Eternity Coffee brews legal battle with downtown Miami landlord

Lawsuit claims landlord is trying to push coffee shop out to "make way for development"

May.May 13, 2016 10:30 AM

Eternity Coffee Roasters has filed a lawsuit against its landlord over alleged lease agreement violations, and is claiming that it’s entitled to two five-year lease extensions to remain in the downtown Miami building.

The Miami-based coffee roaster and cafe has been a tenant of LPF 2nd St. Garage LLC since 2010. The entity, with ties to Chicago-based Lasalle Fund Property REIT, owns the building at 117 Southeast Second Avenue where Eternity is located. Lasalle could not immediately be reached for comment.

According to the suit, Eternity met the conditions required to opt in to the first of its two five-year renewal options in October, with the original lease expiring on May 18. Under the terms of the original lease, the coffee company could remain a tenant until 2026, the lawsuit reads.

At the end of April, the landlord allegedly demanded that Eternity sign an amendment to its lease that would give LPF 2nd St. Garage the right to terminate the lease as early as 2019, which Eternity rejected, according the suit. About a week later, LPF told Eternity that its option to renew was no longer available, “falsely asserting that Eternity Coffee Roasters failed to meet the condition that it pay the Deferred Rent concurrently with delivering the notice and that it was also in default under the Lease,” according to the lawsuit.

The landlord then claimed in an email that Eternity emailed its renewal in October, which read “We are planning to stay,” was “very vague and not clear cut,” the suit reads.

Property records show LPF 2nd St. Garage acquired the 201,822-square-foot building in 2014 for $31 million. It includes a garage and ground floor retail space, where Eternity leases its space. The building is next to 200 Southeast First, a renovated 12-story office tower that sold last year for nearly $34 million.

Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, a partner in the Miami office of Duane Morris, is representing Eternity.

According to the lawsuit, Eternity has “fallen victim to its landlord’s efforts to push it out to make way for development.”

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