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Peeples, work with me

Dear Mr. Peeples:

Thank you for your response to our questions. I guess I was too lengthy in that and I guess the point of the note was lost because you haven’t answered it. My fault. I tend to go on.

But to make it as simple as possible: We assume you want to do this development in the Civic Center to earn a profit.

We assume you want this profit to be consistent with what you might earn with the same investment in other markets.

We don’t understand how you will earn this return without doing to us what us “prophets of doom” prophesy. That is cannibalization of the customers our friends, service providers and merchants enjoy now, increased traffic on the highway, and may be most importantly increased pressure on our already beleaguered city council and city treasury to defend what those of us who live here kind of see as the reason to live here.

How will you develop the rents necessary to make this a profitable investment without doing everything you have promised not to do. We really don’t understand how this is possible. We look at things like 15 percent return on equity and we can’t figure out how this is going to work.

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As I said in my earlier note, we aren’t the big time tycoons so we may not understand the ins and outs of tax benefits or Lord knows whatever. What do you have in the project? What does your lender expect in the way of traffic? How many square feet will be for rent, what will you charge per square foot, what kind of gross traffic will someone like the Gap have to generate to pay that rent?

They aren’t unreasonable questions and life could get a lot easier if we had some reasonable answers.

Maybe this is an act of altruism. Maybe you really do want to help us. That’s an argument that we’re very ready to hear because we feel the same way about our town that you tell us is the way you feel.

Bill Dunne

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The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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