Harbor Freight moving into former OSH

© 2018-Register-Pajaronian

Various new businesses also coming to Watsonville

WATSONVILLE — Two weeks after Hope Thrift announced it would be moving into the former Orchard Supply Hardware, city officials said Friday that Harbor Freight Tools will be sharing the building.

The discount tool store will occupy 15,000 square feet of the building in the Crossroads Shopping Center, with Hope Thrift taking over the rest at 27,000 square feet. Both are expected to open in the summer of 2018.

Founded in 1977, Harbor Freight operates more than 800 stores nationwide, offering tools and related items in automotive, air and power tools, shop and items for the home. Currently, the business’ closest locations to Watsonville are in Gilroy and Salinas.

The lease is expected to be finalized in the coming weeks, city officials stated in a press release.

Hope Thrift will be operated by San Jose-based Hope Services, which provides support for people with developmental disabilities and their families. This includes services for children, seniors and people affected by mental health issues.

Hope Services plans to invest $1 million into improvements at the shopping center, creating more than 50 jobs, according to city officials.

The city also touted a number of new businesses Friday that have announced they will be moving into Watsonville.

Beer Thirty is expanding to Watsonville and will be the anchor tenant of a new commercial project at 45 Aviation Way, being developed by Brian and Kevin Dueck of EKB Partners.

Beer Thirty, which also has a location in Soquel, is set to open in early 2018 and will occupy 4,031 square feet of the existing 8,640-square-foot warehouse, with plans for three to five retail tenants to take the remainder of the space.

In addition to a selection of craft beers, Beer Thirty will serve food and include outdoor seating and fire pits.

“It’s very exciting to be a part of creating a community-based space for families and friends to gather and for small businesses to collaborate and thrive,” said Kym DeWitt of Beer Thirty. “We know Aviation Way is going to be a South County hub for an incredibly talented and diverse group of passionate people. We’re passionate about craft beer and bringing people together to have fun.”

Coffeeville is moving from its Santa Cruz Ocean Street location to Watsonville when its lease expires this month. Their new location in the East Lake Village Shopping Center will be twice the size of their current location and will include two patios for outdoor seating, according to city officials. 

“This is really the next step for us, it is twice the size and Watsonville is really up and coming,” said Kendra McQueen, who owns the business with her husband and another couple.

Corralitos Feed and Pet Supplies recently opened its second location at 1486 Freedom Blvd., formerly the Valley Feed store. It specializes in pet and livestock nutrition and offer a variety of natural pet foods.

“We’re excited that these high-quality businesses are investing in Watsonville,” Assistant City Manager Matt Huffaker said. “Harbor Freight is known as an ‘Amazon buster,’ competing with the growing e-commerce market, and Beer Thirty, with a very successful location in Soquel, will provide a terrific experience for locals and visitors.”

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