This toy story isn’t going to have a Disney ending. After 72 years in business, The Toy Shop in downtown Concord is preparing to close. The Boston Globe reports that the iconic store, operated by David Hesel for the past 28 years, must liquidate due to a lease dispute with the current property owner.
The current owner acquired the retail building in July of 2014. According to news reports, this owner presented Hesel with an invoice for back rent and expenses totaling over $80,000.
Allegedly, the terms of The Toy Shop’s lease renewal will not be discussed by the new owner until all past expenses are paid.
Part of the contention reportedly stems from a rent reduction negotiated between Hesel and a former property manager during the recession. Whether the rent reduction was in writing, or was intended to be temporary, or was sanctioned by the former building owner, is not reported.
Hesel refutes the charges and has obtained legal representation. He has also begun the process of liquidating his inventory. A “Go Fund Me” page was set up by a young patron in hopes of saving The Toy Shop, but it appears that any donations will be applied to Hesel’s legal expenses – not to the disputed lease charges.
Because this contentious matter involves legal issues, and we only know the situation from media reports, we cannot take sides. We will say, however, that this story illustrates the critical importance of understanding your lease, and having it formally revised if there are any changes to the terms. An attorney review of lease alterations can help diminish the chance of future disputes.
The story of The Toy Shop isn’t entirely unique. Rising lease costs and disputes over common-area expenses can cause business relocations and closures. Whether you choose to buy or lease Boston Metro commercial real estate, you need someone on your side!
We are experienced in tenant and buyer representation, and we’ll help you find the ideal location for your needs. We provide sound guidance concerning your lease or purchase terms, and we negotiate on your behalf. Help yourself to our free Leasing Guide for an immediate advantage!
Please contact us today for expert guidance!