Circle Centre owner suing Cinnabon franchisee for unpaid rent, again

The franchisee of the Cinnabon store at Circle Centre mall once again is the target of a lawsuit from the mall’s owner, claiming the company is three months overdue on its rent.

Circle Centre Mall LLC is suing Plymouth, Michigan-based RCA Enterprises Inc. in Marion Superior Court to recoup $13,054 in rent and related expenses.

RCA Enterprises has not paid rent since November and owes for December, January and February, in an amount totaling $8,270, according to lease documents filed with the suit.

The franchisee extended its lease in February 2016, committing to another 10 years at the downtown mall. It pays $33,733.44 in annual rent for the 1,272-square-foot space on the second floor near the Artsgarden, documents show.

Circle Centre Mall LLC on Jan. 12 declared Cinnabon’s lease in default and demanded the tenant pay by Jan. 12, which it has failed to do, the mall’s owner said in the suit.

“Plaintiff is entitled to immediate possession of the leased premises, but defendant wrongfully and unlawfully continues to retain possession thereof,” the complaint said.

Christopher Cassidy, the Indianapolis lawyer representing the mall’s owner, declined further comment on the dispute.

RCA Enterprises could not be reached for comment but has been sued by the mall’s owner at least twice before.

In 2014, the franchisee owed $15,615 in unpaid rent before reaching a settlement. It also was sued in 2011 and resolved the dispute later that year.

Cinnabon was founded in Seattle in 1985 and is based in Atlanta. It operates more than 1,200 cinnamon roll bakeries in 48 countries.

Circle Centre, meanwhile, is losing anchor Carson’s, which will leave the three-story anchor space vacant at Meridian and Washington streets. The Cinnabon is located on the north end of the mall, a stone's throw from Carson's.

Parent company Bon Ton Stores Inc. announced on Jan. 31 that it planned to close the Carson’s location as part of a broader cost-cutting strategy across its stores nationwide.

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