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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Letter to the Editor: Property owner offers his view on bank’s decision to relocate

Now:This is the view looking north on Beulah Drive toward Foothill Blvd., where the new Sports Chale
The new landlord of the building soon to be vacated by Citizens Business Bank writes to say he dealt with sincerity and fairness in his negotiations with the bank’s president.
(File Photo / La Cañada Valley Sun)

I believe it is important and only fair when all sides of a story are heard. I am referring to your recent article and comments made by Chris Myers, the president of Citizens Business Bank, regarding being forced out of the current property because of rent doubling.

First, Citizens has known since at least 2004 when its representatives signed the lease that it would end on Aug. 31, 2019 if not renewed. After I purchased the property, Citizens was offered a lease deal below what I considered to be market rent for similar properties, which was not acceptable to Mr. Myers and the bank. As such, we simply could not reach an agreement on the lease terms, and the bank decided not to renew the lease. The bank was not forced out of the property.

I believe there was a mathematical error that either Mr. Myers or your newspaper may have unintentionally made. Based on the story, Citizens will be leasing approximately 2,600 square feet of new space from the city of La Cañada Flintridge at a rate of approx. $8,300 per month. When comparing apples to apples, and assuming that I leased the bank the same 2,600 square feet of space, the monthly rent on their current space could have been approximately $11,000 a month, including all common area maintenance charges. Unless the math is wrong, I don’t see how anyone can say that Citizens’ rent would have doubled comparing the same square footage.

I believe Mr. Meyers is attempting to protect the bank’s shareholders, which I can appreciate and agree with. I would also like to think that Mr. Myers and Citizens Bank appreciate that I too am protecting my “shareholders,” which in my case are my wife and three kids.

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To show my intentions were always sincere and fair, in good faith I would be willing to accommodate the bank’s need of approximately 2,600 square feet of space by moving them to the middle of my property at the rate mentioned above.

On a positive note, there will soon be approx 12,500 divisible square feet available to attract new and or existing growing businesses in our area.

Alex Venneri

La Cañada Flintridge

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