Franklin Park limo company sues over lease termination
Updated: December 30, 2012 3:10PM
FRANKLIN PARK — A limousine company alleges its new landlord is trying to push it out of its quarters, though it has almost two years left on its lease.
In July 2012, Digital Realty Trust of San Francisco purchased a 22-acre site on Grand Avenue that was owned by the Frain Group for $23 million. The site contains buildings at 9333, 9355 and 9377 W. Grand Ave.
Windy City Limo has leased the building at 9377 W. Grand Ave. since July 2008, according to a lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court.
Windy City Limo claims Digital Realty Trust issued a “month to month” termination notice in July and that its tenancy would be terminated on Aug. 31.
On Aug. 24, Windy City Limo filed a lawsuit. The company said its lease includes two three-year options to renew. The option automatically goes into effect unless either company opts out prior to the option going into effect.
Windy City Limo claims its renewal option started in September 2011, that it didn’t received notice from former owner The Frain Group and that Windy City has paid rent every month.
Sal Milazzo, co-owner of Windy City Limo, said being forced to move in the short term could be “quite impactful.”
“It could be close to $600,000 to $800,000 in moving costs,” Milazzo said. “Wherever we go in the short term would be a temporary facility.”
Digital Realty Trust is a publicly traded company that builds data centers. The company did not return calls for comment by deadline.
Village President Barrett Pedersen said Digital Realty Trust has found a tenant for a data center at the 9377 W. Grand building.
Windy City Limo employs more than 100 drivers and about 80 office and maintenance people. The company grew by 217 percent between 2009 and 2011 and co-owner George Jacobs has previously said he anticipated $18 million in revenue in 2012.
Milazzo said Windy City Limousine is negotiating with Digital Realty Trust and plans to give up its space “as soon as possible.” The company would prefer to stay in Franklin Park, but will consider space outside the village, too.
Pedersen hopes the two companies can come to an agreement.
“They’ll probably settle with Digital Realty Trust, who will give them an incentive to leave early,” Pedersen said.