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It looks like the fight over J. Crew's first Brooklyn location is moving from the web to the courthouse. Cobble Hill grocer Billy Solmaz has told Gothamist that he's willing to take his landlord to court after his offer to pay a higher rent for 151 Court Street was rejected.
"[The landlord] said that he's not negotiating," Solmaz told Brooklyn Paper. "He wants to give the place to a big corporation." Since Pacific Green, the grocery store and deli owned by Solmaz, had signed a 15-year lease in 2000, the landlord is technically breaking that lease to make way for the retail brand.
Earlier this year, we reported that the American chain would be forcing out Pacific Green to make room for a multi-level store to open in 2014. This sparked quite an outrage among the locals, one of whom started a Change.org petition directed at the retailer. The petition states in part, "Your customers will be much happier with your business if you don't force a neighborhood business to close."
The petition continues: "Locally owned businesses are part of the fabric of communities. They provide good jobs, they put money back into the community, and they support and understand the issues affecting the community. National chains don't have that same connection to the community."
·Cobble Hill Grocer Fights To Stop J. Crew Takeover [Gothamist]
·A Big Picture Look At All The National Chains Heading To Brooklyn [Racked NY]
·J. Crew Confirmed For Cobble Hill, Mickey Drexler Talks Brooklyn [Racked NY]