Scripps Ranch Marketplace Hallmark Closing

After 21 years, Scripps Ranch is in danger of losing its Hallmark store again. Cathy's Hallmark, next to Vons on Scripps Poway Parkway, has been attempting for the last eight months to negotiate a new lease with CB Richard Ellis, the leasing agent, Invesco, the asset manager, and the State of Hawaii Employees Pension Fund, the owner of the center.

Moreover, the landlord through its leasing agent and property manager has refused to negotiate and continues to refuse to accept a fair market value rent. The landlord and its agents have been unwilling to even discuss moving my store to a smaller, vacant space in the center. They have now sued me and my family to force the store to leave Scripps Ranch Marketplace, Phase I.

It has been my dream to own a Hallmark store since I was 8 years old, and that dream is about to be lost. I have owned the Scripps Ranch Hallmark for the last 16 years, and this is a great community. I love to help my neighbors and friends celebrate the happy occasions in their lives, and help support them through the challenges.

That the center ownership doesn't see the value of Hallmark being in the center is the saddest part of all. We may not be able to pay more than double the rent of our current lease, but Hallmark brings more value to the center than money can buy. I hope to be able to continue to serve this great community, but if not, please know that I have loved being your local Hallmark store for the last 16 years.

I am looking at other options to continue serving our community; however, it is not certain how long the store will remain open. I also ask that anyone who knows of other locations in Scripps Ranch to call 695-2166 or visit the store.

Cathy, Kessel, Hallmark Owner

Response to Hallmark Closing Letter

[Editor's note: It is Newsletter policy to request responses from an individual or entity mentioned in a Dialogue letter. Therefore, we asked CB Richard Ellis, Invesco, and the State of Hawaii Employees Pension Fund to respond to the previous letter. We did not hear back from Invesco or the State of Hawaii Employees Pension Fund. CB Richard Ellis had its attorney respond. The full statement follows.]



I represent the landlord regarding the expiration of the lease with Cathy's Hallmark at Scripps Ranch Marketplace. Thank you for providing us with the opportunity to respond to the letter that you have received regarding this matter. While we are not in a position to comment on every statement in the letter due to reasons of confidentiality, we would like to address one particular item that is, quite simply, factually incorrect.

The landlord did attempt on multiple occasions to negotiate a market rate lease with both Cathy's Hallmark and Hallmark's corporate representative starting over nine months ago. Unfortunately, those negotiations did not result in a lease renewal (whereas several other tenants at Scripps Ranch Marketplace have renewed in the last year because they are willing and able to pay the prevailing "fair market value rent").

Cathy's Hallmark was provided with some additional time in the space beyond the expiration of its lease in an attempt to allow an orderly relocation. However, the additional time period has passed and the landlord does need to move forward with regaining possession of the space.

Again, thank you for the opportunity to respond to the letter, and we look forward to many additional years of serving the Scripps Ranch community.

David M. Cohen, Esq.
Liner Yankelevitz Sunshine & Regenstreif