If you haven’t walked or driven past the 45th St. onramp to I-5 recently, then you may have missed the large banner on the side of the huge building on the northwest corner of the I-5/45th junction announcing the imminent arrival of a new Kindercare. And if you were paying attention to your driving while you passed, you would definitely have missed the large, plastic sign on the roof of the building marking Kindercare as the new flagship business in that building, the former home of Wine World.
While the building has long been home to the Cosmopolitan Apartments whose residents occupy the upper levels of the building, a number of other tenants have come and gone. A good part of the southeast corner is home to Wallingford Eyecare, and there’s also some sort of document printing business in the space. I was an occasional customer of Cartridge World (a supplier of printer cartridges) until they disappeared.
I feel it’s safe to say, however, that no business had more drama and turbulence than Wine World. I was able to get in there a few times in between their multiple openings and closings. I was always impressed (and not really in a good way) with the enormity of the space. I could have used a pair of roller skates to get around in there. It was hard to believe that they were moving enough vino to pay the rent. In 2015, Eric wrote about some licensing problems that were keeping the World closed. But they overcame those, and reopened, only to close again … and then re-reopen. They finally decamped to Fremont where Jordan paid them a visit last year, but just to keep us off balance, they’ve closed up there, too.
Expect no such drama from Kindercare. Kindercare is a large, for-profit provider of child care with roughly 30,000 employees, 200,000 enrolled children and centers in 39 states, according to Wikipedia. Once they open, I expect they’ll stay open. I emailed them to find out when they might open and how many children they expect to accommodate in that huge space, but haven’t heard back yet. With a company as big as Kindercare, I probably have to get in line.
One final question mark in the saga remains: when will the big, red Wine World sign finally come down?