Laundromat closes

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CAVE CREEK – Cave Creek’s Laundromat has been in operation since the 90s. Sonoran News leased space in the same shopping center from when it opened in 1994. In 2003 the shopping center owner decided to move his office out of the center and offered to sell it to me for $800,000. I agreed and we shook hands. Because I had agreement to buy the shopping center and he was moving down to Rose Garden in Phoenix I bought the Laundromat for $65,000. I also leased an adjoining space and offered a seamstress, ironing and wash and fold services. I closed on the Laundromat purchase in September 2003.

In that month the landlord informed me he had made too much money in 2003 and another sale would add to his taxes so he moved the closing date to February 2004. When we met in 2004 he told me he had researched property values and the center was then worth $1,500,000. When I reminded him we shook hands on $800,000, he asked if I had anything in writing.
Whoops, I trusted a Chicagoan on a hand shake. Obviously, I did not buy the center.

Fast forward to October 2011. After repeated attempts to have our monthly rent reduced we moved Sonoran News to the beautiful True West Building. We then offered the Laundromat for sale; dozens of people responded but didn’t buy. Eventually we had asked interested parties to make an offer.

While putting together data for 2012 taxes I saw that although I had only lost a little, my rent cost was 52 percent of my revenue. If I had bothered to record the time I spent maybe I would have made a nickel an hour if I had charged the LLC.

Finally, disagreements with the landlord about repairing building deficiencies, which were clearly his responsibility, were the last straw.

I know many people depend on the Laundromat and I am sorry to inconvenience them. I hope another opens nearby. We removed the equipment on April 29 and 30.

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