BOSTON (CBS) – The operator of Boston’s famous Faneuil Hall Marketplace has 10 days to pay the city or face eviction. The city has been clashing with Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation claiming it has not provided enough assistance to the restaurants and shops during the coronavirus pandemic.
The city now finds AAC in default, saying it has missed two payments to the city totaling $2 million. Boston owns Faneuil Hall, but AAC holds the contract to serve as the landlord.
As a result of a decades old agreement, AAC is not required to pay property taxes, but instead makes payments each year based on prior revenue.
Merchants say AAC continued to charge them rent throughout the pandemic despite businesses struggling to make ends meet.
“It’s been really slow for everyone over here,” said Adalia Harris-James, who owns A-Z Boutique. “It’s the go to place for a lot of tourists.”
Harris-James opened her store in July and hasn’t been able to see the influx of tourists come into the area. “What is there going to be for the people that come visit Boston?” Harris-James said. “This is one of the main places that people go.”
Brian Golden, director of the Boston Planning and Development Agency, said AAC has failed to meet its own obligations under their lease.
“As the landowner of the historic property, we will continue to take all the actions within our power to support the small businesses that make Faneuil Hall Marketplace the successful and beloved destination that it is,” Golden said.
In a statement, the Faneuil Hall Marketplace Merchants Association said it is “very disappointing” rents paid to their landlord were not paid to the city.
“The taxes owed are from prior years, years in which our rents were paid in full,” the association said. “The pandemic closed our businesses in March and upon reopening in July the dramatic reduction to the tourist economy has resulted in various businesses having to shut down at Faneuil Hall Marketplace.”
WBZ reached out to AAC for comment but have not yet heard back.