Business owners at the Southampton Shopping Center, fed up with their landlord, Houston, Texas based Weingarten Realty, brought their concerns to a meeting with acting and Economic Development Board member Duane Oliveras. The meeting was held at the Benicia Community Center earlier in May.
, the former City Councilman and long time Benicia restauranteur moved to the Southampton Shopping Center three years ago and opened . “It’s not a shopping center, it’s a single stop center,” said Ioakimedes.
The Benicia Herald reports that other merchants are also unhappy. Among their cncerns are the parking situation and that the mix businesses in the center doesn’t encourage shoppers to spend time in more than one store before getting in the car and leaving.
Corinne Harpin, owner of is done negotiating with Weingarten Realty. “I’m moving out,” said Harpin. “After 25 years, I’ve had enough. In September I’m moving to First Street.”
Harpin had been trying to negotiate a new lease and felt that the landlord didn't care about the difficulties small businesses are facing in today's economy. According to Harpin, during the negotiations she was told the only thing she could count on was that her rent would never go down.
Harping went on to say that the landlord didn't try and negotiate a reasonable rent until she gave her notice.
What do you think of Southampton Center? Are you happy with the business mix in the center?
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