East side shopping center sold; store owners forced to move
Reporter: Cory Marshall
TUCSON(KGUN9-TV) - Tenants in one east side shopping center have been given 90 days to vacate the property and make room for a retail giant.
Susana Kopplin and her husband, John, own Maya Palace inside the El Mercado Shopping Center. Last month, they received a notice stating they have 90 days until their lease is terminated. Meaning, tenants must be out by the end of March.
"At least we'd been looking previous to this because it could have been a lot worse," Susana Kopplin told 9OYS while hanging up clothes on a rack labeled, "moving sale."
The Kopplins are not alone. Every store in the El Mercado plaza off Broadway and Wilmot were sent the same notice. The notice informs merchants that the property has been sold and will soon be transformed into a CVS.
"[I was] a little surprised and shocked. I've been here for ten years so you don't expect that," Ha Long Bay restaurant owner Trieu Nguyen said.
Unlike the Kopplins, Nguyen is still searching for a new site.
"That's not enough time for us. We need at least five or six months," Nguyen continued.
The longtime restaurant owner has asked for an extension. He tells 9OYS that he has yet to hear back.
Across from Ha Long Bay is the Villa Feliz Flower Shop. Georgeanne Fimbres and her late husband opened the store in 1987. She too, is still on the lookout for a new locale.
"I see at as an opportunity at this time. We had hoped this would last forever. This was the perfect place for us. It was absolutely a Tucson place," Fimbres said.
9OYS called one of the previous El Mercado landlords at Shenkarow Realty Advisors but our call was not returned.