Letter: The Winner

Letter to the Editor

Please examine closely Arnold York’s editorial “‘Yes’ on Measure W” in the Oct. 15 edition of The Malibu Times.

He opens the piece with a very devastating, but true statement: “what has increased is the traffic passing through Malibu. That’s not going to change; in fact, that’s going to increase.”

He also correctly notes Malibu has not maintained its rural character with mom-and-pop stores. Why is that? Only national chains can afford to lose money for the sake of branding “Malibu” while paying exorbitant rents and CAM charges. No mom-and-pop can afford to do that.

He points to the Trancas Center as the example to follow. The obvious contradiction there is that the center did not increase any square footage with its recent remodel. They did not try to jam an extra 165,000 sq. ft. of retail into an existing infrastructure. This project consists of 165,000 sq. ft. plus Malibu Bay Companies 85,000 sq. foot proposed development plus the Santa Monica College campus.

Arnold states, “When the community needs something, Steve Soboroff is always the first guy to step up and offer to help.” So, why is he suing the City of Malibu after the majority of residents approved Measure R? 

Again, Arnold says, “He’s not some distant, off-shore investment group.” He won’t reveal who the principal investors are. “He’s exactly what you want in a local developer.” First, Soboroff is not local, and second, check out the L.A. Times April 21, 2010 regarding Soboroff’s Playa Vista development.

Developers have paid enormous amounts of money to buy Malibu property. It is not possible to build and maintain a commercial space in Malibu for a reasonable return on investment. If a local wanted to open a new store, and you actually don’t see any standing in line, the price per square foot is impossible to pay. We were guaranteed locals in the Lumber Yard. How has that worked out?

Passage of Measure W will unquestionably harm the few local merchants left in Malibu. I’m one of them. We’re all resident business owners with a long history of serving the Malibu community. There will be only one local winner, The Malibu Times, with 165,000 sq. ft. of new advertising dollars.

Michael Osterman