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Blighted, vacant McDonald’s location remains an eyesore in Ramona

CBS 8 also emailed the corporate offices for McDonald’s, which responded by saying their records show the location to be open and operating.

RAMONA, Calif. — Viewers in Ramona reached out to CBS 8 about the vacant McDonald’s that has become an eyesore for the community. CBS 8 is Working for You to get to the bottom of what’s being done about it. 

“It’s horrible-looking up front, yeah, put something there, no matter what, just do something with it,” said Lisa Dabney, a 20-year resident of Ramona. “It sucks because you know, there’s been nothing there. I miss McDonald’s.” 

Marked up with graffiti, boarded up with plywood, and surrounded by a torn up fence, the blighted McDonald’s building at 1550 Main Street in Ramona has been vacant for two years. In August 2019, a fire broke out in the basement of the restaurant and was knocked down by firefighters in 30 minutes with no injuries to employees. 

“When I came, there was a lot of fire trucks and a lot of smoke over there,” said Rida Hermiz, owner of a salon next door. “We had this McDonald’s for so many years, we miss this McDonald’s especially kids, they always ask when is the McDonald’s going to open, I say I have no idea. Everybody misses McDonald’s.” 

Hermiz didn’t know the owner of the property, so CBS 8 called the San Diego County Recorder’s Office to find out. They told CBS 8 the ownership is listed as Franchise Realty Interstate Corporation. CBS 8 also emailed the corporate offices for McDonald’s, which responded by saying their records show the location to be open and operating. 

“I’ve been watching this McDonald’s every day when I open my store, there’s nobody there,” said Hermiz. “It’s been two years like this and nobody come check, nothing, and every time, somebody say, ‘Just a couple more months, somebody’s going to fix it,’ but nothing happened.” 

Most people CBS 8 talked to want to see a new business open in the location, and while some people prefer to see McDonald’s reopen, Hermiz has her own preferences. 

“To be honest, McDonald’s is good for the kids because in Ramona, we don’t have a McDonald’s and kids love toys, but like for me, I love In ‘n Out, that’s my favorite one,” said Hermiz. 

McDonald’s corporate says they will need more time to look into the situation for the Ramona location. CBS 8 will continue to follow this story. 

At CBS 8, we are always Working for You and our community. This is a station promise that we will go the extra mile to solve a problem our audience can’t solve themselves. We want to hear your ideas on how we can cover and help our community. If you have a story idea, please email us at workingforyou@cbs8.com.

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