News

Legal battle brewing at strip mall

Tenants fear eviction from new owner after receiving perplexing 30-day notice

A number of Mountain View businesses in a strip mall near the Sunnyvale border may soon enter into litigation with the shopping center's new landlord. According to some shop owners and employees working in the complex, every business there was issued a 30-day notice to vacate.

However, the landlord said that the note he delivered to his tenants was merely meant to inform them of a change in ownership; none of the businesses would provide a copy of the alleged eviction document before the Voice's press time.

The landlord, Cyrus Parvini, said that he recently purchased a portion of the strip mall and hopes to expand his Little Prodigy Preschool & Daycare Center, which currently occupies a building on the eastern end of the center, located at 830 E. El Camino Real, across the street from the Palo Alto Medical Foundation campus.

Parvini told the Voice that he bought a portion of the strip mall, which had previously been owned by the Pacific National Bank, in the hopes of growing his preschool.

Noah Downing, an assistant planner with the City of Mountain View, said Parvini has yet to fill out the requisite forms for approval to expand, but through conversations the landlord has had with the planning department, Downing said it was clear that Parvini hoped to expand his preschool into the vacant former bank building on the property.

To Downing's knowledge, Parvini does not plan to use any of the other spaces in the center. Still, according to Michelle Piao, the owner of a The Office Bar, all the businesses in the strip mall, including her watering hole, along with a liquor store, a dry cleaner, a salon and a massage parlor received a 30-day notice.

The problem is that The Office Bar and other tenants in the complex currently have leases that extend years into the future, according to Piao and one of her bartenders.

"All my customers were shocked," Piao said, adding that she is joining together with other the other business owners and an attorney to fight back. "We know this is wrong. We have a lease. You can't treat people like this."

The other business owners in the shopping center were careful about what they said regarding the notice. Many said they weren't sure about the exact language of the document, but most of them confirmed they had received some kind of "30-day notice."

Parvini said that it is all a misunderstanding.

"Nobody is going to kick anybody out right now," he said.

According to him, the notice he issued to his tenants simply explained that he was the new owner and that their leases would now be managed by him.

Any tenant with a lease in the complex cannot be evicted until their lease expires, according to Joseph Dozier, a Los Altos real estate lawyer.

"You can't cancel or ignore existing leases when you buy property," Dozier said, unless there was a clause in the lease that stipulated that could happen in the event of a change of ownership. "I've never seen language like that, but it's possible."

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tenant
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 15, 2011 at 1:47 pm

"Still, according to Michelle Piao, the owner of a The Office Bar, all the businesses in the strip mall, including her watering hole, along with a liquor store, a dry cleaner, a salon and a massage parlor received a 30-day notice."

I wish a happy ending to this story!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 15, 2011 at 1:50 pm

""All my customers were shocked," Piao said, adding that she is joining together with other the other business owners and an attorney to fight back. "We know this is wrong. We have a lease. You can't treat people like this.""
I would be shocked, too!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bubble_Head
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 15, 2011 at 2:01 pm

"... had received some kind of "30-day notice.""
Is it some kind of "30-day notice." or some kind of [a] "30-day notice."?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by A Lot of Nothing...
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 15, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Either it is a 30-day notice, in which case it has no effect unless allowed for and stipulated in the existing leases, or it's not. If there is a 30-day clause in the Lease, then the tenants must abide by the Lease language. If not, then the new owner can't do anything except tell the tenants he's the new owner, send the rent checks to this address, payble to...etc., etc., etc. Either way it this is more about publicity or a slow news day than anything else.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by eric
a resident of another community
on Apr 15, 2011 at 2:23 pm

This is absolutely irresponisble journalism. The tenants REFUSED to show you this alleged 30 day notice, and the party that sent it says its NOT a 30 day notice. Why would you run this story?

Commercial leases generally require written notice for either Landlord or tenant to change their contact information. It might require written notice for a tenant to produce information that might be mandated by a new owners lender. But the Voice just took the word of the tenants-- who could have easily backed up their claim but refused to do so.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 15, 2011 at 2:30 pm

"This is absolutely irresponisble journalism."

I think Nick's report was very informational! I didn't know there was a "massage parlor" in that complex!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 15, 2011 at 2:39 pm

It about time this strip mall got cleaned up. It is seedy, an eyesore and an embarrassment to the City of Mountain View. The Voice reported a few months ago about a gun incident at The Office Bar.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Outraged!
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 15, 2011 at 2:45 pm

Looks like a new sheriff is in town!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by KD
a resident of Waverly Park
on Apr 15, 2011 at 2:48 pm

When in doubt, refer to lease.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Seer
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Apr 15, 2011 at 3:20 pm

even if they do have a lease, the landlord can make it hard for them to stay. By making "Impovements": ordering construction, resurfacing parking lots, etc. All these things can be manipulated for MAXIMUM customer inconvenience so customers stay away, like making it had to even get to the stores. Ask the old tenants of Palo Alto's Town and Country center. The landlords drove them out by making it hard for people to get into the shops and once out, they moved the higher rent payers in.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dumas
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 18, 2011 at 6:48 pm

What is this? "...she is joining together with other the other business owners and..."??

-Dumas


 +   Like this comment
Posted by s g
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Apr 19, 2011 at 11:13 pm

I have been a customer of a number of businesses at this location for many years. Anybody who has personally interacted with the people here would know that Cyrus is far from the "landlord" he is portrayed to be in this article. He is one of the most gentle persons I have met. The bar, on the other hand, can get rowdy at times. The liquor store owner, the laundromat, the tailor, these are all decent friendly people. The taqueria changes ownership every few months, so I don't think they care.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jim
a resident of Whisman Station
on Apr 21, 2011 at 4:42 pm

I talked to an associate of Junes at the liquor store and he confirmed it is 30 day s to get out. He is already looking for a new location near Bernardo.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by George
a resident of Rex Manor
on Apr 25, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Slow news day indeed....

Pay attention to Attorney Joe Dozier... New owner just plain can't toss them out.

Duh..

And as for "The Office"... it keeps the drunks off the streets...


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