April 27, 2004 > Evicted!
Redevelopment is Coming - Get Out of the Way!
For those in the path of redevelopment, the relocation process can be relatively easy or excruciatingly difficult. Once notice has been served, there is a limited time to find another location and, without consideration of the traumatic effect on business - can your customers find the new location? Will they follow you to the new location? - there is the issue of what locations are available to accommodate your business.
Maple Street businesses in the Centerville District of Fremont for example, are facing imminent eviction. Affirmed Housing Group is about to begin development of a housing complex on the property. Overland Pacific & Cutler, Inc. of Oakland was hired to monitor the relocation process for these businesses. Although payments are available for relocation expenses and some suggestions of possible relocation sites have been provided, there is no "obligation" of the relocation specialist to find a suitable site within a reasonable distance of the existing business.
For some businesses, the choice may be to give up and retire, while others may have a choice of locations within a short distance from the existing site. Of course, there are usually increased overhead costs in newer buildings and many businesses are unable to exist with this added burden. However, for some such as B&M Radiator Service, a Fremont business since 1954, the additional requirements from the EPA and other regulatory agencies create almost insurmountable obstacles.
The automotive repair business has become increasingly difficult due to governmental restrictions while the need for services has not diminished. Grant Hammond, owner of B&M Radiator Service, says that he has had a difficult time finding a suitable location and "time is running out." Although the representatives of Overland Pacific & Cutler, Inc. and Affirmed Housing Group have been cordial, the problem of relocation still remains and the initial 40% expense payment for a move cannot cover the actual expenses when considering the lease requirements often imposed (deposit, moving, plumbing, phone, advertising, etc.). When asked if anyone from the City of Fremont Redevelopment Agency has ever visited or shown interest in the relocation process or his dilemma, the answer was "No." Grant can be reached at (510) 796-0185. Is anyone in the Redevelopment Agency listening?