After almost a decade of business, mens’ barber shop Sole Patch will be closing in Corinth Square and consolidating to its new location in the Northwood Shopping Center on 47th Street.
Company owner Ron Mayer decided to relocate his business he started in 2007 when he felt that the relationship between his company and First Washington was that of a “bullying relationship.” He felt that the realty company had failed to be transparent in negotiating leases with Sole Patch.
“I wasn’t comfortable being in a partnership with business people like that,” Mayer said.
Property taxes skyrocketed after the company bought Prairie Village and Corinth Square for more than what it was purchased for three years earlier. Those property maintenance taxes, such as upkeep, Christmas lights, swept parking lots and trash increased significantly without Mayer seeing any additional services provided.
These property maintenance fees are known as CAM – common area maintenance. CAM fees had gone up 50 percent in the three year period of First Washington’s landlord ownership over Sole Patch’s property which became an immediate concern.
Mayer assures that Sole Patch was in no way struggling. Financially, Sole Patch could have remained if the business partnership wasn’t a concern. Mayer wasn’t comfortable in signing a long term lease with a partner that looked out only for themselves.
“[Signing the lease] is like signing up for marriage,” Mayer said. “If you are agreeing to walk down a certain path with this partner, you want to feel good about it.”
Mayer feels the landlord is an extremely important relationship in any type of business. Their overall dictation over necessary elements of a business such as electricity, rent and property management are crucial to the success of a business. The relationship between his own business and the landlord wasn’t one he felt was trustworthy enough to sign into a three year with.
This steep tax incline would most likely suggest the leave of shops with such long term success, such as Bruce Smith, Spangler’s and Tiffany Town. According to Jay Senter of the Shawnee Mission Post, Tiffiny Town owner Bob Harsh worried of fees tenants will pay to maintain common areas ultimately proved too much.
However, Mayer feels relocating to a location with a larger space, more hair styling chairs for clients and a new management team is the best option for the company and taking it to the next level.
“Folks like us will just take our successful business elsewhere,” Mayer said. “Which we did.”