After 24 years in the same location, Studio 205, the gift and novelty shop off Lake Avenue owned by City Commissioner Andy Amoroso, is moving.
And the move is not going smoothly between Amoroso and the landlord.
Amoroso said he’s moving because his rent is increasing about 60 percent. But while he’s already secured a new location, he’ll be paying rents on both properties until October.
So why wasn’t he allowed out of his current lease?
Doug Peters, the father of Amoroso’s landlord, said it’s because Amoroso badmouthed his daughters.
“You can’t badmouth the girls saying they’ll throw you out — which isn’t true — and expect a gift saying you can leave,” Doug said. “That will not work with us.”
Amoroso’s new location will be 410 N. 2nd Avenue but when he opens has not been determined. “I don’t know when I’m moving because I’m stuck in my lease until October,” Amoroso said. “There’s nothing I can do about it. The landlord owns the building, but I’m not happy.”
His landlord, Ariana Peters, a managing partner at Peters Development, a company that owns 39 downtown Lake Worth properties, raised his rent from $2,400 a month to $3,850. The total rent will be $4,200 when sales taxes are added.
Ariana Peters did not respond to a request for comment.
But her father, Doug, gave The Palm Beach Post two emails his daughter sent to Amoroso in January. In the first email dated Jan. 13, Ariana wrote her company has received numerous offers to buy the building. But Ariana wrote they were not interested in selling unless they get an offer that meets their price.
“We would love you to stay as you have been a model tenant (but) we do not think this location is viable for you to renew your lease,” Ariana wrote.
The second emailed outlined the new rent.
Doug Peters said he doesn’t think the rent is outrageous. “We have all the comps to show it,” he said. “We like Andy very much, but we considered the facts and outlined the rents we’ve been getting. My daughters do have salient proof of the rents we’re getting.”
“If we can’t get $3,850 for the best building with the highest exposure downtown, then we are failures as a town,” he said.
Amoroso said the downtown is changing, citing the relocation of his Studio 205 and the Starbucks across the street, which is closing and a new one will open in April in a new 8,750-square-foot shopping center on North Dixie Highway and 2nd Avenue North.
“We’re the eyes on the street,” he said. “We’re two large anchors downtown. The move is going to change the whole look of downtown.”