Consigned to close

It has been anything but business as usual for a local woman's consignment store.
Alex Doty
Jan 2, 2014

Kathy Veurink, owner of Gotta Have It Consignment, 13100 168th Ave. in Grand Haven Township, was forced to close her business last month due to circumstances associated with unresolved township building code violations.

Signs posted at the front of the business say it’s unfit for occupancy, and Veurink has until Jan. 31 to vacate.

At a civil court hearing on Monday, an agreement that would’ve allowed her to stay at the location wasn’t reached.

At the hearing, Veurink was offered a chance to accept what is known as a triple net lease. This makes the tenant responsible for paying the property tax, insurance and maintenance.

Veurink turned down the offer. She said she would still have had to bring the space up to code — something she couldn’t afford to do.

“Basically ... I decided to walk away from the deal,” she said.

Township officials said the main reason behind the closure was because the building was used for something other than its intended classification.

“This was an office building before, and they tried to turn it into a mercantile classification,” Township Manager Bill Cargo said. “It’d be like taking a factory and turning it into a day care.”

Because of the change of uses, there are certain improvements that need to be made to the building to bring it up to code, Cargo said. The biggest improvement needed was to install several handicap-accessible restrooms — something Veurink said she’d have to do herself and was too costly.

“I can’t make it up to code,” she said. “Either I pay $25,000 to $30,000 to bring it up to code, or I can’t open.”

Veurink said she made some improvements to adhere to the fire code, but there were other issues.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

Comments

Former Grandhavenite

Consignment shops have always struck me as the ultimate "I like X therefore I'll open a store selling X!" kind of business, rather than a serious attempt to serve a need in the marketplace and make money.

DKS523

I love karma!

watchingyou

Would you care to Elaborate?

DKS523

She knows why I said that.

bigdeal

She seems like an ignorant person for a business owner. Who would open a business before checking out everything first. You know, code violations and such. And for the court to offer her the 'triple lease' BS leaving her responsible for everything, well let's hope the next person to try to rent from them understands the building owner will do NOTHING for them and wants them to pay THEIR property taxes for them also!!! I truly hope this building remains empty for many years, just for the greedy owner.

lunchlady58

I love supporting local business'..use them often!! BUT I gave her a chance to do a job for me and she talked up a storm that she could "do the job"....I waited and waited and called and went to her business when it was by Keenan Marina. She was NOT honest with me. She finally had some long excuse why she did not do the job yet but told my husband and I how easily the old leather had come off the seats!! She asked if I could come back the next week. Well, when I finally got her and got my seats, they still had the fabric on them and she never took the leather off. She had a long story how she had to special order these staples for the new covers and she was still waiting...well, I waited another few days then went and picked them up and I took them to Canvas King in Spring Lake and they told me the seats never needed that staple??? Thanks, for lying to me about my job!! So, thanks to Canvas King for they did the job in about ONE DAY..so sorry you are closing up shop but it is a small town and you can't do business like that and be successful.

fawne

Sorry to hear you had problems but.... that doesn't make it okay to put small business's out of business. People do work different than large stores.

You have to be patient with people if you want quality work.

lunchlady58

Fawne?? really, did you read my first sentence?? I LOVE to support local. Yes, you do have to be patient but I had a car sitting in Keenan lll for three weeks unable to get it out of storage due to NO SEATS. She knew that and Keenan was very patient with me having my car sit there, meanwhile boats and cars needed to come out. I use local but I did not put her "small business" out of business. I think she did that herself. I wanted to support her, like I do Broadway Shoe Repair, Tri City Transmission, Diane's Alterations, Pete's Lawn Care, Stack's Rest., Shaler Construction, Waters Edge Consignment, Top Butcher Shoppe and BBQ..Love a small business owner. But you have to stand by your promises and not lie to customers and tell them one thing, have them wait 3 weeks to find the seats exactly like you delivered them. I have since met others that have had issues. So, I am very patient but expect the truth..

Tri-cities realist

Canvas Kings is a large store? Is that really what you are inferring? I got a good chuckle out of that one, thanks for the laugh.

bigdeal

^^^boy you can read into stuff that no one else sees. Where did you ever come up with that ignorant comment? I can see why your views are so twisted if you can't even read their comment correctly.

lunchlady58

Ummm, thank you "Bigdeal" for joining my confusion about what "Tri-Cities Realist" was saying. I was not even going to respond to it but do want to clarify the statement. Canvas Kings is an upholstery shop in 144th in Spring Lake. They do custom boat covers, commercial and residential awnings. A boating friend told me to call them and ask IF they would take a look at my two seats. I already had new leather seats made, all i wanted was to have the old leather taken off and new put on. They did it and did a great job. So, no laugh required, that is the name of his business.

fawne

There is nothing like the government telling us to do with our lives. Putting small business owners out of business. Anyone that wants to make a little bit of money is not allowed to do so because the government has to have it all. Thank you so much for allowing us to be proud of our country.

watchingyou

Wow, are you a bit bitter? While I would agree that some of the codes are a bit extreme, I do agree with most of them. How would you like to be the disabled person unable to access the store? How would you like to be in the building and have a fire break out and not have a close enough exit? You know, not everything is the Governments fault. She is a business owner and has been, she knew to make sure the building was fit for her business first. No pitty party here.

Former Grandhavenite

Excactly, it's not like the county can or should say, "Hey, about those zoning laws and building codes- just ignore all that because you're a local small business!" This lady knew (or should have known) the relevant laws going in- it's not like this stuff is a secret.

GHrez

.... putting small business owners out of business?

Why should this small business owner be exempt from the building codes that other small business owners have to comply with? There is a competing business directly across the street from this consignment shop. Why should this woman get a break when the shop 100 yards away is forced to comply?

Idoodle

Sniping inappropriate opinions about local business owners is ineffective. Our entire community should demonstrate appreciation for any and all small business owners, if only for their willingness to contribute to our local economy. Small communities like ours depend on these owners. Turn the lens onto the planning commission. What's with the inaccurate analogy of an office to merchant being likened to a factory to daycare? Absolutely absurd. Equally absurd is the call for "multiple" handicap accessible restrooms. Past experiences of locals do hold some relevance. Our experience was with a planning commission who denied a zoning change from Ag to Residential to us, on acreage off Ferris in GH township, only for a board member to pursue purchase of said property after we gave up, went ahead and approved the change for himself, and now lives there to this day. I call foul on the planning board. It behooves this community for the board to strive in support of local business owners.

deuce liti

"Our entire community should demonstrate appreciation for any and all small business owners"

Even if they are no good? People aren't providing a service out of the kindness of their hearts. Lust for wealth or "old fashioned American greed" is at the heart of MOST people so you have to sort through them to find cost equated quality.

Welcome to America 2014.

bear3

There's more to this story than is being told here. Hope she can find a better place, from a better landlord. Maybe the township board needs to check the owner of this building.

GHrez

.... a better landlord? It is the tenant's business that was found to be in code violations, not the landlord's building.

The township stated that the fact that she was using the building for a non conforming use which caused there to be code violations. A retail establishment needs different building improvements than if it was used as an office building. (and yes, the number of handicap bathrooms required by the township seemed very excessive)

Shame on her for wasting everybody else's time and money for this fool's venture. Next time, she should do her homework.

The only fault I can see here for the landlords is that they allowed this person to occupy the business without a business permit.

Zegota

Considering the mentality of the entitlement society today, matched with political correctness and runaway big brother, oh boy, just cannot wait until 2014. God Bless the Constitution.

Vladtheimp

We need to have standards for buildings - the Department of Justice ensures the standards are strictly adhered to (here, the Newseum in D.C.)

"Additionally, the Newseum was cited for its entryway into the “Berlin Wall Death Tower,” a replica of a guard tower along the wall where snipers were stationed during the Cold War. The doorway is 2.5 inches too short.

The Justice Department instructs the Newseum to “modify procedures to train staff to warn patrons with visual disabilities that the entry portal of the Berlin Wall Death Tower lacks the required vertical clearance (which is 80 inches or 6 feet, 8 inches) and to assist them to enter the Death Tower without walking into the bottom edge of the roof structure of the Death Tower entry portal.”

In the food court, coffee cup lids are “more than the maximum of 54 inches [4.5 feet] above the finish floor required for a side reach.” Lids must be only 4 feet from the ground.

There are only two, instead of the required six, spaces for wheelchairs in the Annenberg Theater, and in a men’s bathroom a side grab bar is only 3 feet long, instead of 3.5 feet.

Bathrooms in The Source restaurant also do not have adequate signs. “The backgrounds of the signs identifying the toilet rooms do not have an eggshell, matte, or other non-glare finish, as required,” the DOJ said.

The “TV Timeline” exhibit displays items too high for a person of “short stature” to see, and an interactive exhibit on 9/11 must be changed because a stylus for patrons to enter comments requires “tight grasping, pinching, and twisting of the wrist to operate.”

A box displaying the camera that Charles Porter used to photograph the Oklahoma City bombing destruction, and the “Whiteboard Wizard” display in Tim Russert’s office are listed as “protruding objects.” Washington Free Beacon, December 2013

The women in the article are lucky they only had to deal with Cargo and not Eric Holder, who took time off from his racialist prosecutions to harass a museum, not a consignment shop.

bigdeal

Your house would be thrown together however the builder wanted without zoning codes, Vlad. It would be a wreck. So would everyone elses. Glad you have never had to deal w/Cargo. It is an experience like none other.

GH Luvr

Sounds to me like owners of the building are nothing but slum lords! Perhaps they should be held accountable for bringing the building up to code. They took this business owners money for the rent & laughed all the way to the bank. The township really needs to look into the other properties this landlord owns! My guess is they will find even more code violations.

GHrez

It seems to me that the tenant is the problem here.

I bet if you asked all of the people who were subleasing the building from her, you would find out that she walked away with thousands and thousands of dollars, having collected money in sublease payments, knowing that her business was never in compliance with the local zoning ordinance.

If she hasn't repaid her sub-tenants, I hope they get a good lawyer who can get their money back.

DKS523

That does not surprise me one bit. Some people are shady every time it comes to the all mighty dollar.

Tri-cities realist

While others have hinted at this issue, I have to wonder, was this building ADA compliant when it was used as office space?

As for the need to install "several handicap-accessible restrooms", the large stores I've seen (meijer, Home Depot, etc) only have one handicap accessible stall. And since I can only presume the women's restroom is the same, that would be a total of 2. Or she could probably go the route of one unisex handicap accessible restroom. Based upon Cargo's bogus analogy, I can only imagine the real reason this building was deemed not fit for occupancy.

Be

None of you seem to understand the terms "change of use".

Whenever a building has a change of use from one type of business to the other, all codes must be brought up to spec. This means something could sit for 20 years with the codes that are 20 years old and be in compliance. Once it switches uses, it has to become compliant again. I've been through this, and it's not fun. It is the local law however.

I will say that the adoption and strict adherence to these rules stifles business opportunities in the area.

ninja660

This was a nice little shop. It seems in Grand Haven is still stuck in ye olden days of Meijer as the only business in town that can do no wrong. Give a new business a shot in the town and they're all over it like flies on a dung pile. i've lived in Grand Haven for several years and was glad to leave because of the people are so arrogant, snobbish, the list goes on. I hope the ladies reopen their business in another city or much less another state telling Michigan to go fly a kite.

little.else

I question the Landlord as to the honest disclosure he is responsible for; whether legally or morally to any potential lessee. Was there full disclosure of building use prior, upon, or after the transfer of papers and money? I'm sure the building owner knew exactly what he was doing...

Might explain why the building has been unoccupied for several years?

How does "change of use" for the building require a lessee who has a valid, legally,signed contract with the Landlord declared invalid and be required to accept a "triple net lease" ?

Reading between the lines......appears "something is rotten in Denmark!"

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