Just days before the 46th annual Mission Inn Run, whose proceeds support the nonprofit Mission Inn Foundation and Museum, winds through downtown, the Foundation announced the Historic Mission Inn Corporation had served them a 30-day eviction notice.
The announcement has ignited controversy and generated community discussion over the fate of one of Riverside’s most historic icons. The eviction notice, issued on September 29, puts the spotlight on a longstanding lease agreement that both entities are currently contesting.
Jarod Hoogland, Executive Director of the Mission Inn Foundation, clarified in a phone interview that the issue revolves around the renewal terms of a lease agreement from 1992. The Foundation contends it has a legal right to the remaining 20 years on the original 50-year lease. Kevin Randolph of Fennemore Law is representing the Foundation, which plans to formally respond before the eviction deadline before the end of the 20 days.
Patrick O'Brien, General Counsel for the Mission Inn Corporation, responded, “For more than a year, the Historic Mission Inn Corporation has been trying to find a fair solution for the Foundation, and have made numerous offers for a new lease. Unfortunately, after more than a year of efforts and options being refused by the Board of the Foundation, the Historic Mission Inn Corporation has been forced to resort to the legal system to relocate the Foundation.”
According to a press release from the City, the current legal dispute originates in 1992, when the Mission Inn Foundation and the Mission Inn Corporation entered into a 50-year lease agreement that included specific stipulations for museum functions like tours and collections care. That lease is now under scrutiny. The Corporation argues that due to the dissolution of the redevelopment agency that originally facilitated the sale of the hotel, the final 20-year term of the lease is now voidable.
The City emphasizes the significance of the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa to Riverside as a historic landmark and a vital contributor to the local economy, culture, and tourism. While the City urges both parties to reach an amicable resolution that preserves the property's historical integrity, it has not taken an official stance.
Founded in the 1970s, the Mission Inn Foundation has been instrumental in preserving and promoting the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa. A potential eviction could end their tours and educational programs, which have been integral to Riverside’s historical and cultural scene.
Details surrounding the negotiation offers remain confidential, but the Foundation assured that more information will be released in the coming weeks. Riversiders await the outcome as the situation unfolds.