Claremont Insider: Downtown News

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Downtown News

The Claremont Packing House has been open one year now, and according to an article in Saturday's Claremont Courier, the tenant reviews are mixed.

Courier reporter Tony Krickl wrote:

After one year, 4 store front business owners have walked away from their second story lofts out of 11 listed on The Packing House’s website. Some did not have the success they were hoping for, while others left for personal reasons.

Kathleen Galipeau, who ran an art studio in her loft, decided to move out due to poor business sales. She had hoped for greater foot traffic throughout the building to support her business and believes she will have more success in her previous location in Upland.

“There have been some growing pains along the road there,” she said. “Live/work lofts are such a new idea. It’s a great place to be, but there are a few integral problems with how upstairs is laid out.”

Lynnette Barron, who ran a floral business, worked an agreement to cut out of her lease early. She complained of difficulties with the building’s management, structural problems in her loft and excessive noise.

A 3rd tenant not renewing his lease was Chas Seward, whose ad agency, Spitfire Studios, ran Claremont’s holiday marketing campaign. Mr. Seward said he left because the loft was too big for his company’s needs and has moved to a smaller location in the Village.

“As far as environment, it’s a great space,” Mr. Seward said. “It just wasn’t conducive to our business.”

Krickl's article went on to quote several other tenants who were doing just fine, though one of them was Jerry Tessier, the president of Arteco Partners, who was the developer for the Packing House project. Tessier told Krickl that there's no shortage of prospective tenants lined up to fill the vacant units.

Some of the businesses seem to be making it. Three Forks Chop House reportedly has a waiting list of several weeks, and Meg at the M-M-M-My Pomona blog wrote that the Hip Kitty Jazz Club was jumping when she visited a couple weeks ago.

On the other hand, the Maui Wowie smoothie place appears to have been up for sale, and some of the other Packing House businesses haven't seemed especially crowded with customers or window shoppers.