What the Hell Was That?

     HOUSTON (CN) – A marketing company got permission to use a parking lot – just for parking – but trashed the place and built “a huge, multi-story building” on it to host NBA All-Star Weekend parties featuring rappers and NBA stars, the property’s lessee claims in court.
     Syed Hasan sued LOC Marketing in Harris County Court.
     LOC Marketing is based in Baltimore.
     Hasan leases a building and parking lot on Richmond Avenue in Houston, and says he “has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in renovations to the property and in building up the business.”
     He claims that with the landlord’s consent he agreed to let LOC Marketing use part of the parking lot from Feb. 6 to Feb. 20, for $5,000.
     “The sole permitted uses of the property was for pedestrian ingress and egress and for parking,” the complaint states. “Under the agreement, LOC was also permitted to erect a ‘temporary Compound/Tent’ on the back portion of the property” to house security guards.
     But LOC Marketing had other plans, Hasan says.
     “Immediately after the execution of the agreement, LOC moved 18-wheelers onto the property,” the complaint states. “It constructed a huge, multi-story building that in no way could be described as a tent and does not serve plaintiff’s security interests at all …
     “LOC removed light poles from the property, breaking at least one in the process. It dug up at least $4,000 worth of landscaping planted by plaintiff and threw the plants away.
     “It removed a portion of the fence around the property. It brought armed guards onto the property to visibly patrol the property at night, carrying rifles, so that plaintiff was afraid to enter his own premises.
     “LOC’s intention for the property was never to operate a parking lot, but instead to host numerous parties during All-Star Weekend. On the Internet, LOC advertised its events as taking place on the ‘Allstar Compound’ located at the property. LOC also advertised on billboards and even on Twitter. LOC is promoting numerous parties to be held on the property over the period of February 15-17, 2013. These parties feature ‘celebrity hosts’ such as basketball stars and rap and hip-hop artists Diddy, Jeezy and Nelly.
     “The presence of celebrity hosts encourages high attendance at these parties. Online tickets for these events are sold at prices ranging from $75 to $125 each. The ‘tent’ constructed by LOC is suitable for hosting a large party such as these events, not for housing security guards.” (Reference to expired web page deleted.)
     Hasan says he never agreed to those uses of the property.
     “Not only does the actual agreement not permit these uses, LOC never even paid the $5,000 required to use the property as a parking lot,” he says.
     Hasan says LOC’s brazen renovations have put his lease in jeopardy.
     “When the landlord learned of these unauthorized activities, it served plaintiff with notice that plaintiff was in default on his lease, and is now threatening to evict plaintiff and terminate the lease,” the complaint states.
     Hasan seeks a temporary restraining order and damages for breach of contract and fraudulent inducement.
     He is represented by Kathleen Pickett of Doyle, Restrepo, Harvin & Robbins in Houston.

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