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5/27/2010

Shea why take away something so good?

   I love getting up early and after my run going to I Love Bagels. I purchase six hot bagels and the full fat cream cheese then sit outside on the tables with my coffee black. I am certain to see parents from Laguna Niguel Little League with cheerful faces. I chat with sleepy Dana Hills teenage girls still in their jammies in line hustling in to pick up a toasted everything bagel or neighbors with their dogs tied to the chairs of the outdoor dining patio. It’s not a luxury patio with an ocean view; it is a homey community location.
   I Love Bagels was told when their lease was expiring that Shea Properties would not negotiate a new lease. It doesn’t make sense. Retail space is very available in the Village, Town Center, the Plaza, the Clubhouse and other similar locations in Laguna Niguel for $22- $33 a foot. Our economy is not booming to turn away a paying tenant.  I Love Bagels is an excellent compliment to the center because it is used in the mornings when the other restaurants and theater are closed. I Love Bagels is not a ‘major” or publicly traded brand like Bed Bath and Beyond, Pier One, Trader Joe’s or 24 Hour Fitness which also occupy the center; but I always window shop at Pier One on my Saturday morning I Love Bagels run.
   The only conflict might be that Peet’s coffee (highly upgraded inside tenant improvements compared to the spare plastic benches of I Love Bagels) sells coffee and baked goods. Peets’ coffee might be superior but it attracts an older crowd. I would rather support an independent and local owner. So why is I Love Bagels Ocean Ranch Center is being forced to close its Golden Lantern location by Shea Properties?
    Shea, a privately owned company, you would think is seeing down turn in their own business. John Shea who lives in Pasadena was named the 37th wealthiest person in Los Angeles County last year. He owns 10 million square feet of office space, golf resorts, Reed Construction, a home building division, and apartment and retail space valued at $870,000,000.  Shea properties response was that I Love Bagels closes  at 3:00 and they want a tenant who will be open evenings/ mall hours.  I Love Bagels is moving across the street, they will have some down time. The other store on Crown Valley will remain open. I will miss the community of the patio. I know many other neighbors will feel the same. John Shea, I wish you had been more caring in your decision because I won’t go frequent your other tenants now.

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