So as you all know, we fought for months in attempt to relocated in Azusa at a strip mall known as the Edgewood Center. I don't really want to go into too much detail regarding this because we are still not locked in for anything yet and anything I say or do might have a negative effect on the outcome. Anyways, to sum it up, I was in the middle of a political war between the landlord of the property and the entire city. The place seemed like a great location as it was located near a major street, easy freeway access, tons of parking, and a large space for a decent price. But once again, no matter what effort we brought to the table, we were not going to win this war. The good new though, after fighting and pleading our case at two public hearings, the stigma of arcades and the arcade lifestyle has been brought to a new light. The complete effort made by everyone, via attendees at the hearing, people speaking on our behalf, and even those who posted on various social media, has made a difference and also made me so proud to be part of this great community. I mentioned it somewhere before, but one of the gentlemen who spoke against us at our first hearing was actually the person who found our new location for us. This is so huge for many reasons. Kind of reminds me of a scene where Rocky was just beatdown by Drago then states, "If I can change, and you can change, everybody can change!" Our community has so much heart and it just amazes me that there is no limit to what we can really achieve. Hell, Evo finally received some mainstream recognition by being on ESPN. How crazy is that? But that's a story for another day, so let me continue before my thoughts wander even more.
So I just came to terms with the landlord of the new property, and mind you I am dealing directly with her directly, which is so much easier than having to go through a middle man such as a leasing agent. She is a very lovely lady with a super positive attitude and is just very easy to work with. We have discussed our plans with her and she loves what we are bringing to the table. Her store is not in the greatest of shape, and needs a lot of work, but once the final product is in place it will be incredible. So here's the process from start to finish. Find a property, check. Agree to terms with the landlord, check. Go apply and pay for required permits, check. City is required to send out notices allowing all those within 300ft to state their complaints. This process is something we cannot expedite and the whole reason it takes time to receive a permit. Now here's what can happen. If there are no complaints, we are issued a permit and can start work immediately. If there are any complaints, we must go through a public hearing once again with the same people who denied us twice. But, that is not a bad thing at this point because all those that were not in favor at the time are on video stating that they, and i quote, "we would love to have you in our city, just not at the Edgewood Center." With that being said, I am very confident we will have 0 issues as the city planners are being very helpful with the entire process. This location was hand picked by a council member, it is literally within arms reach of the police station, and there is no drama going on with the landlord. So based on those facts it is now just a matter of time before we get started on renovations and bring this place back to life.
And for those wondering what happened with the appeal and why we chose a different route, I will explain that briefly. Taking everything into consideration which includes, cost, time, and possible outcomes, I believe this is the best choice. The appeal would have cost us over $2,700 for starters, and this would be a one time hearing where the decision would be final. If we lose this one, it's over and the money is gone. The hearing for the appeal would also not happen until the first or third week of September because the city council is on break for the month of August. So wait 4-6 weeks, pay $2,700, and have nothing solid in hand. Granted we could win the appeal and everything works out, but waiting another month and a half for a maybe just seemed too risky at this point. Now taking option B, start over in the process, pay for permits to a new location which cost roughly $1,200, and follow through with the whole notifications process, etc etc etc, and wait about 4 weeks as well. Then if there are any issues we would attend a much easier public hearing if needed and all is done. So basically this option would allow us to comply with the wants of the city members and we avoiding what they consider a horrible location. It's much better to have people of the town support you, then force your way into something and have to prove yourself. I don't want to be under the microscope at the first location and for any reason have my permits revoked over any incident that it not in my control. This option is the safest, saves money, saves a bit of time, and everyone is at a happy medium. Maybe things do happen for a reason, and maybe this is the place Super Arcade was meant to be. Only time will tell and just know that I will never stop until this mission is complete!
Thank you all for reading and I will keep you all updated as things move along. Here's to a bright future for the So Cal scene and thank you everyone for all the love and support. It's honestly all of you that makes this entire fight worthwhile and it's the love and passion of this community that keeps me driving this train full speed ahead! Till next time everyone.