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Saks Fifth Avenue facing eviction from Bal Harbour Shops

Saks Fifth Avenue Gift Cards One of South Florida’s longest running retail marriages could be headed for a bitter breakup.

In the lawsuit filed Aug. 17 in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, Bal Harbour Shops accuses Saks, which has been a tenant since 1974, of not paying rent since March 16, 2020, even though the store has been open and operating since May 18. The news was first reported by WWD.

According to the complaint, Saks alleges Bal Harbour Shops and Lazenby disclosed confidential business information to the press as part of an effort to coerce the retail company into making rent payments that were in dispute.“The defendants initiated a malicious public smear campaign designed for no purpose other than to exact revenge on a tenant who justifiably stood up to the unjustified demands of an unreasonable landlord,” the lawsuit states.

On Aug. 4, Hudson Bay Company, Saks’ parent, informed Whitman Family Development owner and Manager General Matthew Whitman Lazenby via letter that the lease did not give the mall owner the authority to demand the $1.8 million. The lease agreement allows Saks to be excused from its obligations if its business is hindered by an Act of God and government shutdowns, according to the letter attached to the lawsuit.

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