WHAT’S THE POINT? — In a stunning move this week the City Council approved a long-term contract with Seattle based Starbucks to officially change the name of the city to Starbucks Monica in exchange for a $4,000,000 upfront licensing fee and a royalty payment. The contract calls for the city to receive a $0.10 per drink made within the city limits for the next five years. Revenues are expected to top $100,000 per month. The total value of the contract is approximately $10,000,000.
Yeah, I’m kidding. That’s not really going to happen. Instead Starbucks is just going to keep opening storefronts across the city in an effort to keep up with their demand. The business model allows for a new store to be built whenever one store is maxing out.
It’s a good thing for the landlords who lease to the corporate overlords at Starbucks, a strong corporate client guarantees monthly payments, upgrades the property and oftentimes brings with them a renewed interest in the location. It’s an umbrella effect which is beneficial to the landlord, and oftentimes the surrounding area.
As most of us have noticed the corner of Pico and Lincoln is looking decidedly a bit cleaner and it will only increase as the former Tommy’s burger is rapidly transformed into a Starbucks. That corner, which was looking a bit shabby, will likely become more upscale over the next year or two.
I imagine that the donut shop that is now in the mall will be struggling to survive, but who knows if it will or not. I’d like to think that there would be an uptick in their business as a result of the Starbucks. Maybe people running in to grab a morning RedEye Double Macchiato in a Vente cup will want to bring their fellow co-workers a dozen donuts.
The Walgreens is set to open soon, I can see the lights are on, and the shelves are going in, which means that soon there will be more corporate cleanliness on that corner. This leads to a nicer street and is part of the resurgence of Lincoln Blvd that is coming our way. The opening of Sweet Rose Creamery, which is just a block up from the Walgreens on Pico has been a boon to the neighborhood with their artisanal ice creams and pastries. I see them open late and with lines out the door. This helps keep the small town feel going in a city that is rapidly no longer a small town.
Some of the small town feel that is still going is being created by guys like my friend Johnny Rocco. The mall where he has his cheesecake store has undergone a bit of a renaissance with new paint, and hopefully an uptick in business for him, the grocery store and the Hungry Pocket. Maybe the new look that Johnny brought to the center is having an umbrella effect to the other stores.
This is why development is not always bad. Change is going to happen. The question for us, and for the City Council, is really how to handle the inevitable.
I was walking my dog down Euclid between Pico and Ocean Park, and there are new homes going up. They’re two stories, they’re maxing out the square footage based on the lot size to comply with what people want in a home these days. Lots of indoor space, cabling and no backyard.
I don’t like it. But my approval is not required, the change is inevitable. Ocean Park will become a mini-mansion zone and start to look more like the big homes of north of Montana. Is that good for the surrounding homeowners? Yes, their lots are increasing in value as a result. Is it good for the community? Yes, from a financial standpoint and maybe the price is a lack of sociability, or not. I don’t know. I think so, but I’m not Karnac.
Change is inevitable, sometimes it’s for the better, and sometimes that is in the eye of the beholder. The new homeowners I’m sure love their new homes, I don’t, but I don’t have to live in them either.

David Pisarra is a Los Angeles Divorce and Child Custody Lawyer specializing in Father’s and Men’s Rights with the Santa Monica firm of Pisarra & Grist. He welcomes your questions and comments. He can be reached at dpisarra@pisarra.com or 310/664-9969.You can follow him on Twitter @davidpisarra

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