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Why One Retailer Left Southampton Center

It wasn’t the price per square foot, it was the size of the space.

When Stan Houston from the Southampton Shopping Center to downtown Benicia, it wasn’t because he was paying too much per square foot at his Southampton store.

“I told Weingarten I wasn’t complaining about the rate,” said Houston.  “I just wanted a smaller space and they wouldn’t let me do that and keep the rate the same.”

The result is that Houston moved ABC Music downtown where he has a better relationship with his landlord.  “I have a landlord who is willing to work with me,” said Houston.  “Their concern is that I’m making enough money so there’s this genuine partnership in terms of profitability.  Everyone has to make money.”

Houston explained that many tenants at Southampton Shopping Center have what he calls a standard lease.  “There is a base rate, the triple net charges –lighting and landscaping fees, building maintenance and taxes-  and then on top of that they send you a form every month where you tell them your sales and they take a percentage of your gross sales,” said Houston.

“When the economy goes down, the business is still liable for a healthy amount of rent,: said Houston.  “When the economy goes up they go ahead and get an override on your profits so it’s almost a lose-lose for some tenants.

In Houston’s case, he didn’t have a lease that required him to pay the percentage of gross sales but when he indicated he wanted to move to a smaller space in the shopping center, Weingarten told him he would have to pay a significantly higher rate per square foot.

That’s when he made the decision to move to First Street.

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If there’s something in this article you think should be corrected, or if something else is amiss, call editor JB Davis at 707-628-0051 or email him at benicia@patch.com.

Steve Alvord August 23, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Great reply Scott. Steve
Robert Livesay August 24, 2012 at 12:11 AM
they got the letter.
Robert Livesay August 24, 2012 at 12:13 AM
There will be another meeting very soon.
Joe Feltcher August 24, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Who cares if they got the letter or not. There is absolutely nothing the City can do about this. It's a business on private property. Nothing illegal is going on there (haven't been to the massage parlor yet). Nothing will change.
Amanda Pangelina August 24, 2012 at 05:12 PM
"they send you a form every month where you tell them your sales and they take a percentage of your gross sales" ?!?!? Insane.

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