how does a company that was only in business for 6 months owe millions in backpayments?
Spot Coffee made a big mistake by signing a 10 year lease. They were paying $10,000 a month in rent. Their pricing for their sandwiches was very high ($12 for a turkey bacon wrap for example), so many people didn't bother eating at Spot - esp. considering McDonalds and IKEA is next door. Spot thought that they would be successful at this location because they were successful downtown, however the demographic is completely different (a part from the demographic, the parking is an issue as it's paid street parking). Spot never paid rent to Concord for those 6 months, so they immediately owed $60,000+. Concord then went after them for the 10 year lease. So 10 years equated to around 1.5 million in lost retail revenue for Concord. So $60,000 + $1.5 million and legal costs = Spot Coffee owes a lot of money.
I guess the only way out of this is for Spot to find someone to take over the lease, which I think will prove to be very difficult.
taal: I just took these right now, but I can take some during the day (perhaps drum118 has some images in his vast collection) - there are retail units on both sides of the buildings.
But you can clearly see the issue here. In this picture there are 3 retail units, excluding BMO (which happens to do somewhat well - but then again, they are a bank with deep pockets that can afford the lease rates). Even if you were to open up a store here, signage woulud definitely be an issue. Another issue, how do I get people to those retail units? They are fronting a Piazza.
In the second picture, you can see the main road, but again - you need to get the drivers attention and then when you do, they need to cough up money for side parking. Concord did offer underground parking for Spot Coffee, however it's more of an inconvenience for people to buzz the concierge to get to the parking + take an elevator up to get to the retail unit.
Spot was fronting the street, much like BMO is, and they couldn't even make a profit. The retail units are sitting empty and I feel it'll be that way for quite a while.