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Longtime City Market tenant fighting move

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A longtime Indianapolis City Market tenant is refusing to vacate its space in the historic building and is suing to stop construction to convert the east wing into a bicycle hub.

Enzo Pizza Inc. filed suit April 12 against Indianapolis City Market Corp. after the market's lawyer notified owner Vincenzo Verderame that contractors would begin moving the restaurant to its new location on April 2.

But Enzo claims in its “wrongful eviction” complaint that City Market verbally agreed not to “forcibly” move the eatery to another space in the main building until its lease could be amended.

Enzo, which has operated at City Market since 1992, said it wants an agreement specifying who would pay for the relocation and for any damages to equipment or property that might occur during the move.

The new space City Market has designated for the restaurant is near the west entrance of the main building.

But, according to the complaint filed in Marion Superior Court, the space is 20 square feet smaller than Enzo’s current location. Enzo further complained that City Market never provided architectural or construction plans for the space.

"I think if someone is asked to open a business in a new location, I think they have the right to decide if they’ll get as good [a location] as what they have," Enzo lawyer Lesa Duvall said.

Enzo, a family-owned Indianapolis-based chain with seven locations, is seeking lost profit related to loss of business suffered during the the renovation. It charges in its lawsuit that City Market refuses to let the pizza joint remove barriers near its space, which have blocked access to its salad bar.

City Market attorney Bryce Bennett said some of Enzo's demands are unreasonable, if not impossible, to meet. At this point, he said, it would be impossible to stop construction of the bicycle hub.

"Any demand to renegotiate a lease is unreasonable," he said. "All we're trying to do is to relocate them to what we think is a better location in the main hall."

Construction began nearly two months ago, and Enzo is the only tenant left in the wing, City Market Executive Director Jim Reilly said.

“It’s got to be resolved very soon,” Reilly said of the court dispute. “It’s causing problems for the entire project.”
 
The $800,000 renovation to convert the wing into a bicycle hub is part of a larger, $3.4 million project to upgrade the main hall with new lighting, rest rooms and vendor stands.

Both the main-hall and east-wing projects are on track to be completed by late June.

The city also is continuing to look for additional funds to pay for the $500,000 demolition of the market’s west wing, a project that was delayed to compensate for the main-hall bids coming in over budget. Until money is found for that project, it’s unclear when the demolition will take place.

Meanwhile, City Market’s dispute with Enzo Pizza is not its first with a tenant unhappy with a move brought about by the renovation.

In December, City Market operators reached a deal with Grecian Garden for another space on the first floor of the main building different from what Grecian Garden said it originally was promised.
 

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  • Bike Showers
    I'm for anything that stops that stupid conversion of the east wing to a public bike shower.
  • And, You Have Read the Lease?
    Lease Law 101. I think you should know taht "lease law" is that the terms of the lease control, and the parties contracting the lease can agree to whatever they wish.

    You are simply making a lot of assumptions about what you think the lease says. It is not uncommon for a commercial lease in a large retail development to contain clauses covering what happens in the event of a renovation, including sometimes granting the landlord the ability to move a tenant to allow renovation.

    Also, the proposed new space has a much higher foot traffic count, so the question would be if sacrificing 20 square feet is more than made up for by a higher volume of customers. Terms like "substantially similar" (if that is even in the lease) are governed by a reasonableness test.

    I don't know what the lease says, nor do you (unless you are claiming to be a party to the case or one of the attorneys representing them). The matter will be settled through our legal system, as it should be, and not on the IBJ's posting foru.
  • What could be....
    Imagine the market located right on the circle. Opening doors to the monument and seating and entertainment venues right at street level. The circle attracts so many visitors already that the market would be a natural hit. Connection is and always will be the problem with the market. It looks fine and the tenants aren't that bad, people just don't know where it is or can't wuite make the trip to that side. If there is ever a large investment of residential on that side then maybe the market can improve, but the circle would be so cool!
  • Dumb and Dumber...
    If the City of Indianapolis REALLY wants to make the City Market a place to go downtown, they need look no further than Cincinnati - Findley Market. What Indianapolis City Market SHOULD be and could be even better... but what's being done now........ isn't even close.
  • SO WRONG
    The funny thing is that if you ask the brother who runs this location, he will say they have been asking for 8 years to be moved into the mail building and are only not being moved. This is a shame that they do not care about keeping the project on target and that they are delaying a lot of work for other tenants who are anxiously awaiting work to get done. They were involved with the planning and now just seem to be looking to see what they can get out of it. They did NOT have to pay for their new location.

    There ARE MANY vendors in the market who fully support this renovation and ARE making money in their locations.

    I wish someone would run an article about the MANY HAPPY tenants at the City Market.
  • Typical Indianapolis
    "I don't care if you have a lease, we are doing this," is the typical heavy handed response of the city. The "Move, it will bring you more business" poster and the city market director and attorney only are thinking of themselves and not the business owner. Enzo is (was?) always busy. If this "prime" space near the West Entrance was so good, why aren't folks making money there now, hand over fist?
  • 2-cents
    Only an idiot would spout legal verbage without knowing the specifics of the situation.
  • Just a minute Enzo critics
    The tenant has a written lease for the space. He can't be forced to move without his consent. He doesn't have to give his consent unless he gets a substantially similar replacement space and his moving costs and losses are paid.Lease Law 101.
    Only an idiot landlord would start the renovation without getting an amended lease signed first. Draw your own conclusions about this landlord
    • Vendors themselves are going to ruin City Market
      If these vendors inside of City Market don't get it together, they're going to be the ones that ultimately ruin it. First, the homophobic practices of Just Cookies...now this. Come on people...
    • CT
      Well I wish that pizza place best of luck with this case!
    • The changes are happening to make the city market a better place!
      This is discouraging. When we try to make things better there is always some jerk who can't see past the present. If we make the city market better he will get more business.
    • If he has to move
      He'd better get full replacement cost from the City Market. She should not lose any moeny over something they insist he do.
    • City Market
      I don't like the "City Market". It has changed so much it just isn't the place it used to be. I would shop with my Mom at the City and Farmers Markets and we would get everything we needed and it was fresh and grown locally. The meat selection was great and they would cut it the way YOU wanted, not some standard method to get everything off the bone.

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