David Mendez

Legal squabbles again revolve around Redondo Fun Factory, fish market

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The Redondo Fun Factory. File photo

by David Mendez

Like death and taxes, another inevitability has come to pass — Steve Shoemaker arguing with City Hall — involving the City of Redondo Beach and one of its longest-tenured tenants. In a recent letter sent to Redondo Beach executive staff, Shoemaker has said that he will refuse to evict the two sub-tenants he has agreed to keep on his property, including the Redondo Fun Factory.

In an interview, Shoemaker told Easy Reader that his company, Redondo Fisherman’s Cove Company, will vacate its premises at 123 International Boardwalk, at the bottom of the Redondo Pier parking structure. That is in accordance with his 2017 master-lease buyout agreement with the City, worth $9 million.

He also stated that he will not evict his two subtenants: the Redondo Fun Factory arcade, and the Redondo Fun Fish Market.

As a result of Fisherman’s Cove’s agreement to relinquish its lease to the city, he said, “The city will become the landlord for the Redondo Fun Factory and the restaurant. They will need grounds for terminating the lease to evict them. And I don’t think they have grounds to do that. They can’t just terminate the lease. They need a reason.”

Two years ago, the reason was redevelopment. Shoemaker was the “final piece in the puzzle” of pier- and harbor-area tenants that the City had collected to package for the CenterCal Properties waterfront redevelopment plan. The buyout of his master lease would allow the city to have major repairs done to the parking garage’s infrastructure while setting the stage for CenterCal’s other plans.

Though the CenterCal deal fell apart, Shoemaker is still required to vacate by 2020. But in recent months, he has urged the city to sign month-to-month agreements to keep the Fun Factory and Fun Fish Market open. But the City currently has a policy preventing it from creating new leases, because of litigation between Redondo Beach and CenterCal.

Over the last year, Shoemaker has bounced between preparing for the Fun Factory’s closure — likening the arcade to a child ready for college, saying he’s emotionally ready — and seeking to keep the space open.

Now, Shoemaker points to language of the 2017 agreement indicating that all agreements connected to his lease shall transfer to the City, and related language in the original lease indicating that all sublessees to his lease would transfer to the city upon his agreement’s end.

When reached by Easy Reader, City Attorney Michael Webb said “I have no comment, other than I expect Mr. Shoemaker to live up to the terms of his deal with the city.”

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