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Lawsuit: Downtown San Diego landmark is driving away business

When it opened in 1985, Horton Plaza was an instant shopping success that many in San Diego credited with revitalizing downtown. But the owner of the Jimbo’s Naturally food store chain says the landmark mall has deteriorated and now drives people away rather than luring them in.

Jim Someck said a run-down Horton Plaza is costing his store millions of dollars in lost business. Someck recently filed a lawsuit against Westfield, the company that manages Horton Plaza, for breach of contract for allegedly failing to properly maintain the aging shopping mall.

“I feel bad for our customers who come in and sometimes have to deal with situations that they shouldn’t have to deal with,” Someck told a San Diego TV news reporter. “Some of them don’t want to even come in, and that’s part of the problem.”

He claims that over the years, Westfield reassured him that they were making plans for improvements, “but nothing has ever materialized.” Someck opened the Jimbo’s Naturally location there in 2012.

He said he has “no alternative” to filing a lawsuit in California court against Westfield. He said the management company has allowed the Plaza to become a “third-rate shopping mall that feels desolate and abandoned.” He said that store employees and customers alike fear for their safety.

NBC 7 said its examination of law enforcement records indicates that from October of last year to March of this year, San Diego police were called more than 200 times for Plaza-related issues. Seventy-five people were arrested during those months at the mall on a variety of charges, including public drunkenness, drug possession, burglary, possession of concealed weapons and more.

Westfield declined to comment on the report.

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