Readers comments 6-26-15

Pepper Tree Square

Dear Editor:

On behalf of the Pepper Tree Square ownership and leasing team, we want to thank Gabriel George for his civic participation and June 12 letter regarding the Pepper Tree Square shopping center at the corner of Indian Hill and Arrow in Claremont. It is good to see a young man showing interest in his community.

Although challenging, leasing activity has been very active behind the scenes. Negotiating with national tenants is frequently a long, arduous and expensive process.

First, you have to get these companies interested in the location.

Second, you have to get their real estate and operations teams in agreement to pursue the location.

Third, the potential tenant’s architecture, construction, legal and finance departments all need to provide their input and be in agreement.

Fourth, this is then followed by a negotiation of lease terms, which typically cover a 20- to 30-year period of time and address items such as lease rates, who pays and performs the various parts of construction, who is responsible and pays for various maintenance over time, what other uses are allowed in the center, and at least 20 other items.

Fifth, if you get through this entire process, the parties and their lawyers then negotiate a lease, which takes all of the items that were previously negotiated and adds substantially greater items that then further need to be negotiated. It is actually amazing that anything ever gets built.

It is important to lease the larger spaces first as they set the tone for the center. The occupancy of smaller spaces by certain uses may prevent some larger tenants from coming to the project. For example, if we leased a smaller space to a paint store, this would likely prevent us from leasing a larger space to a hardware store that also sells paint. We have been in negotiations with a few national tenants for the larger spaces and we are very hopeful that we will sign a lease with at least one of them in the near future. Stay tuned.

Regarding the martial arts studio and the market, the martial arts studio went bankrupt and the market’s lease expired and they would not renew at market rents. We subsequently did lease a space to another martial arts studio that failed to even open after they had a binding lease.

As I said, it is not easy, and frequently what happens behind the scenes is confidential. Sometimes rumors just take on a life of their own. The contention that the ownership has not been in communication with the city is incorrect. There has been frequent dialog with the city regarding various planning and construction issues relating to the project. The city has been very cooperative and interested in our progress, including the city manager’s office who I communicate with whenever they inquire about the property or whenever we have a prospect that the city may be able to help us acquire.

The ownership has invested over $3 million to renovate this shopping center. They have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars more preparing spaces for lease and going through numerous tenant negotiations over the past few years. There is nothing that they would like more than to get Pepper Tree Square 100 percent leased to businesses that can serve the community. 

Brad Umansky


Brad Umansky is president of Progressive Real Estate Partners. His team is responsible for the leasing of Pepper Tree Square. He can be reached at


Golden State’s advice letter

 [Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to the Tariff Unit, Water Division, California Public Utilities Commission and Ronald Moore, Golden State Water Company, with a copy forwarded to the COURIER?for publication. —KD]

Dear Editor:

I protest Golden State Water’s conservation advice letter 1625-W. The relief requested in the advice letter is unjust and discriminatory.


1. By replacing our lawn with native drought-resistant plants and replacing household faucets and toilets with restricted flow items, we had already significantly reduced our water use prior to the 2013 baseline that is being used to calculate water usage.

For example: Golden State Water states “No customers will be asked to reduce their water usage below 8 CcF per month.” Because of our prior water conservation efforts our total water usage for three seperate months in 2013 was already below this absolute minimum figure, and this included landscape irrigation. The Golden State Water Company plan is unjust and discriminatory because it does not allow recognition for prior conservation efforts taken prior to the 2013 baseline.

2. Golden State Water Company’s plan violates common sense and state regulation criterion: The May 2015 State Water Board emergency regulations that took effect June 1, 2015 require that the higher the use, the higher percentage reduction and the lower the use, the lower percentage reduction.

Golden State Water is ignoring this State Water Board criterion and insisting on across-the-board reduction, regardless of prior use (except for new construction). The Golden State plan is unjust and discriminatory because it does not make allowance for the consumption principle—lower use, lower percentage reduction—clearly emphasized in the state regulation criterion.

Golden State’s proposition is unjust and discriminatory to those of us who foresaw the problem and took proactive steps well before it became an “emergency.”

We will be discriminated against for already conserving water because it will require greater hardship for us to make the required reduction than it will be for those who didn’t take conservation measures prior to the emergency regulation plan.

A just and defensible approach would logically adjust for citizens who had already reduced water consumption below the average CcF figure that GSW asserts it will be using to calculate the baseline for new construction.

John M. Roseman



Stop Super PACS

Dear Editor:

The explosive growth of Super PACs is a major outgrowth of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, and it is undermining the integrity and effectiveness of our nation’s anti-corruption campaign finance laws. Super PACs raise and spend unlimited amounts and serve as vehicles for donors and candidates to bypass the contribution limits that apply to a candidate’s campaign—limits enacted by Congress to prevent corruption.

It is time to close this loophole that is letting too much big money into our elections. It is time to tell your US Representative to cosponsor and support HR 425, the “Stop Super Pac—Candidate Coordination Act” introduced recently by Representatives David Price and Chris Van Hollen.

Since coordinated expenditures are treated by law as in-kind contributions to the candidate, new and effective coordination rules would bring Super PACs back into the contribution limit system and help protect against corruption of public officials.

Congress can fix this, so please stand up today and urge your representative to strengthen coordination rules and stop Super PACs from evading the law.

As a practical matter, Super PACs are sidestepping the law that is intended to block huge and corrupting campaign contributions. It is time to establish real-world, common-sense definition of corruption and close this massive loophole.

Help us stop big money by contacting your US Representative today to co-sponsor and support HR 425 today.

Ellen Taylor

VP for Advocacy,

LWV of th Claremont Area


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