HBC sues Yorkdale owner Square One for failing to run ‘first class’ malls

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The Hudson’s Bay Company sued the owner of several of its department stores, alleging a failure to operate and maintain “first-class shopping centers”.In a statement filed in Ontario Superior Court, HBC alleges Oxford Properties Retail Holdings is in breach of leases and good faith contractual obligation.

The retailer claims that Oxford, which has a portfolio of shopping centers including Yorkdale Shopping Center in North York, Ont., And Square One Shopping Center in Mississauga, Ont., Has refused to deliver suitable premises since it reopened after COVID-19 closures.

The claims have not been tested in court.

Oxford said in an email that HBC’s complaints are without merit and that it is confident they will be successful.

“HBC has not paid rent since April 1 at most of our shopping centers in Canada, and seven months of recurring attempts to engage the company in constructive dialogue have been repeatedly ignored,” he wrote.

“Recently, HBC has started raising frivolous and self-serving complaints about the operations of several shopping centers in a transparent and dishonest attempt to retroactively justify its decision to stop paying rent. ”

HBC says in the file that the owner has refused to adapt their malls to the pandemic and no longer provides a retail environment that is viewed as safe or attractive by the public.

The company is asking for a statement that it does not have to pay rent until the landlord fixes the issues, as well as the “restitution” of the rent paid to Yorkdale Shopping Center Holdings Inc., Square One Shopping Center Holdings Inc. and other Oxford affiliates since April of this year.

Earlier this month, Oxford and Cominar Real Estate Investment Trust sued HBC in Quebec for unpaid rent, alleging that the iconic department store that houses shopping malls across Canada failed to pay its bills in several locations since April.

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