Friday, June 17, 2011

REMEMBER PAIGE LAURIE? New controversy follows Walmart heiress to Malibu

COLUMBIA, 6/17/11  (Beat Byte) -- A Malibu shopping center embroiled in a series of zoning and tenant controversies had a mysterious new owner until a public relations firm revealed their identities last month:  Paige Dubbert, also known as WalMart heiress Paige Laurie (left), and husband Bo, whom she married in her hometown Columbia three years ago.

Paige Laurie Dubbert's mother, Columbia resident Nancy Walton Laurie, is the daughter of the late James “Bud” Walton, who founded Walmart with brother Sam.  Bo Dubbert is from Jefferson City.

Nicknamed "Plaige" Laurie, the one-time University of Southern California alumna became a centerpiece of scandal seven years ago, when the University of Missouri named the new basketball arena after her, only to remove her name after substantiated allegations surfaced that she paid others to complete college papers and assignments.  Laurie ultimately gave back her USC diploma.  

News that Malibu's Trancas Gardens Nursery was being evicted from the Trancas Country Market shopping center and that someone connected with WalMart had purchased the shopping center last August prompted speculation that a Malibu WalMart was close at hand.   Eviction opponents started "Save Trancas Nursery," holding protests at the nursery that drew more than 100 people, and gathered 2,000 signatures on a petition urging the Malibu City Council to stop the eviction. 

The brouhaha also prompted speculation about the center's mysterious owners, whose identities lay hidden beneath layers of LLCs and fictitious names.  Paige Laurie-Dubbert's aunt is part-time Malibu resident Ann Walton Kroenke, who with husband Stan Kroenke own a different local shopping center, Malibu Colony Plaza.

"During the past month, no one would positively identify the owner of the mall," the Malibu Times reported.  A search through the ownership layers led to Zuma Beach Properties, LLC, based in -- of all places for a beach -- St. Louis.  Zuma Beach is owned by a second firm, Thrasher LLC, which is in turn managed by Paige and Bo Dubbert.  In a Malibu Times telephone interview last month, Joann Killeen, the Dubbert's public relations rep, said she "did not know why they chose not to reveal themselves after purchasing the property." 

Unpaid back rent and lack of tenant insurance may have inspired the eviction, news reports say, though it has since been rescinded.  With new owners, the nursery is working on a new lease.  

1 comment:

  1. This does not suprise me at all. Went to school with Paige who tried to get me to let her copy all my science homework... something money doesn't buy? BRAINS