Business

Thousands line up at new Nordstrom Rack in Pleasant Hill

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Bargain hunters lined up at a new Nordstrom Rack that opened in Contra Costa County at 10 a.m. on Thursday. Not everyone is happy about it; neighbors worry that it will make an already bad traffic situation even worse.

Bargain shoppers are now on a collision course. There's a Safeway gas station at the edge of the Nordstrom Rack parking lot. Safeway customers said there are already lines to get into this gas station; they can't imagine what the opening of the Nordstrom Rack is going to do to the situation.

More than 2,000 lined up for the grand opening at the new store in Pleasant Hill and the mayor says city planners saw this issue coming.

"We have some wonderful folks in our economic development department who really worked hard with the engineers and with all the other folks to make sure this was going to happen and going to happen the right way," Pleasant Hill Mayor Michael Harris said.

They reconfigured how gas station customers will get to the pumps and that created some confusion. The old route to the pump is now Nordstrom Rack's parking lot.

"I don't really like the situation. They keep changing how you get into here," one construction worker said.

"I don't like that big long U-turn there," Pleasant Hill resident John Wicks said.

Officials have also paid attention to the road leading up to this popular corner.

"Our traffic engineers have made sure that the signaling is appropriate, so that we don't have problems on Contra Costa Boulevard, which is a major thoroughfare and we have attendants monitoring the cars as they come in," Harris said.

Safeway hired extra employees to help with the traffic flow.

Even among the complaints and concerns, there's plenty of appreciation for the new store.

"I was informed by my cousin that they were giving away gift cards this morning, so I was like oh snap I should've came here a little early," Benicia resident Kendra Stowe said.

The mayor points out that this new Nordstrom Rack is going to create more than 100 jobs for the area and will probably be in their top 25 as far as tax revenue for the city.

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Tags:
contra costa county, pleasant hill, safeway, concord, shopping, business, amy hollyfield
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