Concerned About Mari Mac Village Shopping Center

Letter To The Editor_Pongratz Endorses Chris Chandler For House District 43 Seat (21)


I read your article about Mari Mac, and I am really shocked by the actions of some of the Los Alamos County/Council.  As you reported, Prashant Jain rented the unoccupied Blue Window with a plan to open it as a restaurant.  He worked on the space, tried to get his modifications approved by the building folks, was red tagged, had to deal with all the red tape and lack of impartial hearings, all the time paying rent for a space that is going to be demolished.

What sort of people are working for the County and on the Council who would believe that it was honest for him to pay for the rent, the work, the lawyer, etc. while knowing that in the end it would all be wasted because of Kroeger’s plans to redevelop?  The actions of Kroeger in this scheme should make everyone in the County think twice about its honesty as a corporation if it is willing take rent for a space they knew would be demolished.

Furthermore, there are businesses in Mari Mac, such as Auto Zone, the Pub, and the China Palace, which struggled through the shutdown, served their customers, lost money but stayed open, and now will lose their businesses. These businesses employ local citizens who have families and homes in the community.  These are the businesses Los Alamos County staff and Council should be fighting to keep, not destroy. Because LA
Fitness, a long time business, could not even stay open during the shutdown, it has been even more financially impacted.

It’s obvious that there will be financial repercussions because businesses who pay gross receipt taxes will be closing and it will be several years before new ones, paying higher rent, will open. Lawsuits are also highly possible, especially because of the actions against Prashant Jain’s efforts to open Unquarked.  How can there be a hearing on June 11 if the building will be demolished?

Throughout the country, local governments are straining to keep their local businesses.  Does Los Alamos County/Council really believe that the extra taxes they might receive in the future are worth these duplicitous efforts?

Patricia Max