[Source: Max Jarman, Arizona Republic] — Bashas’ Inc. has asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to void its leases on planned AJ’s Fine Foods and Food City stores in Phoenix and El Mirage. Bashas’ earlier signed leases for stores in the CityScape development in downtown Phoenix and in a retail center at Thunderbird and Dysart roads in El Mirage. Work has not started on the stores, and Bashas’, which has been operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since July, contends it would be a financial hardship to move forward with the new stores.
In bankruptcy, the court has the power to terminate leases with no repercussions to the tenant. Bashas’ earlier notified the prospective landlords of their intent not to occupy the stores. At $28.50 per square foot, the CityScape lease for 9,500 square feet would have cost $271,000 per year, and the El Mirage lease at $12.15 per square foot for 55,000 square feet would have cost $668,000 per year, according to court documents.
Since filing for Bankruptcy Court protection, Bashas’ has closed or decided not to go forward with more than 30 stores. More stores could be closed under terms of the Chapter 11 reorganization plan the company is expected to file with the court later this month. The plan is said to include the Basha family’s continued ownership of the chain and the closure of an unspecified number of additional stores. [Note: Read the full article at Bashas’ asks to void lease at downtown Phoenix CityScape project.]