More disappointment and despair for Arkleyville

Sorry suckers!

Sorry suckers!

Ten Years of promises that Home Depot was locating itself on Eureka’s waterfront have been canceled, and along with it Rob Arkley’s Marina Center Dreams of revenge.

That’s right after all the years of public boosting, particularly on radio station KINS’s talkshop by Arkely henchman Randy Gans and Arkley himself, the anchor of their Marina Center has decide not to open any new stores. OMG!

Home Depot at one time was opening 4 stores a week and thought nothing of competing with its own stores nearby.


From MSN Money;

Home Depot pulls the plug on new stores

The chain blanketed the country with its giant locations. Now it makes more sense to focus on e-commerce.

Home Depot’s newest location is 10 times bigger than its average store, stocks three times more items and has no customers.

It’s an online distribution center, for a company that seems the unlikeliest of Internet retailers.

For decades, Home Depot excelled at the traditional retail model of growing by adding new locations. But the seller of tools, saws, particleboard and washing machines is making a hard turn toward the Internet in the face of changing shopper habits and fast diminishing returns from new store openings.


This year, the home-improvement chain will open two distribution centers and just one store. The move is a stark signal for an overbuilt industry that may be witnessing a permanent drop in shopper traffic, even in the middle of a housing recovery that is boosting sales.


“The retail model forever was to increase sales through opening additional units, but as you added stores to a finite group of households, each store becomes less profitable,” Home Depot Chief Executive Frank Blake said in an interview. “So the decision was made to stop opening additional boxes.”


Like many big-box retailers, Home Depot spent the last three decades blanketing the U.S. with giant stores, ample parking and shelves 12-feet high of plumbing supplies, paint and lumber. The chain put up as many as 200 stores a year until the housing market collapsed in 2008, when it had 2,233 stores.

The proliferation of do-it-yourself stores meant that home-improvement retailers were duking it out, on average, for just 30,000 households per store by the time the financial crisis wrapped up, down from 77,000 a decade before.

 home depot store


Home Depot decided in 2008 to close 15 stores and pull the plug on 50 new openings it planned for the next four years.



The transition online is no small feat for Home Depot. In addition to selling vanities, humidifiers and garden hoses, it has to figure out how to get 130-pound Jacuzzi tubs and iron patio sets from warehouses to customers’ doors within days. That presents unique logistical challenges.

At a warehouse the size of 20 football fields 35 miles south of Atlanta, workers grab ceiling fans, faucets and light bulbs off of rows of giant shelves and load them onto winding conveyor belts to be packed into boxes that will be shipped to customer’s homes, to job sites and to stores for pickup. Forklifts shuttle heavy, bulky items on wooden pallets to loading docks.

Full story here;–home-depot-pulls-the-plug-on-new-stores

Good riddance!


21 thoughts on “More disappointment and despair for Arkleyville

  1. Good. Home Depot sucks. Most of their staff are utterly clueless, not only do they know little to nothing about construction or home improvement, most don’t even know where things are in their own stores.

    Meanwhile, Arkley does not appear to have any intention of doing anything constructive whatsoever with the balloon track. How many years is it now since he bought the thing? How many years since the city changed the zoning specifically to suit his short-sighted plans for a big-box-anchored, glorified strip mall? How many years since the slogan “Marina Center NOW!” was being trumpeted by Arkley-aligned candidates? And still the balloon track sits there, empty and blighted.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Meanwhile, Arkley does not appear to have any intention of doing anything constructive whatsoever with the balloon track. How many years is it now since he bought the thing?

      I’m guessing you just moved here? You apparently haven’t heard of efforts by local environmentalists to stop development of the Marina Center?


    • Fred Mangles:

      The Marina Center has been dead in the water for years now because Arkley does not want to play ball with the Coastal Commission. The only useful thing that has happened there in the past few years was when Chuck Johnson shot a video of the No Good Redwood Ramblers there.

      Arkley is wealthy enough to indulge in games like this; I think it is really his hobby. He could face up to reality and come up with something more useful and agreeable to the community if he wished.

      The environmental community got involved because the Balloon Tract is a on-going environmental problem due to become a disaster if Arkley had his way; so what were the environmentalists supposed to do?

      I don’t know what Arkley’s plans for the Balloon Tract are now, perhaps Arkley himself does not know. Meanwhile there is a bunch of railroad rolling stock sitting in a field quietly rotting away while toxic materials continue to run off into the bay.

      A very nice “Welcome to Eureka” sign.

      Liked by 1 person

    • @ Fred Magels,

      As I recall, Baykeeper sued over what they said were inadequate clean-up / remediation plans, but eventually Arkley and Baykeeper reached a settlement that allowed his plans to go forward, just with a more thorough clean-up / remediation plans. Arkley got the zoning change he wanted from the City, and applied for a permit from the Coastal Commission. Last I heard, the CC asked him for additional documentation, Arkley declined to provide it, challenged the CC’s authority in court, and lost. As far as I know, that’s still where it stands, the CC has said they will review his permit application when Arkley provides the required documentation, just like anyone else, but he’s chosen not to do so — apparently he thinks he should get special treatment and not have to follow the same rules as any other developer. So the ball is in his court — the only person blocking Arkley from proceeding with his permit application is Arkley himself.

      If there have been developments since then that I am unaware of, feel free to clue me in.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I have always wondered how the balloon tract was going to fit in with the plans for the East West Railroad pipe dream. If they were really serious about that it would seem odd to have a strip mall in the middle of whay I understood would be a port. Seems like they would want to use that fir something else…..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So it was the environmentalist that stopped the Marina Center. Funny I thought it was Rob not willing to follow laws and regulations like other responsible developers to make it happen. He should clean it up and start his project. Didn’t Rob’s dad walk away from a toxic mess out in Blue Lake that is still a very big problem for people living in that area. Shouldn’t we learn from our parents mistakes ?
    Depot years ago said that they would keep adding stores till they started “cannibalizing” from their own stores. Their business model does not work on same store sales growth only on adding new stores. Just like the housing bubble hit the wall at 100mph and then act like you never saw it coming. Boy those environmentalists are everywhere…

    Liked by 2 people

    • His original plans for the Balloon Tract were in line with the way things have been done here for decades. He had planned some environmental remediation. He even made concessions to local environmentalists.

      He apparently was not going to go along with the Coastal Commission. I don’t blame him. Enough is enough. His biggest mistake was trying to get a project going in California in the first place.

      But the point of my first comment was that while the Balloon Tract project is at a standstill- if not dead- it is not because of lack of effort by Arkley.


    • @ Fred Mangels:

      Baloney. If he had gone forward with the permitting process and the Coastal Commission had demanded he do unreasonable things, then maybe you’d have a point. But he didn’t even bother finding out whether they would have approved his permit, or what changes they might have required.

      He knew full well when he bought the property that it was within the Coastal Zone and therefore fell under the purview of the Coastal Commission. So if he had no intention of dealing with the Coastal Commission, either he lied to the public when he announced his plans, or there is another reason for his delay, such as lack of funds/investors and lack of interest from potential tenants.

      Liked by 2 people

    • @3;09: He was naive in thinking certain elements in this state would allow his project to go forward. He offered a clean up plan consistent with the way pretty much all developments in the area were done, including I, certain “green” projects in Arcata.

      The problem is that too many in this state think businesses owe everything to the State and should go through whatever hoops the Green Gods demand, no matter what the cost.

      That’s why more and more businesses are finding it’s better to look elsewhere than California.

      And, for whatever it’s worth, that supposed pollution from the Balloon Tract that’s been leaking into the bay for close to a century, is still leaking into the bay. If Arkley could have done the mitigation he agreed to, there probably wouldn’t be as much. But that wasn’t good enough, nor would it ever be. Huh?


    • @ Fred Mangels,

      “Naive” is about the last word one could credibly apply to Rob Arkley.

      And again, he stopped short of completing his application and finding out what the Coastal Commission would ask him to do, so it makes no sense to complain that the Coastal Commission is demanding he jump through unreasonable “hoops” or incur unreasonable costs.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Sorry Fred:

      Arkley does (and/or does not do) things out of spite and revenge. So far the Arkley Center for Performing Arts has yet to reopen. I’d say that was an act of spite against a community that did not fully go along with his agenda.

      We’re all just a bunch ungrateful twits I guess. Perhaps we all should say we’re sorry…

      The same thing applies with the Balloon Tract; he wants the game played by his rules and when he doesn’t get his way he just sits in the corner and does the billionaire version of holding his breath until his face turns blue.

      He’ll just have to play by the same rules the rest of us have to play by. This isn’t Louisiana where dropping a couple of million bucks on the table will get you everything you want.

      The Balloon Tract remains a decaying eyesore because Arkley wants it that way to teach us a lesson.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Arkley does (and/or does not do) things out of spite and revenge.

    He’s cutting his loses. I don’t blame him.


    • If he wanted to “cut his losses” he’d be putting the property on the market and actively seeking buyers. Looks to me more like he’s sulking like a petulant child with a new board game who has been told that he has to play by the same rules as everyone else even though the game belongs to him. and responds by saying “fine, if I can’t play the way I want to, then no one else can play either, so there,” and snatches up the game and stomps off to his room.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Fred, why do you continue to back up a plan that from the start that was bad. Robbie bought the Balloon Tract for pennies on the dollar because he accepted the clean responsibilities and SP could walk away from a Hazardous material nightmare, after making billions of dollars over the years. Robbie thought he could bully his way through the process. He bought his way through the re-zoning that should have never been done. But, the Coastal Commission cant be bought or bullied. Robbie has gotten what he has coming to him and remember Cheri said no BIG BOX and I guess she meant it. How about just doing the right thing and clean up the site like he agreed to. The writing is on the wall for HD, if you own stock I would dump it ASAP.


  6. And all this time I thought Cheri was a liar!

    Thank you for an irony that journalists once hungered to headline and are now forced to comb the rural blogs to rediscover.

    At least those that would defend “Obstinate Arkley” aren’t asking for our sympathy over his agony of watching that other mess, right across the bay, get a thorough cleanup at taxpayer’s expense.


  7. Too bad we won’t be getting the store that could have made us the bustling Metropolis that Crescent City is…….


  8. Gonna be Crescent City’s Adorni Ctr soon. Do the math the share holders can’t be happy about loosing a million dollars a month. Take gross profit reported by Depot and run it backwards to break even point. No way they’re gonna do that in sales out of CC


  9. I feel sorry for the bay, if Arkley hadn’t got in the way I think Union Pacific could have been leveraged to clean the Balloon Track up. Now It’s going to remain leaching toxic crap into the bay indefinitely.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Whether it was Arkley or Union Pacific, it takes a local government with the public-interest in mind to sue polluters. Eureka, and Humboldt County have never had that (in a majority). How did the “leverage” change between these two owners for Bay Keeper to be effective?


  11. I wonder if we have passed the stage of Rob just throwing hissy fits and threats in every direction to try and get his way. Then we had the group elected on “Marina Center Now” seems like that “now” is about as fast as the GPU update at the county level. This whole group seems poor at what they are trying to do…

    Liked by 1 person

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