enough of McDonald’s (or this or that) already, one also needs to look into the effects that this will have in other areas as well. Sure there is enough food places already in Alhambra, but that doesn’t mean we should have only one of each type of food store. The more we have, the more each store can cater to the local area (instead of having everyone drive across town to eat at a particular place and clog up the streets with more cars).

  4. I can think of nothing this neighborhood needs less. There are unique and interesting food choices all throughout Alhambra. There is no need to go courting chains which only serve to dumb-down our palette.

  5. This is a great development that has alot of potential.

    A food court in this area will definitely provide MORE CHOICES for those working in this area (especially since it’s in the industrial area). Some people may feel traffic will increase in this area, but I think this will also alleviate other areas that people go to now to buy their food. The long lines at the Costco food court can be horrendous; many times I have seen people just skip their $1.50 hot dog/drink meals because the long wait times just aren’t worth it.

    While there are other restaurants around (Souplantation, Golden Coast Chinese Buffet, El Pollo Loco, Carl’s Jr., etc.) they are all separated in large lots surrounded by parking spaces; typical suburban designs that are slowly becoming functionally obsolete (which is why I don’t like the stand-alone McDonald’s on the site plan). With this development that consolidates a food court area like that on Fremont Ave, having nodal areas of choices to eat, I feel, REDUCES traffic on the main street arteries. How? More choices in smaller areas means people can have the option to walk/bike instead of drive. And if they do drive, it will be in shorter distances.

    Traffic itself will generally increase over time, but to tie this development to only more traffic is quite myopic and does not encompass the dynamics of city growth.

    1. @John

      Good points on overall traffic reduction. However I remain skeptical through observations and having been to Costco and other heavy traffic areas (e.g., Valley Blvd) on weekend afternoons. Maybe it is myopic to only bring up traffic, but to anyone going to Costco on a weekend afternoon, the likely increase in traffic on that corner will be the only consideration that he can come up with.

      As for people skipping $1.50 hot dog/drink combo because of the horrendous lines, how many do you think would actually walk over to the new food court? It remains to be seen, to be sure, but my guess would be the lines at Costco food lines will remain just as long, though I think this is another dynamic unrelated, but affecting the queues.

  6. This is SO depressing. It’s like Panda Express wants to keep NW Alhambra a culinary wasteland. ICK.

  7. Across on the other side of Commonwealth is Costco. Traffic on weekend afternoons will get very interesting.