Apr 6, 2016 - News

Everyone who lives in South End’s pink building just got sued

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charlotte-pink-building

More than 100 condo owners in the pink building in South End — more formally known as The Arlington — have been sued by the Japanese restaurant on the ground floor in a dispute over parking.

A complaint filed at the Mecklenburg County courthouse last week by the owners of Nikko Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar name both the Arlington Condominium Owner’s Association and each property owner individually.

Every single condo owner — including former Charlotte Bobcat Emeka Okafor — was served with the court papers. It’s a move some condo owners say is to get leverage.

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TL;DR: Nikko has been using 50 spaces at the Arlington for restaurant parking and now claims the Arlington has threatened to kick them out if the restaurant doesn’t pay rent. Nikko says their deed says they have the exclusive rights to the parking spaces.

The longer version: Nix at Arlington LLC, which operates the restaurant, bought commercial space in the Arlington in 2007 for $2 million, according to real estate records. The restaurant owners claim a “parking easement” filed with the deed gives them the “exclusive and perpetual right” to use 50 spaces in the building’s parking garage, according to the lawsuit.

Nikko has been using the spaces since opening in 2009, the suit states. But in March, the restaurant owners say they got a letter from the Arlington Condominium Owners Association threatening to take down all the Nikko parking signs.

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Nix at Arlington goes on to say that the COA is trying to charge rent on the parking spaces when there is no lease. They want a judge to rule that the restaurant has the right to use the spaces for free, and that the Arlington can’t take down their signs while the dispute is resolved, the suit states.

The condo owners association did not respond to a request for comment. But in messages sent out to property owners, the COA said that a judge ruled in a prior case that the “parking easement” is invalid and that the Arlington can charge rent on its spaces.

The COA told residents that Nikko’s owners had paid a fee to use the spaces since 2012, but recently stopped — racking up a $30,000 debt before the condo association threatened to remove the signs.

James Nix, owner of the commercial space and the restaurant, did not return calls requesting comment.

The condo owners have yet to file any response to the lawsuit. Some of them are considering banding together to pay for legal counsel.

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