CREATED Sep. 4, 2012
PALM SPRINGS- A fight is brewing in downtown Palm Springs. Latino Books y Mas is being evicted to make way for the Desert Fashion Plaza, and now store owners are taking their fight to city hall at tomorrow's city council meeting.
"We have a five year contract and there's nothing in the contract that says they can evict us," said Luciano Ramirez, co-owner of Latino Books y Mas.
The store has been at Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs for nearly three years, but with plans to demolish neighboring Desert Fashion Plaza underway, Wessman Development is demanding that the store leave this month.
"We gave them a buyout proposal...they slammed us with their lawyer," said Ramirez.
Store owners say they gave wessman development a buyout offer. KMIR6 obtained an email from Michael Braun, Wessman Senior Vice President to the Palm Springs city council and mayor.
In the email, Braun says, "as our reasonable efforts to accommodate the Latino Book Store have been met with a total lack of cooperation . . .we are no longer interested in working with this tenant nor having them as a future tenant."
The owners say they will move without a fight, but they just want a relocation on their current street, Palm Canyon Drive.
"It's been a labor of love and just to see it go down like this is very heart breaking," said Tonia Bustamante, co-owner of Latino Books y Mas.
JESSICA FLORES, KMIR6 NEWS