Friday, August 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Wheeling and dealing over price of oil

Now here's a pretty new and innovative idea: The rent for a local shop in Mt. Airy will be tied to the cost of crude oil.

Wheeling and dealing over price of oil

Owner Afshin Kaighobady in front of Philly Electric Wheels
Owner Afshin Kaighobady in front of Philly Electric Wheels

Now here's a pretty new and innovative idea: The rent for a local shop in Mt. Airy will be tied to the cost of crude oil.

That's because it's an electric bicycle store, and their sales rise and fall as does the price of gas. The landlord, Pam Rogow, mentioned it and sent along a press release, which explains the logic behind this oddity. Will the idea catch on with other, related businesses? Too soon to tell, but here's the lowdown:

Starting this September., the rent for Philly Electric Wheels, the only store in Philadelphia dedicated to electric bicycles, will be will be pegged to the price of light crude oil.   
 
Store owner Afshin Kaighobady says sales increase when the cost of gasoline rises.  For the store’s second year, he re-negotiated terms with his landlady based on their shared assumption that that trend will continue and we can all do our part to lower the carbon imprint..
 
It costs about penny a mile to ride an electric bicycle, he says, and you can go up to 20 mph and as far as 25 or more miles on a single full charge from an ordinary wall socket. Plus, it’s fun, an antidote to rising gasoline prices if there ever was one.
 
“My other car is an electric bicycle” is the favorite slogan in the store, called “Phew!” by its fans.
 
The corner store is located in the Green on Greene building, at the corner of Carpenter Lane and Greene Street, just west of Lincoln Drive. The monthly rent on the 550 sq. ft. storefront will be  pegged to $80/barrel, starting in September.  (In 2008, the average price was $91 per barrel with a high of $126.  The average for 2009 was $53/barrel.  It is currently $80 per barrel, the baseline for rent in the store.)
 
Whatever percent that rises (or falls), so goes the rent.  If recent past is precedent, that rent would range from $625 to $1575.  “Past is precedent," building owner Pam Rogow says. “The cost of crude will continue to rise.”
 
Phew has gone crude!

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