DAWN BEACH–Alegría Real Estate B.V. has demolished the buildings that housed C-Lounge and Thai Smile restaurants at the former Caravanserai Beach Resort in Beacon Hill.
Heavy equipment operators demolished the building flat to the ground and told the tenants they had orders from Alegria to do so.
“I am in utter shock,” said Jimy N.V.’s lawyer Willem Nelissen. He said Alegria had not informed the tenants of its plans.
The parties involved are currently in Court and the Court was in the process of selecting an expert to give an assessment of the damaged building, which was gutted by a fire on April 3, 2015.
“What is strange is that the hotel is presently closed, and my clients will have to see what their next course of action is. We are in Court and this is what they decide to do. I heard via their lawyer that they believe that the buildings are not safe anymore and therefore the decision was taken to demolish. How is that possible and the court had to appoint an expert to give an estimate on the works that had to be carried out to restore the building,” Nelissen said.
Based on Fire Department and insurance-expert reports about the fire, Alegría declared the rental agreement terminated because the premises where C-Lounge and Thai Smile were located were damaged beyond repair.
Jimy’s rented the two commercial units against payment of a monthly rent of US $3,000, as well as payment of a maintenance fee to a maximum of 15 per cent of the rent for parking facilities, (garden) maintenance, waste disposal and a septic tank. The rental agreement was unilaterally terminated on April 15, 2015 and Jimy’s was ordered to vacate the premises by May 15 at the latest. However, Jimy’s did not heed this request.
Parties squared off in Court over this issue in several proceedings, among which is also a Court case on the merits (bodemprocedure).
According to Alegría, rebuilding the rented buildings would be “irresponsible” due to the high cost involved. Besides, Jimy’s “structurally” failed to pay rent during eight consecutive months, leading to a debt of some $48,690 since November 2015, the owners claimed at the time.
By contrast, Jimy’s lawyer Willem Nelissen claimed that Alegría wants to get rid of the rental agreement to get its hands free to redesign the resort with a different casino and catering facilities.
“Until this day, we have no idea who started the fire and why. We have been in Court since 2015, and for Alegria to just demolish the buildings has just never been done. After the fire, everything was okay, and then came Hurricane Irma and it was still good. Now, while you are closed, you decide to just demolish. This is very strange to me,” stated Nelissen.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/71709-alegria-ignores-court-case-and-demolishes-restaurants