I’m a little confused. M&W Properties, (July 8 article) defending itself on releasing Banana Republic space to three more Gucci stores, seems to be claiming innocence about Banana Republic losing the lease. Can you clarify?Your article said that the lease expires in November 2003, almost a year and a half from now. M&W claims they asked Banana Republic if they wanted to renew the lease two years ago. Does this mean that their lessee has to renew a lease 3 1/2 years before it’s up? Amazing! The lessee might have to be clairvoyant.Then, M&W says that Banana Republic decided they wanted to renew only after the deal had already been made with Gucci. They would match the rent, but it was too late. Does this mean that when Gucci was showing interest and beginning negotiations the landlords did not go to Banana Republic and tell them about the impending “new” lessee and ask again if they wanted to stay? If they had not asked for two years it would seem only fair, don’t you think? M&W notes that the property taxes on the downtown commercial building are $10 per square foot. But the lessee has a triple net lease, which means that the LESSEE PAYS THE PROPERTY TAX, as well as the rent. So, why the mention of how expensive the taxes are? It doesn’t really matter to them, now does it? So, what Aspen gets is yet another building remodel in the center of the busiest corner of downtown to accommodate the NEW stores and Banana Republic (if it finds another spot) gets to remodel the new place they get. This gives more dollars to and benefits most everyone involved … brokers, landlords AND contractors. The only entities that will suffer here are the Aspenites, who have to put up with the re-do, and Banana Republic, who will have to move and remodel when they already have a gorgeous store (but not gorgeous enough for Gucci, I’m sure) in one of the best locations in Aspen. And, if they don’t find another space Aspen suffers because many of us have to go elsewhere to shop. And the town suffers, too, because a lot of sales tax dollars will be lost. Depressing!Now, if this is indeed Banana Republic’s fault and they were given a fair chance to step up to the plate or if their lease said they had to renew 3 1/2 years before the lease was up and they said no … well, then OK. Fair is fair. Somehow it doesn’t sound like this is the case.Donna FisherAspen
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