Romero Britto wants out of his Lincoln Road digs.
The internationally renowned Miami-based artist has filed a complaint against his Lincoln Road gallery's landlords saying he has been effectively evicted as a result of a plague of nuisances outside his space.
In his complaint, first reported by the Daily Business Review, Britto and his attorneys accuse landlord The Denison Corporation of allowing "crowds of vagrants to congregate at the property." They also allege that Miami Beach Police "routinely make arrests" there for everything from assault to burglary. And street performers blaring loud music are drawing away potential customers, the complaint states.
As a result, he is seeking to annul his most recent lease, which he signed in 2015 for a 10-year period at a base rent of $55,166 a month plus 4 percent annual increases.
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Representatives for Denison have responded by saying the company is not responsible for policing Lincoln Road.
A judge ruled June 10 that Britto must continue to make his lease payments while his complaint is litigated.
Bruce Weil, an attorney representing Denison, provided the following statement:
"For almost a year prior to the lawsuit, Romero Britto had been trying unsuccessfully to obtain a reduction in the rent, never complaining about too much crime or street performers interfering with his art gallery. The landlord believes this is a baseless excuse hatched to avoid paying rent because he either is unable to as a result of internal financial issues with his gallery or he just chooses not to.”
This story has been updated with a statement from a Denison representative.