The muddle within the Meals Corridor leaves prime Brooklyn retail area within the air
A complicated dispute between landlords and tenants has left prime 8,000-square-foot vacant retail space in downtown Brooklyn suspended.
Muss Development, who owns two retail stores at 345 Adams Street, was scheduled to take the space back from Hill Country Food Park a few months ago after restaurateurs failed to get the store up and running.
The flop followed multiple attempts by Muss – a landlord known for being on friendly terms with tenants – to help the Hill Country team, including returning 3,000 square feet from the original 11,000 square feet under a 20-year lease in 2013 The smaller room was later rented to Cava Grill.
With Musss blessing, Hill Country converted the original grill format to the Food Hall concept. But in May, restaurant owner Marc Glosserman said that this wasn’t working either and that he wanted to give the room back. However, when discussions began for Hill Country to hand over the lease to Muss, the restaurant brought in a new investor, the Feenix Venture Partners Opportunity Fund. This is evident from documents viewed by The Post.
Feenix is now trying to take control of the lease by going bankrupt. A July 12 letter from Hill Country attorneys to Muss stated, “Feenix reached out to us to buy the lease out of bankruptcy …” even though a Chapter 11 filing has not yet been made.
Must try evicting Hill Country if it doesn’t pay $ 73,655 rent back, according to a Brooklyn Civil Court filing.
Adding to the confusion, a sign above the entrance states that there will be an auction for the room on July 1st – but no auction appears to have taken place.
Until the mess is resolved, Muss cannot market the prime location to another tenant. If Feenix took control of the lease through bankruptcy, he could likely do whatever he wanted with the room, subject to the supervision of a judge, but without Must’s consent.
Representatives from both sides avoided the Feenix problem. A must-have sales rep said, “Hill Country had the perfect vision to activate the space but unfortunately after several tries and many different concepts they told us they couldn’t get it working and would give us the space back. We look forward to introducing the next great concept. “
A Hill Country representative said, “The food park has been closed to allow for major changes. [we] will hand over the reins to a new operator who will be putting together a collection of exciting new dining options from some very well-known hotel brands slated for later this year. “
Feenix did not respond to email requests for comments. Its website states that it has invested in other outfits like Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee and Grandview Public Market.