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Thursday, May 16, 2013
The owner of a coffee shop that was once part of the Bloomington-Normal Airport Authority is now facing arbitration over unpaid rent. According to court records, the coffee shop, Bevande, was a part of the Central Illinois Regional Airport until closing its doors in April of 2011 over a location dispute.
The owner of the coffee shop, Tyler Buckley, allegedly asked CIRA to move the shop’s location to the interior of the airport, past the security checkpoints. He also requested that if the airport could not do this, they pay him a subsidy to cover lost revenue. According to Buckley’s complaints, the new TSA regulations required passengers to dispose of all liquids before entering the checkpoint, thus hurting his business.
Immediately following Bevande’s closure, the Central Illinois Regional Airport sued the owner for approximately $38,600 in rent that was owed. According to the airport’s representatives, although Buckley had opened his coffee shop within the airport facility in 2002, the lease on the spot had only been paid “occasionally.” The airport further alleged that the last payment of $600, which was the close of leasing the space, had been received in March of 2010—almost a year before Bevande closed its location there.
Buckley then filed a countersuit for $45,000, claiming that the airport “made unequivocal representations that Ty Buck would be allowed to open a Bevande location beyond the security checkpoint” but then backed away from the agreement to give the intended location to another restaurant. The airport has denied these claims. Due to an arbitration agreement that was signed by both parties, the outcome will be decided an arbitration panel.
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