Local non-profit claims tea chain left it holding the bag on downtown storefront

Bridge Over Troubled Waters, which provides services for homeless youth, is suing a Chicago-based chain of tea shops, which it says simply abandoned the space it had agreed to rent in the non-profit group's downtown building.

In a suit filed this week in US District Court in Boston, Bridge Over Troubled Waters wants to keep the security deposit Argo Tea put down on the storefront at 47 West St., and wants to get paid back rent for the space, along with damages.

The suit alleges that Argo, which had an outlet at the Natick Mall, signed a lease in January, then failed to obtain the required city permits to open a tea shop without telling Bridge Over Troubled Waters. Also, the chain is refusing to return the keys to the storefront, the group says.

The non-profit group says it's out $1.5 million, in part because it's been unable to find anybody else willing to rent the space, and says Argo's actions warrant even more in damages:

[Argo], a high-end tea retailer with multiple locations throughout the United States and the Middle East, abandoned its intention to expand its
offerings to Boston Common. It then decided to leave its landlord, Bridge Over Troubled Waters (“Bridge”), a non-profit organization serving runaway, homeless and high-risk youth, holding the bag. Argo Tea has breached its unambiguous contractual obligations to Bridge and has caused Bridge more than $1.5 million in actual damages. Argo Tea has also engaged in unfair and deceptive trade practices in an effort to deprive Bridge (and the at-risk youth that it serves) of the benefit of a bargain of vital importance to Bridge’s essential mission. Argo Tea’s unlawful conduct is steeped in misrepresentation and deceit and was both knowing and willful. A multiple damage award against Argo Tea is fully warranted.

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Comments

Not the place to be cute

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I note "holding the bag" and "steeped in misrepresentation" in this. The court does not appreciate the cutsy wording of the complainants complaint.

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But I do!

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The court might not appreciate it, but I sure do!

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Interesting to note

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The space is remaining empty during the million dollar plus lawsuit on purpose.

I called on the space and was told that it would remain empty during litigation which is pretty silly.

I was also told that the new asking price for the spot is double what it was before the tea co leased it originally. It was an electronics store for years. The previous tenant skipped out on the rent so I guess they haven't had too much luck finding a good tenant.

If it was priced reasonably it would lease quickly. It's their own choice to leave it empty but DTX landlords think it's the new Rodeo Drive and nothing is reasonable any more. Anyone walking by now sees that it's become another outdoor spot for the homeless to camp out.

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What was the price?

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And who did you talk with? And why were you interested in it - what sort of business are you thinking about putting there?

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I spoke with the realtor

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I spoke with the listing realtor. His number is on the front of the store. They are marketing the space but when you call they say they aren't actually leasing it until they work out the legal issues.

I am looking for a retail space.

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Brokers

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Brokers often start with a rent quote well above what the landlord may actually want. It's how they get paid.

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It is called negotiation and

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It is called negotiation and requires bringing something to the table - like a check.

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Hey Adam!

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You didn't tell us that Trump is lurking on your boards giving business advice!

COOL!

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