SAN FRANCISCO, California — Another landlord is coming after Gap Inc.
Brookfield Property Partners LP, which owns shopping centres across the U.S., said in a court filing that the struggling retailer is refusing to open stores at the company’s properties in Texas and owes more than $2 million in rent.
“For three months running, Gap has failed to pay rent at virtually every Brookfield location nationwide, even for stores that Gap is operating,” the landlord said in court papers filed last week. “At present, Gap has withheld more than $2 million in rent from Brookfield in Texas alone.”
Brookfield is asking the court to force Gap to operate the Texas stores and pay back rent.
Gap Chief Executive Officer Sonia Syngal said earlier this month the company was in talks with its landlords and was paying “what we consider fair rent.” Gap has reopened more than 1,500 of its roughly 2,600 stores in North America.
The Brookfield lawsuit highlights rising tensions between landlords and retailers amid the pandemic-driven economic downturn. Hundreds of tenants have missed rent payment or shuttered stores in recent months, and landlords have sent default notices.
Simon Property Group Inc., a major mall owner, previously sued Gap, arguing the retailer has failed to pay $65.9 million in rent and other charges in recent months. In May, a Manhattan landlord filed a lawsuit against the company for not paying rent at a store near Times Square.
“We remain committed to working directly with our landlords on mutually agreeable solutions and fair rent terms, just as our industry and government partners have sat with us in good faith to shape the post-Covid business landscape,” Gap said in a statement Thursday. “We are pleased with the progress we’ve made with hundreds of our landlords as we’ve reopened stores across the country.”