It appears change is in the wind for Ocean Park Mall – but exactly what that means for tenants of the 128 Street complex remains unclear.
“We’re very confused about what’s going on,” Tim Pham, whose family owns Tim Platinum Jewellers, said Monday (May 3).
“It’s kind of hard to plan when we don’t even know what’s the state.”
Pham said tenants were notified in December that the building – at 1653-1679 128 St. – had been sold to Cressey Development Group.
In the months that followed, rent cheques have gone uncashed, the area behind the building has become a dumping ground for everything from garbage to construction debris, and efforts to connect with the new owners have proven futile.
Pham said he doesn’t feel like the situation is anything malicious on the part of the new owners, and has “given up” trying to contact them. Instead, “we’re kind of letting whatever happens ride out,” he said. Their lease runs out in 18 months and Pham doesn’t expect anything drastic to happen at the mall before then.
But there are others whose leases have already expired who are more anxious.
Two of those tenants contacted by Peace Arch News said their rent payments have also not been cashed and that they’re frustrated at the lack of communication that has only compounded the strain of doing business during a pandemic.
“It’s been super stressful,” said one, asking to remain anonymous for fear of retribution.
The second tenant said she felt abandoned, and described the lack of any information for tenants as “kind of disrespectful.”
The tenants said they also contacted the City of Surrey regarding the garbage, as well as the fire department, regarding a rear exit door that has been chained shut since December.
“I’m just concerned about the community – who does this to people?” the second tenant asked, noting a number of tenants took it upon themselves last week to clean up behind the building.
City of Surrey officials confirmed Tuesday that there is no development application on file for the property.
PAN has reached out to Cressey officials by phone and email. As of PAN’s press deadline Tuesday (May 4), they had not responded.
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