Boost local stores


This is just a note to clarify my comments to the newspaper. Small business in Malibu has not had a break in so many years that the high vacancy rate in the office and retail sector hopefully reflects a little relief in the near future. Our favorite local stores have been disappearing at an unprecedented rate because rental rates have been rising much faster than their business could support. Local business has had to walk on eggshells with their landlords because there are so few alternative Malibu locations and property owners could pretty much dictate the terms once a lease expired.

With virtually no commercial construction in 20 years and no real attempt to preserve our local businesses, the die was cast. We had an opportunity to do something when the City of Malibu purchased the Chili Cook-off land and redeveloped the buildings but the City Council opted for potential big bucks in a percentage participation. This has brought us a retail complex that exceeded the rents of the Country Mart that no local tenant could afford and has a roster of businesses that are “branding” their names at the expense of our community businesses. The Malibu Village, as it is now called, has tried to ride the same bandwagon and though Mr. Luchs will certainly sign new tenants from outside the community, the existing tenants are facing extinction when their leases expire.

I urge the City Council to develop a long-term strategy because these new businesses are not doing very well and will only be supported by a few very wealthy residents. When I hear the slogan “Shop Malibu,” I am very methodical to spend my money locally with the true local businesses that have served our community. Boy, do I miss the real Malibu Lumber.

Tony Dorn