Dutton's Beverly Hills closed December 31, but the hard feelings continue. At a city council meeting last night the city manager of Beverly Hills apparently made a report blaming the bookstore for its demise. On the Dutton's website today, the management replies that the city isn't speaking the truth:
The city has chosen to misconstrue in order to mislead and justify their refusal to renegotiate the terms of the lease (which is their prerogative but they should not try to pretend it is anything else).
It is disingenuous for the city to hide behind a state law that has nothing to do with renegotiating a lease of city property. The city insists that “every option was placed on the table”. That is simply not true. The only option was pay the rent or leave. The city refused to renegotiate the lease, so we had to leave.
There is much more that could be said, and a more complete picture will emerge in the coming months - (and a more complete clarification on the City Manager report).
The assurances and promises made to and relied on by Dutton’s prior to committing to open in Beverly Hills were not honored. For whatever reason, the city was not open to renegotiating the lease, and that is the reason we have to leave. It is not unusual for leases to be renegotiated, and it should not be portrayed as a “huge public subsidy” so the city can save face (and political position).