The City of Bridgeport stepped in recently to resolve a dispute between a commercial landlord and a tenant relocating to a department store renovated as artist housing and commercial space. Rob Varnon of The Connecticut Post reported on the situation in an article titled “City’s mediation resolves dispute.” The owner of the shop, Flowers and Flour, and the landlord appeared to be in a typical dispute: disagreement over utility charges billed to the shop.
Fortunately, Ed Lavernoich, the city’s economic development planner, took a broader view. The article quotes him as saying: “We say ‘let’s be constructive here rather than pursuing a fight.'” Lavernoich said that the real issue was the shop’s need to stay put a little longer while its new space was renovated. Mediators worked with the parties to reach a resolution that spared both sides the expense, delay, and aggravation of litigating their dispute to the bitter end. Instead, the parties settled their conflict with an agreement to extend the lease for a brief period, while the shop’s new space was completed.