JAMESTOWN – The owner of a building that houses a new brewery in downtown Jamestown is trying to evict the business for failing to keep up with rent.
GPatti Enterprises – owned by local developer George Patti – owns the building that houses the Jamestown Brewing Company (JBC) at the southeast corner of Third and Washington Streets. According to a petition filed in State Supreme Court in Erie County on Tuesday, GPatti is claiming it’s received less than 20 percent of four months worth of rent, dating back to Sept. 30, 2019.
The complaint says that JBC owes a total of $85,000, but has only paid $15,000 so far. It also says that the brewing company – which is co-owned by John McLellan Sr. and John McLellan Jr. – has been unable to pay various debts it owes various lenders. Under its lease agreement with the business, GPatti argues it has the right to evict the operation if it fails to pay rent owed after 10 days of its due date.
A hearing for the case is scheduled for Thursday, March 5, in Buffalo.
Meanwhile, the lawsuit is not the first one that’s been filed between GPatti and JBC. In December 2018, JBC filed a lawsuit against GPatti, claiming a Breach of Contract, Fraudulent Inducement, Fraudulent Misrepresentation, and Negligent Misrepresentation when it entered into a lease agreement in 2017. At the time of signing its lease, JBC claims GPatti had said work on the building would be completed in time for an April 2018 opening. However, numerous delays in construction – including an environmental abatement mandated by the state – pushed that opening date back for more than a year. As a result JBC felt GPatti was misleading when it provided the timeline for when the operation could open. It is suing GPatti for compensatory and punitive damages.
In April 2019 the court dismissed three of the claims, while the issue of breach of contract is still playing out in the court.
That case is currently in the discovery phase, with a deadline of April 30 for both sides to present their evidence. The next scheduled court date in that matter is a discovery compliance meeting set for July 10.
According to the Post-Journal, the total project cost for renovating the property and preparing it specifically for JBC was estimated at $3.84 million. Financing for the project included a $475,000 state Main Street grant that was awarded through the Regional Economic Development Council program in December 2015 and $830,000 from the Downtown Revitalization Initiative in 2017. The Jamestown Local Development Corporation has a $180,000 loan attached to the project. The IDA also offered tax abatements for the property.