The owners of the Rand Tower have sued Allie's Deli after the two sides couldn't agree on a new location for the popular skyway restaurant.
The building's owners, who are converting it into a boutique hotel, want the deli to move so they can build a new stairway through part of the space Allie's has leased since 2004. But the two sides haven't been able to settle on a new location for the restaurant.
"We just want to make our customers happy," said Scott Robinson, one of the restaurant's owners. "We've been here for 14 years. That's all we want to do, is stay in business."
Lawyers for the Rand Tower sent a Nov. 8 letter to owners Robinson and Nicole Allie saying they needed to move to a new space by Dec. 9.
In a lawsuit filed last week, the property manager said it had come up with a "substitute space" but that Robinson and Allie "refused to consent to substitution of the premises with the substitute space" and "refused to cooperate in construction of the substitute space," in violation of the lease.
Allie's rents 1,958 square feet in a busy portion of the skyway for about $4,700 per month. The "substitute space" their landlord offered them is in a less-busy part of the skyway on the north side of the building.
The building's lawyers, who could not be reached for comment, said in the suit that the building's owners are at risk of violating construction agreements. Without a resolution, the dispute will cost the building's owners $19,000 per day starting Dec. 9. They asked a judge for a $50,000 judgment against Robinson and Allie, plus legal fees. The building owners are represented by Fredrikson & Byron.
But talks between lawyers for the two sides are ongoing.
"The parties are talking about a potential resolution," said Jason Lien, the lawyer for Allie's Deli.
Maven Real Estate Partners plans to spend more than $86 million to convert the 26-story art-deco building at 527 S. Marquette Av. from office space into a 277-room hotel.