Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley is hoping a proposal sent to the Tehachapi Valley Healthcare District offering to pay for the lease of the Guild of Tehachapi hospital-managed thrift shop at 101 W. E St. will be accepted.
“When the district suggested that we could perhaps pay the rent, we are certainly willing to do that, because of the multiple good things the Guild does not only for the hospital, but for the community," AHTV President Jeff Lingerfelt said in an interview. "We need to go about figuring what is the fair market value for that space."
The district sent a termination letter to the Guild on Aug. 7 giving the Guild 12-month notice to vacate the thrift store, but allowing a way for the district and the Guild to discuss options, "such as the Guild paying rent directly or through Adventist Health."
Caroline Wasielewski, chief executive officer for the district, said the district received AHTV's proposal letter Oct. 15.
"We are doing research and we'll discuss the lease agreement," Wasielewski said.
She added that the fair market value of the thrift store property can be determined by basing the price on what will be charged per year from what similar properties are going for per square foot.
"It's a nonprofit thrift shop, so I want to keep that in mind, too," Wasielewski said.
The Guild provides funds that make the community healthier and provides other needed day-to-day items.
“They serve an important part of the community, that if the Guild were to go away I think it would be really tragic," said Lingerfelt.
He added that the Guild “has been a huge partner” and the donations from funds raised at the thrift store have made possible the purchases of much-needed surgical equipment such as an imaging scanner intensifier and echocardiogram machine.
The downtown thrift store also helps the community in other ways other than contributing to the purchase of hospital equipment.
“The Guild is not just important because of that; the other piece is that they serve really an important role in providing household goods and clothing to people who maybe couldn’t afford … a new jacket, but can go to the Guild and get one for $2,” Lingerfelt said.
If the thrift store closes, a similar business will not be allowed at the location.
“Once a business like a thrift store or auto store closes, it wouldn’t be allowed. There are no opportunities to relocate. We are encouraging certain types of businesses and discouraging others,” Tehachapi City Manager Greg Garrett said.
Garrett added that the Downtown Tehachapi Master Plan 2003 outlines what businesses, land zoning and designs are allowed. “That’s because of what the citizens wanted. They came to lots of workshops,” said Garrett.
The Master Plan lists that car dealerships, auto repair shops, and social services should be relocated out of downtown and that “modular homes are not (an) appropriate choice for downtown neighborhoods.”
The community outreach process for the Downtown Tehachapi Master Plan was planned in 2002 and 2003.
Stakeholder interviews were taken from representatives from the Tehachapi Planning Commission and Greater Tehachapi Chamber of Commerce, consultants, staff, business owners, property owners and residents in the city to determine "the direction of the master planning process,” according to the master plan. Public workshops were then held to obtain ideas and comments.