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CU System
CU shopping center deal prevents eminent domain
OXNARD, Calif. (8/5/10)--A Camarillo, Calif.-based credit union has reached an agreement with property owners of a shopping center over its lease, thus averting an eminent domain action by Oxnard city officials, according to Ventura County Star (Aug. 3). The agreement between Pacific Oaks FCU and the new owners of the Carriage Square shopping center, where it has a branch, means the credit union will move to another location in the center. Upside Oxnard, the new owners, plan to furbish the mostly vacant, boarded-up shops and build a Lowe's home improvement center as an anchor store to attract more businesses. The plans call for demolishing most of the older structures, including the building occupied by the credit union. Pacific Oaks FCU and the shopping center had been negotiating a relocation deal, but the deal collapsed earlier this summer and affected the progress on the renovation. The City Council, saying the renovation is crucial to generating sales tax revenue, considered taking over the credit union's lease under the eminent domain law, where a government agency can force property owners or businesses to sell property at fair market value to make way for projects deemed necessary for the public good. However, Mayor Tom Holden convinced the council to drop the eminent domain proposal since the two parties were close enough to iron out an agreement without the city's involvement, the Star said. An editorial in the Pacific Coast Business Times Monday urged to the city not to use eminent domain, saying it was "a harsh way to treat a financial institution that's an important part of the lifeblood of the region's largest city." It urged the city, the shoppimg center owners and the credit union to work out a deal. Shane Saunders, vice president of marketing at the $270 million asset credit union, told the Star that the parties came to a mutually agreeable accord. Everyone is happy and looking forward to the new center and new Lowe's, Saunders added.


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