Prospective tenants eye Town Center

A frozen yogurt shop and two other businesses may soon be filling vacancies at the Town Center development in La Cañada Flintridge.

Menchie's, a self-serve yogurt franchise with locations in South Pasadena and throughout the San Fernando Valley, is expected to lease a 1,200-square-foot parcel between Panera Bread and Sakura restaurant near the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Angeles Crest Highway.

Town Center Chief Financial Officer Eric Olberz also said this week that a national fitness center chain is in lease negotiations for a 5,000-square-foot unit at the east end of Town Center and that a children's recreation center is expressing interest in a 3,500-square-foot vacancy along Foothill between Home Goods and Sakura.

The Menchie's lease could be finalized as early as next week and the store open by late March or early April, said Cam Walton, an associate director with retail leasing agents Cushman and Wakefield.

The fitness and recreation centers would require city conditional-use permits, said Olberz.

"People realize there's only so much space left at Town Center and it's a great place to be, which is also exciting for our other tenants and for the residents of the city," said Olberz, son of Sport Chalet founder Norbert Olberz.

The Olberz family owns Town Center under the name La Cañada Properties.

Although the shopping center, which opened in the summer of 2008, currently has nine vacancies — six if the prospective deals go through and Menchie's moves in — the development is considered 80% occupied in terms of total square footage and would be 90% full if the three deals go through.

Sport Chalet occupies a 50,000 square-foot unit and Home Center operates a roughly 25,000 square-foot store.

"I am very encouraged by the news," said La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce President Pat Anderson. "With the down economy and a jobless, slow recovery, we are fortunate."

The Town Center is also playing host to encouraging signs of holiday spirit.

As part of the city's Festival Lights, which kicks off Dec. 2 at Memorial Park, Town Center will put up holiday décor. A large tree at Norberz Park, inside Town Center, will also be decorated with lights.

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