buy cytotec with no prescription It is time for some words about our current tenant/landlord situation and our future. Many of you who are our customers (and in many cases have become friends) are understandably unclear on what is going on here lately. Almost every day for the last year and a half we’ve been getting this question, “So, when is the church kicking you out?” Let me clear some things up. This is long, but it is only the major parts of the ongoing saga. If you really care, please read.

my blog We opened our doors in September 2013 and had a very positive relationship with property owner Jim Quinlan and the Jax organization through February 2015. Flatirons Community Church (FCC) then officially took over as landlord. FCC purchased this center with the exceptions of the Jax Ranch and Home, and Herbal Wellness businesses with intent to move church offices into a large portion. At this point, I scheduled a meeting with representatives of the church regarding effects of this change and what I could expect going forward. Paul Brunner and Michael Koehn from FCC were polite, professional and accommodating and assured me that they wanted my business here and had no intent to disrupt or uproot myself or any other abiding, rent-paying business here-in.

buy Lyrica online usa A lot has changed since then – way too much to print here. There is plenty of press surrounding the FCC vs. Lafayette Music disputes if you are interested in that. In addition to FCC’s attempt to move Lafayette Music out of this center, they have refused to renew leases with Crossroads Tavern who has moved to Erie, and Lunada Eatery and Cantina who has moved East to the Forest Park area in Lafayette. Both of these businesses very much wanted to stay. FCC has recently stated to me in writing that they no longer wish for my business to remain here either – more on this further along. So what exactly is going on here? I can’t speak for any other businesses but I will present our experience for the last year:

In April of 2016, we received our reconciliation of Common Area Maintenance (CAM) fees for 2015. This is the actual expenditures by landlord within the calendar year compared to what I paid as part of my monthly rent that year which is estimated prediction of what was to be spent. Landlords typically overestimate the monthly, and tenants are reimbursed a small amount at the time of reconcilliation. This was the case for us for 2014’s reconcilliation. 2015’s reconciliation under FCC’s management apportioned Lafayette Homebrew Supply’s fraction of CAM fees to a sum that was a more than 500% increase compared to 2014’s.

Now, that type of year to year difference is unheard of in commercial real estate, but that is not the half of it. Before I name a few line items that increased drastically, here are 3 points that illuminate how it is inconceivable that fees wouldn’t have DECREASED:

1. 2015’s reconcilliation only covers February 15th through the end of the year (I already paid the first 6 weeks to my previous landlord), so actually less than 90% of the year.

2. Jax Ranch and home was over 50% of the square footage covered in 2014 and is not included in 2015’s since they are supposedly completely covering all their own operating expenses.

3. Of the remaining square footage that IS included in 2015, over 50% of that was vacant for 7 months of 2015, about 40% vacant for the other 5 months.

In other words, in 2015 when compared to 2014 – less than half the square footage to cover/manage, greater than 50% vacancy in that remaining square footage necessitating less management, cleaning, etc and the “year” covered was really only 10.5 months.

Just to name a few items that increased inexplicably despite the above points which by all rationality should have REDUCED CAM fees: Building repairs and maintenance including HVAC increased by 400% (even though 2014’s included a major roof repair), snow removal and landscaping doubled (despite Jax staff maintaining their own grounds and parking areas), management fee and janitorial fees doubled despite the drastic reduction in total square footage and tenancy within. I of course met with them about this and, in an hour and a half meeting, the SINGLE instance they could point out in which services have actually been improved is that they have prevented homeless people from staying in the atrium overnight. This did happen a couple of times during the transition of ownership when maintenance lagged a bit. How much did this cost, you might ask? Interestingly, $0. They had volunteers from their congregation patrolling. They have no explanation as to how these increases have occurred and have called me “disrespectful” for trying to get answers. I have seen absolutely no increase in services received. Meanwhile in the atrium, they have painted all the natural brick dull gray, taken out the huge planters full of living tropical plants, and are proceeding with their huge build-out for their offices while our parking spaces in the back don’t even have visible dividing lines. When I asked why they would remove the planters of tropical plants, they said to make it more “modern”. A habiscus plant used to bloom outside the shop once a year.

Part of that major increase in building repairs and maintenance sum is a “major upgrade” of the HVAC system which, as per my lease, needs to be amortized over 15 years as it is a capitol improvement. They tried to hit me and my few remaining neighbors with paying in full for that on the spot. In addition, they were asking me to pay property taxes for January through February 15th which I had already paid to the previous landlord. I had to point these 2 things out to them. The letter from FCC accompanying the 2015 reconciliation included this sentence: “Lastly, a portion of the space at Lafayette Marketplace is vacant. We decided to include all of the square footage in our calculations, even the unoccupied space. This saved you $xxxx in CAM charges.” As is commonplace, my lease contains an article allowing for us to pay LESS in times of increased vacancy, not more. They didn’t “decide” anything here, they had absolutely no right to charge me more due to vacancies. In a telling moment, at one point during our meeting, Paul Bruner actually said, “this is our first rodeo”. He also said they hadn’t even looked at CAM expenditures for this building in 2014. At all.

The above information is absolutely factual and I’ve taken care not to include my opinions regarding competency, integrity, honesty, etc. of Paul Brunner, Michael Koehn and FCC.

So, as I said in the beginnig, FCC has officially expressed their desire for my business to vacate the unit we’re occupying. Now, I’m at a loss trying to figure this out. First of all, I have paid every cent of rent and all other “due” amounts to them not one day late, including the huge sum demanded of me resulting from the 2015 reconcilliation and the resulting grossly increased current monthly CAM fees. I have never caused any problems or disturbances to the general property or any business neighbors here. Why a landlord would not want to retain such a tenant is a complete mystery. Second of all, FCC has stated to me several times that their final plan for this center is an “entertainment district”. Removing businesses such as Crossroads Tavern and Lunada Eatery and Cantina while moving in a huge amount of church offices is the opposite of creating an entertainment district.

So, since they officially want me out, naturally I asked if they would consider renegotiating terms of my lease term allowing me to terminate the lease giving them 90 days notice before officially vacating if I am able to find a new location. They have refused this.

They also said in writing to me on 2 occasions that they are taking specific steps to reduce Operating Expenses in 2016 to reduce our CAM fees and they were to reassess after the first 6 months of 2016. They reassessed, and guess what – they aren’t reducing the CAM fees.

We are locked into this location for another 2 years (til Summer 2018) for better or for worse. Please continue to support us and understand we’ve had no control over the take-over by FCC and are now stuck here in a location in which we’re not wanted by our landlord, yet they will not give us a fair way out. We’re now forced to pay a huge increase in our monthly CAM fees based on the still unexplained horrific mismanagement of operating expenses in 2015, amidst sustained major demo/buildout/construction for their offices and all the problems that brings while my friends in neighboring independent small businesses have to move away one by one. Obviously, there is no way I could have predicted that things would be this way when I signed a lease 3 years ago. So if you’ve made it this far, thanks for your time. I wanted to get the truth out there, and hopefully reduce the frequency of my having to answer the question over and over, “When is the church kicking you out?” Well, they would have already if they could have, but I was smart enough to know how to prevent them from having the power. We added in two 2-year term extensions in our original lease document before signing with Jim Quinlan and Jax. FCC has to honor the terms of those extensions whether they like it or not though it doesn’t save us from these CAM fees. We did look at other spaces earlier this year, but at the end of the day, staying was our best option.

What will things be like here in another year or 2? All I know is, we’ll still be here doing our best to serve our customers. My personal opinion is that not so much an “entertainment district” as it will be a “Flatirons Church Commons”. As long as you’re a member of their church, come hang out. As far as just a cool place for Lafayette residents, I’ll believe it when I see it.

If you are a member of this church, I have no problem with that. I was raised Christian and if everybody lived by Judeo-Christian ethics, what a wonderful world it would be! But just know that these are the facts about what this particular church is up to. Please share if you know members of the church. I think most of their congregation has no idea the negative impact they’ve had on some of Lafayette’s hard-working small businesses.