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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