Possible Lowe’s closing has SoCal city buzzing

Months of speculation about a possible Lowe’s closing is causing some fiscal angst among city officials in San Marcos, Calif., according to an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune. First opened in 2004, the home improvement retailer anchors a major shopping center and pays the city $587,000 a year in lease revenues. San Marcos also collects another $82,650 in yearly “off-site maintenance” fees from the North Carolina-based chain.

Lowe’s is listed among the top 25 producers of sales tax revenues for the city, which is located 35 miles northeast of San Diego.

Natalie Turner, a Lowe’s spokeswoman, told the Union Tribune that the company would not comment on speculation. But the current San Marcos mayor, as well as a former city councilman, said they were aware of the rumors and the topic has come under discussion among civic leaders.

“They (city officials) know that there’s going to come a moment when Lowe’s is going to leave,” said Steve Kildoo, who heads the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce. He described the potential store closing as “not one off the better kept secrets” in town.

Sales at the San Marcos store have reportedly lagged from delayed road construction that would have linked Lowe’s to a master planned community of 7.000 people. These homeowners began traveling to retail outlets in coastal towns, establishing shopping patterns that continue to this day, according to the newspaper report.

Several Lowe’s stores have opened in other towns north of San Diego, and a new Lowe’s is under construction in Carlsbad, a wealthy enclave on the northern coast of San Diego County.