A company tied to Brookfield Properties alleges the Diane Von Furstenberg store owes over $200,000 in unpaid rent at Shops at Merrick Park, and is seeking to evict the retailer.
Merrick Park LLC, tied to Brookfield Properties, is suing the retailer for breach of its lease agreement, alleging the company owes $206,000 in unpaid rent as of June. In the suit filed last week in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, Brookfield said it could accelerate the balance of the rent for the three years remaining on the lease.
On June 16, Brookfield sent DVF a notice to evict the retailer if it did not pay within three business days, according to the suit. The eviction letter said the “landlord’s acceptance of possession of the leased premises shall in no way be deemed a termination of the lease nor an acceptance of surrender,” and that it should not be deemed a waiver of the landlord’s right to collect all the money due under the lease.
DVF did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The store at 320 Lorenzo Avenue in Coral Gables remains open.
DVF signed a 10-year lease at Shops at Merrick Park in 2013. In June, the company was obligated to pay a minimum of $25,459 per month to lease 2,326 square feet of space, according to the lease agreement.
Merrick Park, a high-end shopping center in Coral Gables, is anchored by Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom. The 742,481-square-foot center also features luxury brands such as CH Carolina Herrera, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, and Tiffany & Co. It was previously owned by General Growth Properties, which was acquired by Brookfield in 2018 for $14.8 billion.
The lawsuit joins other retail eviction suits filed in South Florida during the pandemic. Last month, Sam Herzberg sued to evict Diesel USA and Perry Ellis’ Original Penguin from the Sterling Building on Lincoln Road for failing to pay rent in April and May.
In May, Berkowitz Development Group sued Petsmart to evict the pet store chain from stores at Dadeland Station and Aventura Commons.
Brookfied in May said it planned to inject $5 billion into major retail companies hit hard by the pandemic. Yet, the Financial Times last week reported that Brookfield is forcing smaller retailers to pay thousands of dollars in rent on locations that had to shut down due to the pandemic, while at the same time skipping payments on its mortgages and asking lenders for forbearance.