Abandoned Former Big Box Store Looks for New Occupants

Abandoned Former Big Box Store Looks for New Occupants


La Quinta, CA

Trash and broken glass sprinkled around the empty parking lot, the site is as close to a post-apocalyptic scene right in the center of La Quinta. The site of the former Sam’s Club has sat empty for almost a decade, but an auction of the building may bring new life to the retail space. 

The La Quinta City Manager, Frank Spevacek,said the city is interested in making an offer. 

"We heard from our community that they would like something to be done to this building," Spevacek said. "So at this point and time we have a code action against it to clean up the landscaping."

Spevacek said the building has seen its share of disrepair while it sits empty for last eight years. 

 He said if the city purchases the site, their plan would mean, "Help re-occupy that building or facilitate, so it’s been through that discussion that the city is finding itself in this position."

He said the city does not have plans to keep ownership of the building if purchased. Instead, they want to fix the building and find a new buyer. 

Spevacek said, "We’d like to clean up the title problems and other things that are on the property and then work with a end user or developer to then buy it from the city."

He said the building is owned by 13 lenders, and previous attempts to sell the building have been unsuccessful. But Miguel Galvez, a local shopper hopes the building is repurposed soon, not for being an eye-sore, but for safety concerns. 

Galvez said, "For me it is a dangerous point, because there isn’t much light, many times when we walk we have to wait for cars to pass by and illuminate the area to feel a little safer." 

But Spevacek said the future of the building is still unclear, but something is for certain, the future owner will have restrictions. 

"Walmart and the adjoining property owners say in what type of use can go into that building."

The building’s realtor said the property was appraised at $8 million in 2015, but has dropped in value since. The auction will go live on February 6.