Letter: High rents are choking Bristol's downtown district

Posted 2/19/20

Last week I was notified by Spa Yadira and Sole Sanctuary that the spa was being forced to relocate due to the relatively new property owners raising Yadira’s rent approximately 60 percent, an …

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Letter: High rents are choking Bristol's downtown district

Posted

Last week I was notified by Spa Yadira and Sole Sanctuary that the spa was being forced to relocate due to the relatively new property owners raising Yadira’s rent approximately 60 percent, an $800 hike.

I was the one who encouraged Yadira to relocate to Bristol from Barrington 15 years ago. She was met with support and fair rent by Patty Booth of Abbigales, another small business owned by a woman. As Yadira’s business grew, her space needs increased and she was then met with the same support and fair rent by New Leaf.

Finally, Yadira had built her spa services and clients to where she could now branch out on her own. She did that in 2013 at 182 High St. But the current owner last week notified Yadira of this large rate increase and gave her until March 16 to vacate the premises.

My concern and remarks are directed at only some of the Bristol retail property owners who feel having high rents is supported by being in the town of Bristol — to them I say take a look at all the empty storefronts.

Then take a look at the up and coming businesses in Warren. As my husband and I travel to Warren to eat, buy fresh pasta, frequent the book store and buy olive oils, I only wish we were spending our money on these products and services in Bristol, but we are not.

Where is the logic to a business strategy where high rents justify empty storefronts, as well as the potential downward swing in Bristol’s economy?

I now ask these owners to look at Wickford and its demise — I bet at one time their retail property owners thought their high overheads would not adversely affect their town — wrong.

All I can say is wake up and do something before it is too late.

Until then, I will follow Spa Yadira to its new home in Barrington and spend my money in another town that is not Bristol, OR maybe some other Bristol retail property owners will support this woman-owned business and keep Yadira in Bristol.

Sole Sanctuary will be making its new home at New Leaf. Thank you, New Leaf, for keeping at least one of these woman-owned small businesses in Bristol.

Mary Ann Allen
Bristol

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