The South Bay Center bustles with customers lugging purchases back to their cars and buses rounding the bends, but adjacent to the massive shopping complex, a popular supermarket lies conspicuously silent.
The road to access the Kam Man Farmers Market, a branch of the small Asian supermarket chain that also has a store in Quincy, is barricaded shut. Concrete slabs bar the entrance to its the parking lot and its windows have fallen dark.
Its closure occurred because of a prolonged legal standoff, which has pit the local owners of Kam Man against E&A Northeast Limited Partnership, which owns South Bay Center and the neighboring property. The Dorchester Reporter has all the details, but in short, they look like this:
Kam Man has hoped to expand its building and sublease part of its space to a Dollar Tree Store—a move that has provoked intense opposition from E&A, which holds a lease agreement with Kam Man allowing the market to make use of the now-blocked access road. (E&A does not own the Kam Man building, but controls all but 20 feet of the road, according to the Reporter.)
After a failed buy-out attempt, the shopping center erected the concrete barriers that now block the entrance to the supermarket’s parking lot in April. Lawyers told the Dorchester Reporter that they were within their rights to raise those barriers, as the ability to block access was included in the lease agreement should Kam Man violate it.
Kam Man has filed a motion to remove the barriers, arguing that the decision to erect the barriers posed a “irreparable harm” to its business. Kam Man’s sales dropped from somewhere between $15,000 and $20,000 to $684.21 the following day, according to The Reporter. Yelp and other Internet services have begun to list the store as closed. But Kam Man is pursuing litigation and still hopes to reopen, according to the article.
You can read more about the conflict here.Laura can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.