Mart serves responsibly

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In response to Chrissy Orloff’s recent letter to the editor, titled “Upscale Screw-Up,” I would like to clarify statements that were made inaccurately. The incoming store she referred to is not just “a $300-a-pair jeans store.” The replacement store for Indiana Joan is Ernest Sewn, which specializes in men’s and women’s clothing, collectible books and high-end gift items. They are well known for their high quality, hand-stitched denim and they carry jeans well under the price she mentioned.

Ms. Orloff’s statement that Barney’s will be moving into the Room-At-The-Beach location is news to me. Along with several other retailers, Barney’s has inquired about space. However, there is no lease or even a Letter of Intent existing between us.

Reference is made to Mr. Dick Van Dyke who, in a previous letter, expressed disappointment regarding Malibu shopping options for certain basic commodities such as screwdrivers and underwear. As we are all aware, these basic items are typically available in large shopping malls or big-box stores like Home Depot, Target and Costco. Malibu lacks these shopping alternatives because there is a lack of large commercially developable parcels and because Malibu has not encouraged stores of this magnitude.

Since acquiring the Malibu Country Mart in 1985, we have doubled the number of stores in the center. Additionally, the Ralphs Market center across PCH has been developed along with several other retail properties, substantially increasing the number of shopping options for Malibu residents over the last several years.

The Malibu Country Mart has evolved as the town center for Malibu residents and is frequently used to host local charitable and civic events. It consists of 65 high quality retail stores and restaurants, and also includes business offices, medical offices, a local high school, a car wash and other service businesses. The property features a children’s playground, world-class sculptures, dining and picnic areas and the only public restrooms servicing the Malibu Civic Center.

The Malibu Country Mart tenant mix provides extensive choices for fashion, cosmetics, gifts, jewelry, toys, spiritual items, furniture, optical, fine wines and automotive. Dining choices include casual, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Greek, gourmet coffee/tea and dessert. Thirty-five of these tenants are not chains and approximately one-third of the business owners live in Malibu. This is a result of a longstanding Koss Real Estate management philosophy to encourage, whenever possible, leasing to local businesses.

The Malibu community enjoys a commercial center that is pristine, safe and beautiful and the shopping and dining alternatives are numerous and popular.

Michael Koss

General Partner

Malibu Country Mart