Continuing from last month’s blast . . .
Bellevue Square, LLC leased 34,000 square feet to Whole Foods in July 2015. Other tenants in Bellevue Square include Macy’s and Nordstrom. The Whole Foods Lease obligated the Tenant – Whole Foods – to continuously operate its business for the first 10 years, keeping it open to the public during the days and hours designated by Landlord.
Whole Foods opened its 365 by Whole Foods store in September 2016. Sales did not meet projections.
Injunction granted; Whole Foods must reopen for business within two weeks and “work in good faith with Bellevue Square to fulfill the purposes of the Lease.” The injunction is conditioned upon Bellevue Square’s deposit with the Court of a $2 million bond.
It remains unclear how Whole Foods is supposed to staff the store, what type of products must be offered, whether or not Whole Foods may increase or decrease pricing or add or subtract an inventory line, change its operating hours and its suppliers and manners of restocking shelves, and a myriad of other questions and issues.
So, first Starbucks (Teavana). Now Whole Foods. I don’t know who is next, but I sense a trend where Courts may not be so reluctant to require tenants to continue business operations, even though they may incur substantial losses.
See Bellevue Square v. Whole Foods Market Pacific Northwest, Inc.; No. 17-2-27617-1-SEA; Superior Court of Washington for King County; December 7, 2017: https://www.seattletimes.com/business/amazon/judge-orders-whole-foods-to-reopen-shuttered-bellevue-square-365-store/.
Stuart A. Lautin, Esq.*
* Board Certified, Commercial (1989) and Residential (1988) Real Estate Law,
Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Licensed in the States of Texas and New York
Reprinted with the permission of North Texas Commercial Association of REALTORS®, Inc.