Breaking News: Needles, CA: Needles City Manager Rick Daniels confirms “The Market” grocery store has backed out of opening a new grocery store in the community.

By: Zachary Lopez (ZachNews)

Source: Needles City Manager Rick Daniels (Information)

Needles, California: Needles City Manager Rick Daniels has confirmed during the regular meeting of the Needles City Council on Tuesday, June 28th, 2022 that the new “The Market” grocery store has backed out of opening in the community.

Picture: Clark County (Courtesy):

Darin Hill, owner of “The Market” in Laughlin, Nevada, wrote an email and sent to Needles City Manager Rick Daniels regarding his decision.

ZachNews Photojournalist Zachary Lopez has posted at ZachNews on YouTube the video of Needles City Manager Rick Daniels reading that email to members of the Needles City Council and to the public.

*** Background Information: ***

On Friday, May 9th, 2014, the only fully operational grocery store in the community, Bashas Grocery Store, closed at the Needles Towne Center.

On Thursday, September 11th, 2014, a new 99 Cents Only store opened where Bashas Grocery Store was located at the Needles Towne Center.

Despite claims from City of Needles officials that the store was a full functioning grocery store with a bakery and deli like Bashas has, the new 99 Cents Only store didn’t have those features; no place to walk up and purchase fresh meat and fish and no place to walk up and purchase some fresh cookies and chickens from the over.

On Friday. January 26th, 2018, the 99 Cents Only store closed at the Needles Towne Center.

Since the closures, the community has been calling for a new grocery store to come to town, and the topic has been a hot topic of discussion and debate, especially when the City of Needles were discussing and voting on any cannabis related projects.

Even with attempts by officials from the City of Needles made attempts to get grocery store chains to come to their community during several retail conventions they attended, but most grocery store chains said “No” because of the community’s population well a few kept discussions open for possibilities.

In March 2021, ZachNews Photojournalist Zachary Lopez captured on camera people walking through inside the old Bashas grocery store building at the Needles Towne Center with the Needles City Mayor, Needles City Director of Development Services and at least 2 members of the Needles City Council speaking to a group of people inside the vacant building.

Reports that a new grocery store as well as a new hardware store was interested in coming to the old Bashas grocery store building.

On Tuesday, November 9th, 2021, Needles City Manager Rick Daniels confirmed and announced during the Needles City Council Requests held during the regular meeting of the Needles City Council that there is a “signed lease” with a new grocery store and Atlas Properties at the Needles Towne Center.

When asked by Needles City Councilmember Ellen Campbell asked during Council Requests (Video Mark: 1:49:20) about updates on a grocery store coming to the community, which Needles City Manager Rick Daniels said, “At the grocery store, there is a signed lease, so we expect that announcement to be made shortly during the construction schedule.”

On Tuesday, December 14th, 2021, Needles City Manager Rick Daniels confirmed and announced during the Needles City Council Requests held during the regular meeting of the Needles City Council, Needles Public Utility Authority and Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency that The Market is the new grocery store coming to the Needles Towne Center.

Needles City Manager Rick Daniels said, I had the chance to meet with Darin Hill, who is owner of the Laughlin ‘Market’, and he visited with me and ensured himself that he wouldn’t get caught in the California permitting quicksand. I informed him that we have issued him the only land use permit he would need for that grocery store; and that our building official has establish a report with a County Environmental Health Department so all of the food handling – for the butcher shop, the deli, the vegetables – that we will help him fill out the permit application. Also Jeff (Needles City Mayor) is going to ensure that he communicates with Supervisor Rowe (San Bernardino County Board of Supervisor Dawn Rowe) to make sure she understands that how important this is to us and the need to get a grocery store right here so we’re not a food desert. I felt very good about that, I had the chance for Councilors Belts, Longacres and Campbell to meet with him (Darin) just by chance; and not only that, he got a standing ovation as he walked through city hall, piratically from the Finance Department. He is still experiences… I think he came away understanding better and how easy we’re gonna make it, but he also understood how important this is to this community to be able to have a grocery store.”

On Wednesday, December 15th, 2021, Needles City Manager Rick Daniels confirmed and announced during the 3rd Annual State of the City (Video Mark: 33:42) that The Market and Ace Hardware is coming to the Needles Towne Center, and was “schedule to open in fall 2022.”

Since that confirmation and announcement by Needles City Manager Rick Daniels regarding the new grocery store, the date of opening ranged from September 2022 to November 2022.

On Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022, Members of the Needles Recreation and Parks Commission receives the latest information regarding new “The Market” grocery store from Assistant Needles City Manager Patrick Martinez during an adjourned regular meeting of the Needles Recreation and Parks Commission.

*** Video Coming Soon. ***

Needles Recreation and Parks Commission Member Merlin Willis asked Needles City Assistant Manager Patrick Martinez, “Any word at all when our grocery store is?”

Needles City Assistant Manager Patrick Martinez response to Needles Recreation and Parks Commission Member Merlin Willis saying, “Yes… so we’re currently in negotiations Mr. Hill; he’s the individual that runs that up there (Darin Hill, owner of “The Market” in Laughlin, Nevada). We have been told that we will have a final answer in the next couple of weeks.”

Needles Recreation and Parks Commission Member Merlin Willis asked Needles City Assistant Manager Patrick Martinez, “Isn’t that the owner of the property?”

Needles City Assistant Manager Patrick Martinez response to Needles Recreation and Parks Commission Member Merlin Willis saying, “Well Atlas Properties; Atlas manages the property been working with Mr. Hill, who owns the chain so he’ll lease the building from them so there’s no lease in place right now.”

Needles Recreation and Parks Commission Member Merlin Willis asked Needles City Assistant Manager Patrick Martinez, “So Mr. Hill is with The Market?”

Needles City Assistant Manager Patrick Martinez response to Needles Recreation and Parks Commission Member Merlin Willis saying, “Yes Sir… Yes.”

Needles Recreation and Parks Commission Member ??? asked Needles City Assistant Manager Patrick Martinez, “He’s the one that has the one in Laughlin?”

Needles City Assistant Manager Patrick Martinez response to Needles Recreation and Parks Commission Member ??? saying, “That’s correct.”

Needles Recreation and Parks Commission Member said, “Nice store.”

Needles City Assistant Manager Patrick Martinez then said, “So we’ll have an answer within the next couple of weeks… a solidify answer.

Needles City Assistant Manager Patrick Martinez then told members of the Needles Recreation and Parks Commission, “We went to I.C.S.C. (Innovation Commerce Serving Communities also known formerly as the International Council of Shopping Centers) earlier in the year… a month ago, and we were able to go speak to varies retailers and what not. We’re actively trying to bring groceries to the city as our population grows a couple more.”

Needles Recreation and Parks Commission Member Merlin Willis asked Needles City Assistant Manager Patrick Martinez, “What do you think the chances are that Mr. Hill will approve it?”

Needles City Assistant Manager Patrick Martinez response to Needles Recreation and Parks Commission Member Merlin Willis saying, “Well we… we hope. We let him know that we’re probably the easiest in the county to go through the permitting… in the western part of the United States. We are very… we have a council that is pro-growth and you know, got boards and commissions themselves that are really… you know on the ball or wanting to get development in our city, and provide the community a quality of life for their residents.”

Needles City Assistant Manager Patrick Martinez then told members of the Needles Recreation and Parks Commission, “And so we… we shared all that with him (Mr. Hill); we shared him the story about the sense of community, and you know children and residents, and what we need to share, we shared that with him (Mr. Hill).”

Needles Recreation and Parks Commission Member Merlin Willis asked Needles City Assistant Manager Patrick Martinez, “What are his concern?”

Needles City Assistant Manager Patrick Martinez response to Needles Recreation and Parks Commission Member Merlin Willis saying, “He’s concern about the slippery slope going through the permitting process in the state of California. But we… we ensure him (Mr. Hill) that we… like any developer… we’ll hold your hands through the process to get you those permits. He got the entitlement from the City, he’s got everything from us so we’re in the process of luring him in; we’re totally excited to be working with him.”

Stay tuned to ZachNews for the latest information.

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