Lease and desist

Longtime Avalon Mall tenant asked to leave to make way for new construction

Daniel MacEachern
Published on May 11, 2012
Cham Tat, owner of Kim Le Tailor Shop in the Avalon Mall, is moving out after 18 years. Tat said the mall terminated his lease, forcing him to move downtown. — Photo by Daniel MacEachern/The Telegram

Cham Tat’s got just a few weeks left in the Avalon Mall, but he’s hoping he can find a loophole that will let him stay.

The tailor — whose alterations business Kim Le Tailor Shop has been in the mall for 18 years — has been asked to leave to make way for mall construction work, and administration doesn’t have another space for him to move into, he told The Telegram.

“It’s not my decision to move. That’s the mall’s decision,” he said Wednesday afternoon in his shop. “They terminated the lease, and I’ve got to go.”

Tat has posted a letter to his customers in the window of his shop, letting them know that he is moving his operations to 120 Duckworth St., where his wife Kim Le operates their other shop, but he’s worried about losing business, and would prefer to stay.

“Because I’ve been here so long, I have a lot of clients, and I’ve built up a lot of my clients here, so of course I would prefer here,” he said. “If the mall offered me another location … but right now they don’t have one for me, so I’ve got no choice.”

Tat said his lawyer is going over the lease to see if there are any loopholes to prevent its termination, but hasn’t found anything yet, and as things stand he’ll be out of the mall at the end of the month.

He said he’s worried about a lack of parking downtown — and that it might not be convenient for his mall customers to follow him downtown — but he’s trying to focus on the benefits of the move.

“Because downtown is more difficult for parking, I will make the operation hours more flexible to the customer,” he said, noting his Duckworth shop isn’t constrained by the mall’s hours.

“We will make appointments, too, after hours, so that will make it easier for customers. I will open Sunday. I can do many things to bring my customers from the mall downtown.”

Tat said his customers have been supportive of him as he’s informed them of his move.

Requests left by The Telegram for comment from Avalon Mall administration were not returned.

 Twitter: TelegramDaniel