Rick Caruso sued by Palisades business owner over construction

Los Angeles /
Oct.October 14, 2016 10:00 AM

A Pacific Palisades shop owner is suing billionaire real estate magnate Rick Caruso, claiming his redevelopment of the downtown area is driving out nearby businesses.

Caruso, the developer behind the Grove and the Americana at Brand, is knee-deep in the construction of Palisades Village, a 116,000-square-foot makeover of downtown Pacific Palisades into a pedestrian-friendly, retail corridor.

Erica Simpson, who has operated the skate and apparel shop P2 on Swarthmore Avenue since 1999, is seeking unspecified damages from Caruso’s company, Westside Today reported. She claims the construction of Palisades Village has caused a “sharp decline in revenue” for her business.

Simpson is seeking an injunction to halt the construction, alleging nuisance, negligence, interference with prospective advantage and trespassing. She also alleges that Caruso reneged on a promise to pay her $100,000 and contribute to her rent after she renewed her leased.

“She is witnessing the destruction of her livelihood,” the complaint says.

It’s not Caruso’s first brush with disgruntled store owners. In 2011, the owners of a recording studio sued him for $1 million under a similar premise, claiming that the construction of his Americana at Brand in Glendale ruined their business. That dispute was settled a few months later for an undisclosed amount.

Caruso made local headlines earlier this week when he told TMZ that he would ban Donald Trump from entering the Grove. [WT]Cathaleen Chen


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