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Storefronts renovate

Posted: July 3, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 3, 2012 1:55 a.m.

The Way Station coffee shop and a neighboring business along Main Street in Newhall are undergoing façade upgrades.


Visitors to Main Street in downtown Newhall are greeted by two of the commerce center’s buildings draped in scaffolding and construction wrap as they undergo façade improvements.

When the wraps come off the buildings, local businesses like the Way Station Coffee Shop, Los Angeles County Business Machines, El Pariente and David’s Café will each have a unique design for its storefront giving each business its own identity, said Denise Covert, administrative analyst with the city of Santa Clarita.

The upgrades are expected to be done no later than Aug. 27, Covert said.

“I’m excited. I can hardly wait to see the whole thing finished. It’s looking really beautiful,” said Corina Escalante, owner of one of the two buildings being upgraded.

Escalante and her husband purchased the building that houses her business from the original owners in 2003. It was originally built in 1964, she said. The couple owns Los Angeles County Business Machines, and the Way Station occupies the street corner portion of the building. The second property under renovation is the Mayalian building, which houses El Pariente and David’s Café.

Although the buildings are undergoing renovation, the storefronts are open for business.

“We’re absolutely still open for business,” said Eric Leeser, general manager of the Way Station.

The City Council established its first and only project area, downtown Newhall, through the city’s redevelopment agency in mid-1997, adopting the Downtown Newhall Specific Plan.

In 2009, the city completed a new streetscape on Main Street and secured $303,635 in federal American Reinvestment and Recovery Act dollars to enhance Old Town Newhall’s commercial properties, restore economic vitality and increase investment in the area.

Using money from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act to help stimulate business, the city has been issuing $55,000 grants to property owners who agree to improve their building fronts, Covert said. The funds also helped to complete all of the streetscape and landscaping projects done to create a pedestrian-friendly walking district for dining and shopping.

The goal is to help businesses attract and retain business in the district, while preserving the unique elements of each building, she said.

“We wanted to do as many projects as we could,” Covert said. “But the coolest byproduct (of the upgrades) is that other business owners are starting to reinvest their own money as well.”

The building that houses the Railroad Café on Railroad Avenue and Market Street is next, she said. All of the projects are being constructed by Louis Romero of SCV-based Raven General Contractors.

“There’s only one building left undone on the whole block. Everything else is done,” Escalante said. “It’s really pretty with all the landscaping the city finished and the new library. It’s going to be an awesome place.”



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