Unibail-Rodamco sues Express over $30M in missed rent

Mall operator says lease agreements at 27 locations cover “acts of God”

TRD NATIONAL /
Oct.October 15, 2020 03:27 PM
Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield CEO Christophe Cuvillier and Express CEO Timothy Baxter (Getty)

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield CEO Christophe Cuvillier and Express CEO Timothy Baxter (Getty)

Act of God? Mall operator Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield said its lease agreements with Express cover such events, and still require the retailer to pay the rent.

Now Unibail is suing Express, saying the retailer owes $30 million in skipped rent across 27 locations throughout the U.S. Fourteen of those stores are in malls in California, according to the suit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Many struggling retailers have argued the pandemic allows for missed rent under force majeure clauses included in many leases.

But Unibail says its leases with Express specify that even in “acts of God” cases, “governmental laws,” or other similar instances beyond reasonable control, rent is still due, according to the lawsuit.

Express did not pay rent at the 27 stores in April, May and June, according to the lawsuit. In some locations, it hasn’t made payments for September or October, either. Unibail sent the retailer notice of defaults in April.

Unibail declined to comment on ongoing litigation. Express did not respond to a request for comment.

In addition to California, the stores are located in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Connecticut and Washington state.

In some areas of California — where Unibail is the largest retail center operator — indoor malls were only recently cleared for reopening. The company has been aggressively pushing for its properties to reopen, and filed a lawsuit in late September against Los Angeles County, which had kept indoor malls closed because of coronavirus restrictions. Days later, the county said it would reopen malls.






Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Chicago’s once thriving office market languishes in recession (iStock)

Chicago’s once booming office market is just trying to hang on

Chicago’s once booming office market is just trying to hang on
Hotels and shopping malls have skipped out on their Cook County tax payments

Struggling hotels, malls owe Cook County millions in back taxes

Struggling hotels, malls owe Cook County millions in back taxes
110 N Carpenter Street in Fulton Market (Photo via Sterling Bay)

Sterling Bay, JPMorgan near deal to sell McDonald’s HQ for $430M

Sterling Bay, JPMorgan near deal to sell McDonald’s HQ for $430M
1 N. Dearborn Street and Old Mission Capital COO Erica Avitia (Google Maps; LinkedIn)

This firm is tripling its office space in Downtown Chicago

This firm is tripling its office space in Downtown Chicago
Lori Lightfoot (Credit: KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Play on: Chicago will assist hard-hit music clubs, theaters

Play on: Chicago will assist hard-hit music clubs, theaters
66 Orland Square with GW Properties CEO Mitch Goltz and BlitzLake Partners CEO David Blitz (Google Maps)

Facing foreclosure, GW Properties hands over Orland Park shopping center

Facing foreclosure, GW Properties hands over Orland Park shopping center
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and a restaurant in downtown Chicago (Getty)

Chicago to ease capacity limits, open bars

Chicago to ease capacity limits, open bars
Homebuyers have flocked to Bronzeville (Credit: Google Maps)

Chicago homebuyers head to Bronzeville for more space

Chicago homebuyers head to Bronzeville for more space
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...