According to this report from KRCR News Channel 7, a number of Eureka businesses have expressed concerns to the City of Eureka that rising real estate values resulting from an influx of City-sanctioned marijuana business interests will price them out of their current locations and jeopardize their ability to operate in Eureka.
From the report:
“As a result of new interest in the area, the City of Eureka’s Development Department says real estate is exchanging hands. Now, current business owners are worried that prices may skyrocket as new cannabis businesses move in – leaving them unsure if their landlords will sell their properties or decline to renew their leases.”
A member of the Economic Development Commission, Michael Kraft, pointed out there are plenty of empty lots near 4th Street.
Which we take to mean that the City of Eureka intends to point business owners who are priced out of their current locations towards the undeveloped lots and say “There! Set up shop!” Which, of course, completely ignores the realities facing businesses who are concerned about an influx of marijuana forcing them out of the buildings that they rent. Presumably, those businesses don’t have the means to build – but the City clearly doesn’t feel that is a problem.
While some of THC’s brain trust is of the opinion that this is just a normal result of the open market, other Heads of THC must point at that – yet again – one of our local governments has opted to give a big, resounding “F*** you” to established local businesses in favor of kowtowing to the big green industry.
Sure, there are plenty of empty storefronts and undeveloped property near West 4th Street, and throughout Eureka. But don’t you think that many of the slighted and marginalized non-marijuana related businesses might remember their treatment at the hands of the City of Eureka when the pot bubble bursts and our area is left with little to fall back on? We can’t blame the City for wanting to capitalize on the green rush, but it is saddening to see how local businesses that have contributed to our communities for quite some time are being shouldered aside.
THC only hopes those business are able to prosper despite the City’s preference for pot. It is, on the other hand, good to know about all the empty lots in Eureka. But that also serves as another reminder that the City policy towards encouraging development or help businesses is decidedly barren, unless they are marijuana related.