Penticton Cherry Lane Mall and its tenant Hudson’s Bay launch a pair of lawsuits against each other as Cherry Lane seeks to vacate The Bay for failing to pay the rent.
In a lawsuit filed on November 13 in Penticton, Cherry Lane Shopping Center Holdings Ltd. The Bay has not paid its monthly rent of $ 78,036.49 since April 2020, resulting in more than $ 620,000 owed, plus more than $ 85,000 in taxes and rental costs.
The lawsuit specifies months of default notices delivered to Hudson Bay, notice of lease termination filed on November 9 and a request for possession of the building on November 10. Cherry Lane claims that since then, The Bay has been “in unlawful possession of the buildings and has refused to vacate them.”
Hudson’s Bay Company, which operates retail locations The Bay, filed a lawsuit of its own the same day in Vancouver High Court, blaming Cherry Lane for losing revenue during the pandemic that left her unable to pay rent.
The lawsuit alleges that Cherry Lane has not made upgrades to the HVAC system or air filters that would make the public safer, refused to install non-touch doors, upgrades to bathrooms, improved pedestrian controls, and increased center personnel responsible for “ensuring customers’ commitment to safety as a precaution, including In that, wearing masks and physical distancing. ”
Hudson’s Bay claims that this, combined with a lack of marketing to “address customer concerns and encourage returns,” has resulted in reduced customer traffic and decreased revenue.
Sales have fallen dramatically since the start of the pandemic, with the worst month being April. In April 2019, The Bay at Cherry Lane recorded sales of $ 1,009,495, compared to just $ 4,634 in April 2020, a 99.5 percent change.
Since spring, monthly sales losses have ranged between 23.9% and 32.3%.
The lawsuit further states that 66 people work at The Bay at Cherry Lane and that they are hiring 22 more for the holiday season.
The lawsuit says: “All of these people will lose their jobs if the store is terminated.”
In her lawsuit, Cherry Lane challenges allegations that she did not adopt appropriate health and safety measures, and says she has “taken significant marketing initiatives over the past several months with the goal of increasing the appetite for the shopping center”.
Hudson’s Bay is seeking an injunction preventing Cherry Lane from terminating the lease held by The Bay since 1996. The lawsuit also mentions the location of The Bay in Victoria, British Columbia where the company is fighting a similar battle against the property owner and advancing similar arguments.
Hudson’s Bay recently had success elsewhere in Canada in preventing eviction due to unpaid rent.
Representatives from both parties could not be reached for comment.
Bay proceeds at Cherry Lane Mall as alleged in a lawsuit.