Less than eight months after a 3-alarm fire destroyed the Central Computers location on El Camino Real in Sunnyvale, the local family-owned business has opened a new location. Central Computers celebrated the grand opening of its store at 510 Lawrence Expressway in Sunnyvale on Dec. 12 – 15.
“We’re glad to be back in service for our customers in that area,” said Chester Yeung, who now helps run the business his father started. “We’re excited to be next door to another iconic, longstanding local business in St. John’s [Grill]. They’ve been around for many years and we’re excited to be right next door to them.”
During the months it took to find and open the new location, the Sunnyvale employees were offered jobs at other Central Computers stores.
“We’re thankful with management because they also supported all the employees,” said Alison Co, the Sunnyvale store manager. “None of the employees were laid off because of the fire. [The company] relocated some of them to different stores. Most of the staff that stayed with us are at this new store. [Management] supported us and looked for a new place instead of closing down.”
Sales Specialist Michael Tchistopolskii was one of those employees. He says he’s already seen a number of customers from the El Camino location and they’re happy to see Central Computers back in Sunnyvale.
“A lot of customers are happy that we opened up a location in Sunnyvale because it’s where most of them live,” said Tchistopolskii. “It’s a lot more convenient now for them. It’s a lot of hassle for them to go to Santa Clara. This new location…it’s definitely been appreciated.”
“The whole company, our whole culture is very much about building that long-term relationship and honoring that relationship,” said Yeung. “It pained me, in the early months, for customers to come into Santa Clara from Sunnyvale and know that it’s an inconvenience for them to come over to Santa Clara. I just really appreciate the loyalty of our customers.”
Yeung says the outpouring of support has come at all levels. Sunnyvale Mayor Larry Klein showed up on the night of the fire and has checked in with Yeung periodically since. Yeung says Klein stopped by the new location earlier in the week and posted about the grand opening on his Facebook page.
“It’s nice to see the community. That there was a personal note from the mayor of the town. It’s nice to have that kind of personal attention,” said Yeung.
As for the former store on El Camino Real, Yeung says his family owns the land so redevelopment will happen in the future. It may take some time. The City of Sunnyvale is very strict about development on El Camino Real.
“We’re definitely going to redevelop that property,” said Yeung. “We intend to reopen a store there and as part of whatever will built there. I think realistically speaking, that’s at least two- to three-year project and maybe more like three- to five-years until completion.”