Gemco Locations

Uh...California.

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J-Mac
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Gemco Locations

Post by J-Mac » 26 Jan 2007 01:29

Image
Dean wrote: Is this Downey site off the 605? Vacant, correct?
I thought it would be appropriate to start a new thread over here in Commercial Archaeology, because I have some pictures of my own to share of this location.

The store is no longer vacant. It has reopened, this time as a "World of Decor." I still need to get inside. The store sat vacant for a few years after previous tenant Sam's Club closed it (I think in favor of their location at the Long Beach Towne Center, further down the 605.) Of coruse, prior to Sam's Club it was a Gemco. *Edit: I forgot about PACE, but now I remember* The Sam's Club labelscar is visible on the freestanding tripod-legged sign. It has been painted over in black, and is visible in the late afternoon sun.
Here's an enhanced photograph that shows the labelscar more clearly: http://home.earthlink.net/~it345/downeylabelscar.jpg

Here's a link to their website if you're interested in what kind of stuff the "World of Decor" sells: http://www.shopworldofdecor.com/

They give an address of 11111 Florence Avenue, Downey, CA 90241. I don't know if Gemco used the same address or if it has changed. It is an odd shaped lot formed by the intersection of the 605 and 5 freeways. As I said somewhere else, Gemco did seem to have a knack at picking good real estate locations.

Anyway, here's the building as it appeared a couple days ago:

Front Views:
http://home.earthlink.net/~it345/gemcodowneyfront.jpg
http://home.earthlink.net/~it345/gemcodowneyfront-2.jpg
http://home.earthlink.net/~it345/gemcodowneyfront-3.jpg
http://home.earthlink.net/~it345/gemcodowneyfront-4.jpg

Freestanding Sign:
http://home.earthlink.net/~it345/gemcotripod-1.jpg
http://home.earthlink.net/~it345/gemcotripod-2.jpg
http://home.earthlink.net/~it345/gemcotripod-3.jpg

Auto Shop, now an independent shop:
http://home.earthlink.net/~it345/gemcodowneyauto.jpg

So... if anyone has a complete list of Gemco's locations, or even a partial one focusing on Southern California, I'd appreciate it. I know many stores have been radically changed or in some cases have been demolished, but there have to be a few more out there worth photographing.

Speaking of being demolished, Gemco 508 - 9880 Warner, Fountain Valley, CA 92708 is no more; I went down there after looking at live local... the store was a pile of concrete rubble being loaded into trucks. It was also a former Sam's location. Sadly gone before I could catch it. But the local.live.com for the store still shows "as it was."
Last edited by J-Mac on 09 Feb 2007 14:59, edited 2 times in total.

Dean
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Re: Gemco's Downey Location

Post by Dean » 26 Jan 2007 09:36

J-Mac wrote:Image

I thought it would be appropriate to start a new thread over here in Commercial Archaeology, because I have some pictures of my own to share of this location.

The store is no longer vacant. It has reopened, this time as a "World of Decor." I still need to get inside. But the local.live.com for the store still shows "as it was."
Wow! thanks J-Mac for your thorough shots! The last time I drove by that area...it was still vacant.

The GEMCO orange tile still exists on both sides of the entrances! That is always the indication for me that a site had been a GEMCO.

The LA PUENTE CA GEMCO was on Hacienda Boulevard. I believe the majority of the site was demolished when the SMITH'S was built. Have not been in that area for quite some time. Not sure what is there now...given the demise of SMITH'S. Anyone been by there lately?

The last time I drove by the LA MIRADA CA GEMCO, it was something else. I think independent. Sorry, can't think of the street exactly! I think it turns into Colima Road, as you drive north into Whittier. Also, someone help!

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Post by runchadrun » 26 Jan 2007 12:30

Before the Downey store was a Sam's Club it was a Pace Membership Warehouse, which was owned by Kmart. Walmart bought the chain in 1993 and converted the stores to Sam's Club.

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Post by Jeff » 26 Jan 2007 18:50

La Puente Gemco was vacant for several years before being torn down for Smiths.

The La Mirada Gemco on Imperial and La Mirada Bl became a home depot (that still has the look of a Gemco).

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Post by Dean » 28 Jan 2007 11:26

Jeff wrote:La Puente Gemco was vacant for several years before being torn down for Smiths.

The La Mirada Gemco on Imperial and La Mirada Bl became a home depot (that still has the look of a Gemco).
Jeff, with the demise of SMITHS...what is the La Puente site now? thanks!

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Post by Jeff » 28 Jan 2007 12:56

Dean wrote:
Jeff wrote:La Puente Gemco was vacant for several years before being torn down for Smiths.

The La Mirada Gemco on Imperial and La Mirada Bl became a home depot (that still has the look of a Gemco).
Jeff, with the demise of SMITHS...what is the La Puente site now? thanks!
It was closed for several years before becoming a Food 4 Less.

AJ Wright opened up next door as well.

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Post by J-Mac » 09 Feb 2007 15:03

I changed the subject line to better reflect where I think this discussion is heading (and to prevent a separate subject for each of Gemco's 80 locations.) Hopefully it works as I intended - and keeps Our Humble Host happy...

I was out and about yesterday and noticed that a Target located off the 405 freeway at Atlantic in Signal Hill had closed. I remember this being an older store, and I was actually on the way to check it out and see if it was a former FedMart or Gemco. Unfortunately the construction crews are out, and I couldn't get a good look. I didn't take the camera - should have.

I did a quick search and found that Target is remodeling the store, physical address is: 950 E. 33rd Street, Signal Hill. Supposedly to reopen in July. Can anyone confirm that this was in fact a Gemco location? It is a cinderblock constructed building much like others in the chain. I do wonder what level of "remodeling" they are planning on, demolishing it or just a new front.

Also, on the subject of Gemco - was 2191 N. Tustin St., Orange a Gemco location? It has a corner-entry much like the Duarte store, without the blue tile.

I plan on photographing some of these locations as time permits - although I'm finding more and more are closed/demolished, sometimes days or weeks before I get there. Damnit.

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Post by runchadrun » 09 Feb 2007 17:47

Gemco's Signal Hill store was on 33rd between Atlantic and California, so that matches the 950 E. 33rd Street address. It opened in 1970. Can't you see the sign from the 405?

I found a Target employment ad from 1985 for new stores in Orange (2191 N Tustin), Cypress (6835 Katella), and Fallbrook Mall. That was before Gemco closed down so my guess is that the Orange Target was never a Gemco.

socalgrocer

Post by socalgrocer » 09 Feb 2007 17:53

Jeff,

The La Puente F4L was in the news last year when masked gunmen robbed the store then killed the overnight security guard.

I first visited that location when Smith's had their grand opening and went there almost weekly until Fred Meyer (the parent) closed the store when Smith's exited socal.

socalgrocer

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Post by Jeff » 09 Feb 2007 19:29

I found a 1987 Gemco Ad I photographed for the going out of business sale and all the socal locations are listed.

socalgrocer

GEMCO

Post by socalgrocer » 09 Feb 2007 19:33

Jeff,

Could you post a list of all 1987 locations in socal?

Later, I'll tell you about the Rowland Heights site that is now a very busy 99 Ranch.

socalgrocer

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Post by Jeff » 09 Feb 2007 19:47

Not in any order (Its posted this way on the ad, each row down)

Anaheim - 2300 W Lincoln near Brookhurst
La Puente - 1801 N Hacienda at Francisquito
San Gabriel - 1635 S San Gabriel Bl at Valley
Downey - 11111 Florence Ave at Studebaker
Fountain Valley - 17099 Brookhurst (at Warner)

Santa Ana - 1330 E 17th St at Grand
Granada Hills - 17055 San Fernando Misson at Balboa
Glendora - 725 Grand at Mauna Loa
Fullerton 0 4100 Harbor at Imperial
Woodland Hills - 20801 Ventura at De Soto

Cerritos - 20200 Bloomfield at Del Amo
Lancaster - 1333 West Ave K at 15th St
Gardena - 2169 Redondo Beach at Van Ness
Riverside - 3333 Arlington Ave east of the 91
Long Beach - 950 E 33rd St at San Diego Fry

Pomona - 1955 N Indian Hill Bl south of I-10
Bellflower - 17220 S Lakewood Bl at Artesia
Simi - 1855 E Cochran at Erringer
Pacoima - 14210 an nuys at Beachy
Torrance - 3675 PCH at Hawthorne

Indio - 44199 Monroe St at 44th
Fullerton - 2920 Yorba Linda at 57
North Hollywood - 11051 Victory Bl at Vineland
Mission Viejo - 24500 Alicia Pky at San Diego Fwy
Huntington Beach - 7212 Edinger Ave at Golden West

Culver City - 5750 Mesmer Ave at San Diego Fwy
Carson - 651 W Sepulveda Bl at Harbor Fwy
La Mirada - 12300 La Mirada Bl at Imperial
San Bernardino - 2380N Sterling Ave at Highland
Riverside - 10471 Magnolia Ave at Tyler

Ventura - 4200 W Main St at Donton
Northridge - 8840 Corbin Ave at Nordhoff
Rancho Cucamonga - 9080 Foothill Bl at Vineyard
Santa Maria - 223 E Betteravia Rd at Miller
Victorville - 15321 Palmdale Rd at Amargsa

Chino - 12375 Central ave at Walnut
Bakersfield - 1300 Wible Rd at Ming
Palm Springs - 67-750 Hwy 111 at Canyon Plaza
Duarte - 1050 Huntington Dr
Rowland Heights - 1015 Noglaes St at Pomona Fwy

San Diego - 7725 Balboa Ave at 805 Fwy
National City - 3007 Highland Ave at 30th St
Oceanside - 2255 El Camino Real at Hwy 78
Escondido - 649 W Mission Ave at Quince

La Mesa - 8011 University Ave at La Mesa
El Cajon - 250 Broadway at Graves
Mira Mesa - 8251 Mira Mesa Bl at Camino
Encinitas - 207 El Camino Real at Encinitas

socalgrocer

Post by socalgrocer » 09 Feb 2007 19:54

Jeff,

Glendora became HomeClub/HomeBase/House2Home. When h2h closed, the building was demolished and split into 2 parcels - an office building and Ralphs Marketplace.

Rowland Heights became 99 Ranch Market and mini-mall in 1989. It is extremely busy on weekends because of the huge Chinese/Taiwanese population in Rowland Heights/Walnut Valley area. The minimall is inside the building with some exterior stores (in case you haven't seen it lately).
Someone mentioned a gas station - that has been Mobil for many years and no plans to upgrade to the ExxonMobil On The Run mini market.

socalgrocer

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Post by Jeff » 09 Feb 2007 19:56

socalgrocer wrote:Jeff,

Glendora became HomeClub/HomeBase/House2Home. When h2h closed, the building was demolished and split into 2 parcels - an office building and Ralphs Marketplace.

Rowland Heights became 99 Ranch Market and mini-mall in 1989. It is extremely busy on weekends because of the huge Chinese/Taiwanese population in Rowland Heights/Walnut Valley area. The minimall is inside the building with some exterior stores (in case you haven't seen it lately).
Someone mentioned a gas station - that has been Mobil for many years and no plans to upgrade to the ExxonMobil On The Run mini market.

socalgrocer
Actually the Glendora location is still there (there is another post about it), and its offices today. It was not torn down.

I drive by the rowland hts location a lot. Too bad Target didn't move in here, but the parking lot was relatively small for the store.

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Post by Dean » 09 Feb 2007 20:01

socalgrocer wrote: Rowland Heights became 99 Ranch Market and mini-mall in 1989.
Wasn't it in 1987...essentially immediately when GEMCO vacated? I found this comical, yet sad, that this site was built...and was BARELY open...when it closed. I still have a calculator that I bought there...and used all throughout college!

The Duarte site was the same way...it was barely open...and then converted to TARGET...which it is to this day.

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