A California-based chain called 99 Cents Only, which sells everything from fresh produce to housewares and office supplies, has filed plans with the city of Waco to occupy 16,000 square feet in the Parkdale shopping center at Bosque Boulevard and Valley Mills Drive.
It reportedly will perform finish-out work on space previously leased by Big Lots, a deep discounter that relocated to 4905 W. Waco Drive.
Businessman David Gold founded 99 Cents Only in 1982 in Los Angeles, Calif., and its stores remain concentrated in Southern California.
But expansion into Texas and Nevada has increased the number of locations to more than 300. Its website shows a growing presence in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio markets.
During the years, it has brought attention to itself with advertising that proclaims its stores “remain open nine days a week.” It also had gimmicks such as wishing comedian Joan Rivers a “Happy 99th facelift,” according to its website and other online material about the chain.
A store in the Houston suburb of Katy will open Thursday and each of the first nine people in line will be allowed to buy a 40-inch, flat-screen television for 99 cents.
Though its name has not changed, the chain in May began charging more than 99 cents for some items, contrary to the wishes of the founding Gold family.
A private equity firm bought the chain in 2011 for $1.6 billion, and the Golds no longer are involved in operations.
Local real estate agent Pat Farrar markets space in Parkdale, which is anchored by retailers such as Hobby Lobby and Drug Emporium and by a Chili’s restaurant.
Farrar said Thursday he could not comment on reports that 99 Cents Only will move into a vacancy there.
City of Waco staffer Cathy Groppe, who supervises the inspection services department, and Bobby Horner in the planning department confirmed 99 Cents Only has submitted construction documents for review.
The city has not yet issued a building permit.
The local office of the Associated General Contractors of America in its newsletter has mentioned a solicitation for bids on work related to 99 Cents Only.
A call to the corporate office of 99 Cents Only had not been returned by Thursday evening.
The chain’s website says the company offers merchandise that includes clothing, health and beauty aids, school and office supplies, beverages, groceries and snacks.
Some stores sell beer and wine, though information about whether the Waco location will stock alcohol was not available.
Elsewhere in Parkdale, Farrar said he has a prospect for a 25,000-square-foot vacancy, but has yet to secure a lease.
Meanwhile, Samurai Japanese Steakhouse has left its spot in the center, making it available for Farrar to market.
The restaurant was closed by the Waco-McLennan County Health District on Aug. 9, 2012, for multiple violations, but reopened in late November after the owners spent months cleaning and remodeling the eatery and passing an inspection.