Frustration Grows at City Hall Over Another Business Closing at Southampton Shopping Center

Restaurants and stores closing in Southampton Shopping Center and complaints from tenants has City Hall confused about landlord plans for Southampton Shopping Center.

Frustration with Weingarten Realty Investors, has spread from the tenants of the Southampton Shopping Center to City Hall.

“Right now, we’re very frustrated with them and we’ve communicated that to then with both phone calls and in writing,” said City Manager Brad Kilger.

The announced a restaurant that has been in various locations in Benicia for 33 years coupled with other businesses either relocating or closing for good has prompted City Hall to take a more aggressive approach to dealing with the Houston based landlords.

“We have serious questions about what the business plan is for that center,” said Kilger.

Mayor Elizabeth Patterson has written a letter to Weingarten Senior Vice-President of Development, Robert Smith expressing the city’s frustration and concern for businesses in the center.

With the announced relocation of Harpin’s Beauty Supply Salon, the closure of Mike and Gayle’s and the recent relocation of , the center will have eight vacant spaces in September. 

“The City doesn’t really have the tools to affect who they recruit,” said Kilger.

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Scott Burford August 23, 2012 at 04:53 AM
There is only a loss of sales tax if the business that leaves Southampton Centre either go out of business or leave town. In most cases, the businesses have relocated to another building in Benicia, therefore preserving the sales tax revenue. If the business simply "goes under" it is hard to place all of the blame on the landlord.
Scott Burford August 23, 2012 at 05:00 AM
Robert, the answer lies in the fluctuations in the economy, the aptitude of the business owners, and in the case of chain stores, the mergers and acquisitions of those regional businesses, which drive store openings and closings. In short, if you look at every similarly sized shopping center in the greater Bay Area, I promise you will see the same thing. Turnover is natural in business, especially in retail.
Scott Burford August 23, 2012 at 05:11 AM
A responsible business owner will understand these costs, and have a solid business plan that allows them to be profitable and able to survive downturns in the economy. Perhaps we're witnessing a change in the structure of retail centers -- this may be the beginning of a transition to something other than the large centers like Southampton.
Babaloo November 02, 2012 at 04:48 AM
1. business is business. 2. Aaron Knowling's statement "As a Benicia business person, I am sure my per day sales are more than many of small businesses in the center have in a week." must really be doing quite a bit of business, i wonder what the "business is ". 3 an absentee landlord or one who "lives" out of state has zero interest in the community it serves. So go ahead write your letter , they will respond with "and ?" 4. the people of benicia need to take responsibility for their community. we must shop in our town. there is no other choice. meanwhile the businesses MUST court our people to shop here. it is a win / win situation. Now if you give bad service or do not take care of your customers. why should they shop with you ?
JB Davis November 02, 2012 at 04:58 AM
Very good points Babaloo.


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