Write the District of North Vancouver Regarding YYOGA Northshore Elements

We recently updated our community that we were unable to reach an agreement with our landlord, the District of North Vancouver, which would permit us to keep operating Northshore Elements. As a result, we have made the decision to permanently close the North Vancouver studio. The last day for classes at that location will be July 8, 2021.

This is not the outcome we were working towards or wanted, and we ask now for your help. Since our announcement, we have received so many messages from you asking how you can help fight for our North Vancouver studio. We’d like to share with you how, but we’ll start with how this came to be.

If this location is as important to you as it is to us, please write your mayor and counsellors and ask them to re-consider YYOGA’s proposal.

We’d encourage you to share with them what this studio means to you, the role it plays in your life and within the community.

You can also sign this petition made by one of our community members.

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Contact Details:

Mayor’s Office DNV mayor@dnv.org
Mayor and Council – DNV Council@dnv.org
Counsellors: Jordan Back <BackJ@dnv.org>; Mathew Bond <bondm@dnv.org>; Megan Curren <CurrenM@dnv.org>; James Hanson <hansonj@dnv.org>; Lisa Muri <MuriL@dnv.org>

YYOGA has done the same, and we’d like to share with you below the letters that have been sent as a last effort to save this studio. There are three different letters that have been sent by our founder on separate occasions, including in response to their canned reply.

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Our reply to the DNV’s response to one of our teachers emails:

Dear Mike,

I have been copied on the Districts response to many guests and on yours to Richard. I request that you read what I have to say and please consider our perspective.

YYOGA was far more impacted than many other business’s at Lynn Valley. When we were shut down by the Province, other business’s at Lynn Valley where able to operate on a take out basis, use patio space for dining or masks inside for professional services. Even when we were allowed to open the Provincial regulations kept us to 15-20% of our capacity. So the support offered to YYOGA versus the other business’s at Lynn Valley was not equal when faced with the facts of the matter. I should also point out that you raised our rent while we where closed which was emotionally hard to understand.

The offer the DNV made to YYOGA creates a “preference” as we are under insolvency proceedings and as such needs to be applied to all Creditors where appropriate. Thus the Arrears rent that built up with the DNV when we where under mandatory shutdown, that you wanted to be paid over the remaining duration of the lease, would then need to also be paid to the other creditor Landlords so that there would be no “preference”. That would force us into Bankruptcy. I explained this to your team, the Trustee explained this to your team multiple times and we even had the Bankruptcy lawyer explain it to your legal counsel. We had no choice but to disclaim the lease, either that or we go Bankrupt. What would you do?

Now the DNV is a Creditor like the other Landlords, but with no tenant, 50+ people on the North Shore lose their employment and thousands of North Shore residents lose their “shala”

I request that you personally listen and read the letters that your fellow North Shore residents are writing you. No more cut and paste responses, this is a big emotional issue for many and they deserve your attention, your empathy and your understanding as the elected leader of a vibrant community.

Please feel free to reach out to me personally if you would like to discuss a different way forward.

warm regards,
Terry

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The DNV’s reply to one of our teachers:

Good afternoon Richard,

Thank you for your message regarding your concerns about YYoga ending its lease. We understand that YYoga has issued an appeal to urge Council to reconsider regarding its lease in Lynn Valley Village. Business leasing agreements are not conducted in public to minimize political interference and to support a good faith negotiating relationship.

It’s important to note that YYoga refused our offer, which was for them to pay their rent arrears by July 2025. Unfortunately, they decided to cancel their lease effective July 17, 2021

We have provided the same support to YYoga that we have offered to other tenants, and offered a settlement that we believe is fair and equitable while also respecting our obligations to District of North Vancouver taxpayers. 

We understand and respect that many tenants in Lynn Valley Village and businesses right across the District have struggled through the COVID-19 pandemic.  We have worked to support the business community during this challenging time by providing rent deferrals and expanded patio space where appropriate. 

Sincerely,

Tracy McAuley
Executive Assistant to Mayor Mike Little

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To: Mayor’s Office DNV; Mayor and Council – DNV
Cc: Jordan Back; Mathew Bond; Megan Curren; James Hanson; Lisa Muri

Dear Mr. Little & Councillors,

I am the founder of YYOGA, a small, local community of yoga studios in the GVA.

It’s with a sad heart that tomorrow we will disclaim the lease with the DNV for our studio in Lynn Valley complex. The terms we and the Trustee offered the DNV team are the same that have been accepted by our other Landlords as part of the Insolvency process. The DNV team wanted the rent arrears for the months that the Province ordered us closed to be added onto the 2023 rent. To do so would mean we would need to do the same for the other Landlords which in turn would force us into Bankruptcy. We went to great lengths to explain why we could not do that. The end result is that the DNV will lose out as you will become a Creditor like everyone else, but you will now no longer have us paying a monthly rent come mid July.

The other people impacted are the thousands of North Vancouver residents who are members and will be unable to get refunds due to the Insolvency proceedings and so to use their existing passes they will have to come to one of the remaining studios in the Downtown, Kits, South Granville or Richmond. As a 2nd floor anchor tenant for the past 12 years, we have attracted over 100,000 visitors per year to the Lynn Valley complex where our guests have shopped and enjoyed the dining experience, thus a huge loss for our fellow businesses at Lynn Valley.

We have built an incredible community that thousands of North Shore residents call home. Needless to say we don’t want to take this action, but we also don’t want to declare bankruptcy.

As such one last plea for our North Shore community, one that part of my own family calls home.

Warm Regards,

Terry McBride
Founder, YYOGA


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From: Terry McBride

To: Mayor’s Office DNV; Mayor and Council – DNV
Cc: Jordan Back; Mathew Bond; Megan Curren; James Hanson; Lisa Muri

Subject: YYOGA in Lynn Valley – URGENT

Dear Mr Little & Councillors,

I am the founder of YYOGA, a small, local community of yoga studios in the GVA.

We opened a Studio in the DNV Lynn Valley complex over 12 years ago and we have been one of your anchor tenants since. We have built an incredible community that thousands of North Shore residents call home. Needless to say the Covid pandemic has been crushing to us as we have been closed 8 of the past 14 months. In this time we have pleaded with the DNV for some form of relief on our lease obligations. The message back from DNV has been we will defer part of your rent, but you will need to pay up and by the way as the lease allows we are also raising your rent even though you are closed due to Provincial Health orders. We pointed out that such a position will lead us to a cliff of Bankruptcy and that is where we sit today in Federal Insolvency proceedings.

We and our Trustee have tried to negotiate a temporary term with the DNV team that will allow us to open next week and continue to serve the North Shore community, but the DNV team has been unmoving and turned down our proposal today. Other Commercial landlords have been accommodating and helpful in accepting the exact same proposal.

Come Monday we will be forced to close this studio and disfranchise thousands of your constituents at a time when mental welfare and having a yoga studio to go back to is so needed.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated as this would be a tragedy.

Warm Regards,

Terry McBride
Founder, YYOGA