Martorelli's sued for $533k in broken lease agreement

Ann Knef Feb. 5, 2008, 5:23am

The owner of a building occupied briefly by restaurant/bar Martorelli's in Fairview Heights is seeking in excess of $533,856.36 from Double D Restaurants and guarantor Daniel F. Martorelli for defaulting on a lease.

Winchester Real Estate LLC filed suit Jan. 29 in St. Clair County Circuit Court claiming the defendants breached a five-year lease which was signed Dec. 14, 2006. According to the complaint, Martorelli's advised on June 22, 2007, that it had abandoned and vacated the premises.

The 7,836 square foot site, located within the Winchester Plaza Shopping Center at 4660 North Illinois, was once home to the popular restaurant/bar Harry's East.

Winchester Real Estate claims it has taken reasonable measures to mitigate its damages by re-letting the premises to a third party but has not been successful in obtaining a replacement tenant.

According to the complaint, rent due for years one and two was $78,360, payable in advance in equal monthly installments of $6,530 each on the first day of the month.

The lease required Martorelli's to pay Winchester a security deposit of $10,000, minimum base rent, additional rent for common area maintenance, insurance, real estate and ad valorem taxes, and signage rent, the complaint states.

The lease also required Martorelli's to pay late charges of 10 percent of any amount due if it failed to pay any installment of base or additional rent, or any other sums due within 10 days after amounts were due.

The lease further required Martorelli's to pay interest in the amount 1.5 percent per month from the date due on all installments not received within 10 days of their due date.

Winchester is represented by Cheri K. Macdonald of Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale of Swansea.

The amount sought by Winchester includes re-letting expenses and commissions, plus attorney's fees and costs.

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