Dawn Stubbs works next door to the old Mervyn's on California Avenue. She says she walks by its empty lot to go to other stores in the Bakersfield Plaza. "I wish there was a Walmart or a Target or something that I can run over to if I need something real quick because, right now, it's either drive out to Oildale or Panama Lane," said Stubbs. "There's just nothing convenient here."
Environmental inspectors are surveying the old Mervyn's building until Tuesday. They say the Olivieri Commercial Group hired them, but they don't know if Mervyn's will be torn down or replaced.
"I think it's driving away other businesses because it doesn't look nice," said Strubbs. "It's all worn out and dirty looking, so I don't think any other business wants to come here and be close to that."
Some workers at other stores in the Mervyn's complex said there were told the building would be demolished.
"It's a sad time especially since it's around Christmas that we have to leave," said Baleigh Pratt, a clerk at the UPS Store. "We have customers who have been coming here since 1987 and they're depressed about having to leave and switch up everything."
All the businesses attached as part of the Mervyn's building are closing by the end of the year. Affordable Dentures is closing next month after Thanksgiving. Discount Tire Centers shares a parking lot with Mervyn's. Employees said they were told their store is relocating by December.
Anya Lopez, who owns United Merchant Services in Bakersfield, said she is upset the UPS store is closing because she got a P.O. box there two months ago.
"I have to ship credit card machines to merchants and I just had everything printed - my checks, business cards - as the UPS business address," said Lopez. "Two or three weeks ago, I got a notice saying they will be closing down because I saw Payless Shoe Store leaving, so it's an inconvenience for everybody.”
Stubbs says she heard Walmart or Kohl's would replace Mervyn's, but Walmart's corporate office says it does not have new store opening in Bakersfield. The assistant to Bakersfield City Manager Rhonda Smiley says the city office has not received any requests for building or demolishing anything on the Mervyn's property.
"I think it would bring more people over," said Stubbs. "When it was Mervyn's, this parking lot was always full. There were people in there all the time. Now you can see it's empty, nobody comes here."