A friend of mine Downtown has begun negotiations with his landlord.
He started to tell the landlord that sales were down, that they needed rent to come down....
"I thought you would say that," the landlord answered. "So I cut out this article from last Sunday's Bulletin. There's another store owner Downtown that says everything is just fine. His name is.....Duncan McGeary."
"What?!" That's impossible!" my friend exclaimed. "I know Duncan! That's not the kind of thing he would say. Let me see that!"
Reads article. "This doesn't sound like Duncan...."
Then -- (I think) -- he explained that Duncan is a well known crank and pay no attention to what he says.....
At least, that's what I would've done.
Since I will soon be renegotiating my own lease, I'd like to repudiate everything that Dumbshit...wasshisname, Dudley? Duncan? said in that article! I ...I mean that Dork....was mistaken! Bend is DOOOMED! Game over! Does the name Custer mean anything to you? We need lower rent, like half as much, maybe less. In fact, we ought to get a couple of free months!!!
It never pays to be positive.....
Anyway, I do think the next six months are going to be very tough, on into the later half of this year, and probably most of 2010 as well.
Really......a rent moderation wouldn't be out of line. Not a bit.
What I was trying to say was, that though the spaces Downtown were probably rentable, it doesn't mean whoever rents them will prosper at the higher rates.
From what I've heard, there have been at least six different people looking at the Merenda space already, including a national chain (which I'd never heard of.) Another local restaurant has apparently been looking at the Volo.
And why not?
The money has already been spent fixing those places up. I've always maintained that businesses Downtown leave beautiful corpses. That we fail upward.
Another way to put it, these are some beautiful shells for some enterprising hermit crabs to move into. If all they have to do is pay rent, hey, it may be a real opportunity.
Here's hoping, though, that the Downtown landlords will see the benefit of longterm, stable businesses who have proven that they can pay the rent, even if means a little less in the short run. That we try to keep a few older business around for seasoning.
It shouldn't be all high end, for instance, but obviously that means that rents can't be astronomical. If the space is somewhat more humble, so be it. I'll be sorry to see that Bond market go out, for instance, because that's just the everyday kind of business we could use a little more of.
So, when you read last week's article, just remember that there is more to the story.
2 days ago