Longtime Carmel Valley dentist moves office location

By Karen Billing

Staff Writer

Carmel Valley dentist Dr. Curtis Chan said he has moved from his Carmel Country Plaza office after lease negotiations broke down with American Assets. After over 20 years at the location, his lease expired on Aug. 12 and Chan wasn’t able to negotiate to be able to remain and is now in a temporary location in Sorrento Valley.

“I would’ve loved to stay where I was,” Chan said. “I have no idea if they will let me back.”

He hopes to be able to return to Carmel Country Plaza by January 2012. Russell Rodriguez of American Assets said that he could not speak about landlord-tenant interactions, as it is a confidential situation.

In just two and a half days after seeing their last patient on the afternoon of Aug. 11, Chan packed up his entire office and, with the help of staff and friends, moved into a temporary location in Sorrento Valley. Chan will now share offices with Dr. Jeff Muehl on Sorrento Valley Road—he’ll have three rooms in Muehl’s “beautiful,” large space.

Chan started his practice in 1985 alongside his brother in Del Mar. They moved to Carmel Country Plaza in 1990 and when his brother moved on he sold his side to Dr. Greg Jenson. Jenson sold in 2006 after being diagnosed with cancer (he sadly passed away in 2009) to Dr. Lori Ann Safar.

Over the years Chan built a successful practice and last year was named “Best Dentist” by the Carmel Valley News’ Best of Awards.

A month before the lease expired, Chan said Safar was not sure whether she would be staying so Chan had hoped it would be possible to have a short-term lease from August to January to try and move to share a fellow dentist’s office in the same complex. He said the request was denied. When he found out three weeks before the lease expired that Safar was staying, he sought a new long-term lease commitment that would give him more “autonomous dental business structure” but it could not be worked out.

“They were not willing to make any concessions to try and make things better,” Chan said. “To me, that’s unsettling because it’s tough economic times and here I was willing to stay and pay big rent until the end of the year and they didn’t want that to happen.”

By Monday, Aug. 15, Chan was seeing patients in his new office and said he was very grateful for his patients’ continued support.

The last two years, Chan’s office has been the staging grounds for Operation Gratitude, a Halloween candy buy- back that collects children’s candy in exchange for money, with the candy going to troops overseas. Last year Chan collected 2,280 pounds of candy.

It is his hope that he will be able to continue the program this year, even if it means finding a new place to collect the candy haul.

Dr. Chan’s office is now at 11199 Sorrento Valley Road, suite 208. To learn more, visit

or call (858) 481-9090.