Commercial Building Owner Sues Tenant Business

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The owner of a building in downtown New Canaan last week filed a lawsuit claiming that a business that had operated out of its street-level commercial space violated provisions of its lease.

The defendant, a limited liability company that opened in late-2014 selling cold-pressed juices and plant-based foods, failed to pay rent and electricity starting about one year ago, according to a complaint filed March 4 in state Superior Court.

The company, Green & Tonic LLC, had entered into a 9-year lease in October 2013 and “still occupies the premises” at 5 Burtis Ave., according to the complaint, filed on behalf of the property owner by attorney Joseph Cherico of Stamford-based McCarter & English LLP.

The lease agreement includes a 5% late penalty for unpaid rent, requires the tenant to pay for electricity and specifies that failure to pay rent when due more than twice in a 12-month period constitutes default, according to the complaint.

Though the plaintiff notified the company of its continued default, the defendant “still failed to pay the past due amounts in violation of the lease,” the complaint said.

On Jan. 7, the landlord served Green & Tonic with eviction papers and “the time given in the Notice to Quit for defendant to move out the premises has ended, but defendant has not moved out,” it said. 

The commercial building is owned by a a company called “GCCFC 2007-GG9 BURTIS AVENUE AND MAIN STREET, LLC,” tax records show. That company is based in Miami Beach, Fla., according to Connecticut Secretary of the State records. Its principal is U.S. Bank as trustee, the state records show.

The plaintiff is seeking eviction of Green & Tonic, immediate possession of the property, forfeiture of the defendant’s possessions and personal effects and reimbursement of attorneys’ fees and costs.

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