Even before escrow closed this summer on the building at Second and Corona, rumors were rampant that Sweet Jill's and three other businesses were being evicted by new owners.
Jill Pharis-Yeakel, the owner of a cinnamon bun and confection shop that has anchored a prime corner of Belmont Shore for a generation, kept mum.
Then, June 29, 2012, escrow closed, and Baja Fish Tacos Inc. of Santa Ana became the owner. Sales price: $3.8 million on the building of 4,016 square feet, according to public records. That is a purchase price of $946 a square foot.
There seemed no way the building's tenants could expect to stay; there is only so much the market will bear for a cinnamon roll, and the math for the other tenants--Fingers & Toes, Saga and Paris Tailors and Cleaners--also looked unfavorable.
But despite a sign in the storefront window of clothing store Saga two months ago announcing the business would close, Sweet Jill's steadfastly gave no hint of departure. And owner of the shop at 5224 E. Second Street in Belmont Shore Jill Pharis-Yeakel, made no such public comment.
That changed in an e-mailed note dated Monday:
This letter is written to inform you that Sweet Jill’s will be relocating to a new location in Belmont Shore following 25 wonderful years on Second Street. Jill Pharis-Yeakel said that she anticipates construction of the new store will commence the second week of October and is hopeful to be in the new store shortly after the New Year. She looks forward to the new and completely redesigned space. The store will be moving a few blocks west and will be located on the northeast corner of 2nd Street and Argonne Avenue at 5001 Second Street.
The entrepreneur indicated that she looks forward to having new equipment, furnishings, flooring, displays, and is confident the new location will be enjoyed by her continued customers, Belmont Shore neighbors, the community as a whole, and her employees. Her other location in Seal Beach and her ongoing business at the Long Beach Airport will continue as usual.
She indicated that the new location will include a few new Bakery delights to compliment her existing Cinnamon Rolls, Cookies, Brownies, Cakes, Muffins and delectable Pastries.
Jill said “we are thankful to everyone who expressed their concern when word spread that our present location was purchased and the Lease would not be continued. The new buyer is willing to let us stay until our new space is ready for our occupancy. We are fortunate to have a new long-term Lease and look forward to serving everyone for many years to come."
The new location is where Love Shack retail store recently departed and, prior to that, the longtime 5001 furniture and accessories store.