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Moratorium on Changes to Downtown Commercial Property Uses Extended

Aug 19, 2014 08:29PM ● By DigMB Staff

The Downtown Manhattan Beach Business and Professional Association is spearheading an effort to examine commercial uses in downtown MB.

In a unanimous vote of 5-0 Tuesday night, the Manhattan Beach City Council passed an ordinance to extend a moratorium on the re-classification of any commercial property located in the downtown commercial district. Council voted on the proposed extension after holding a public hearing.

The 10-month extension keeps the downtown commercial district as is (only those new commercial uses approved prior to the first moratorium on July 15 can continue to convert the commercial space into a new use). Many at the council meeting called it a "time out" or "freeze."

Downtown merchants have become increasingly concerned about the conversion of retail space to office space or "corporate" retail stores that can afford the higher rent rates being charged.

The Downtown Manhattan Beach Business & Professional Association is spearheading an effort to have the city develop a plan for the downtown commercial district that addresses their concerns. The city's last plan for downtown was crafted in 1996.

Tuesday night, many downtown business owners addressed City Council as did property owners, a representative of the real estate industry, residents and others who enjoy frequenting the downtown area.

They included Chef David LeFevre of Manhattan Beach Post and Fishing With Dynamite, Michael Zislis of The Strand HouseCirca and Shade Hotel, Maureen McBride of Tabula Rasa Essentials, Kris Mackerer D'Errico of Bella Beach and Bella Beach Kids, David Kissinger, government affairs director, South Bay Association of Realtors, Linda McLaughlin Figel of Pages, Jim O'Callaghan, president/CEO of the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce, Kyle Ransford, downtown property owner and owner of Bank of Manhattan, Les Silverman of Look! Optometry, Chandra Shaw of Trilogy Spa, Steve Lore, a 46-year resident, Arolyn Smith of Body Suite Spa, Megan Arquette, a 13-year resident, Martha Andreani, whose father's family came to Manhattan Beach in 1920, Suzanne Haring of The Soozi Show, Luis Gonzalez, a 13-year resident, Kelly Stroman, executive director of the DMBBPA, and Oscar of Mama D's Italian Kitchen.

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