Ironton Hills owner sues, seeks to evict Hoss Cat

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 26, 2003

The Dublin, Ohio-based Ironton Associates 1, Ltd., has sent a notice to

evict Hoss Cat Clothing from its Ironton Hills Shopping Center location and has filed a lawsuit against its owner, Donnie Townsend to collect alleged back rent and various damages.

Townsend said, however, the lawsuit stems from "bad blood" that has existed between him and Ironton Associates president William Trembly and he will be moving his business soon.

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According to the lawsuit filed Dec. 17 in the Lawrence County Clerk of Courts Office, Ironton Associates seeks $75,000 for "unpaid rents, costs, delinquent fees … liquidated damages… and other expenses" as well as court costs and "such other relief as the court deems necessary."

According to the lawsuit, Townsend signed a two-year lease on the 3,200 square-foot store in September 2001 and agreed to pay $2,745 monthly for it. Townsend later opted to take additional storage space for $300 a month.

The suit alleges that Townsend owes more than $123,000 in back rent that has accumulated over the time he has occupied the premises.

According to the lawsuit,

Ironton Associates has made repeated requests for payment to no avail; Townsend was served notice of the lease termination in November and was asked to vacate the premises on or before Dec. 10.

As of Dec. 24, Hoss Cat remained open for business at the Ironton Hills location, but Townsend said he hopes to be moved into a downtown location within the next two weeks.

Townsend said he disputes he allegedly owes back rent. He also said his business dealings with Trembly have been poor from the beginning. He said he thinks Trembly filed the lawsuit because he heard that Townsend was making plans to move his business.

"This goes way back. When I first signed the lease, Trembly had an inkling Ames was going out and he didn't tell me," Townsend said. "That was the start of the bad blood. Then, I found out that some of the other stores have leases that stipulate if anchor store goes out, their leases go half price, mine didn't and when I asked him about this he said we could work on it."

Townsend said he has had numerous problems with building maintenance and Trembly has been faulty with building upkeep. Townsend said when he has contacted Trembly about these issues, his telephone calls and faxes are never answered.

"There's no way to resolve your differences if you don't communicate," Townsend said. "If I owe a debt I'll pay it, but I don't know where he gets his figures; they are not correct."

The Ironton Tribune attempted to contact Trembly for comment; he was not available.