Cedar Hills sues operators of Battlefield Mall alleging they underpaid

By Sam Knef | Jan 7, 2019

KANSAS CITY – A commercial real estate landlord recently filed a federal lawsuit alleging a tenant improperly and systematically  miscalculated and underpaid its rent. 

Cedar Hills Investment Co. LLC filed suit Dec. 28 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri against Simon Property Group Limited Partnership, which owns or operates numerous malls and shopping centers across the U.S., and Battlefield Mall in Greene County.

According to the complaint, Cedar Hills leased the mall for a period from 1966 to 2056 to Battlefield Mall, with Battlefield Mall then assigning its interest to Simon in 1993. In 2003, Simon then assigned its interest to Battlefield Mall. But, Cedar Hills claims that it did not release Simon from liability under the lease. It further states that Battlefield leases portions of the property to various subtenants.

The suit says that the defendants agreed to pay Cedar Hills base rent equal to $360,000 per year, payable in monthly installments of $30,000 per month on or before the first day of each month. Defendants also agreed to pay percentage rent based on receipts of sub tenants, which Cedar Hills claims that in a given year is equal to 20 percent of the amount by which defendant’s gross rent during the preceding calendar year exceeded $3.7 million.

"Under the lease, both defendant Simon and defendant Battlefield remain liable for unpaid rent to plaintiff," the complaint states.

Cedar Hills claims it has fulfilled and complied with all of its obligations and covenants under the lease and has satisfied all conditions prior to suing, but that defendants have not supplied it with sufficiently detailed reports for years 2008 through 2015 and have instructed their auditor not to supply the information,

Cedar Hills, represented by attorneys at Lewis Rice in Kansas City, seeks a judgment ruling that defendants have breached their obligations as well as compensatory damages and other relief.

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