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Tenants await tribunal ruling

THE outcome of a WA Commercial Tribunal hearing into applications made by a tenant of Raine Square against the central city centre’s landlords – companies linked to prominent Perth hotelier Chris Brockwell and his late brother Maurice – is expected later this month.

The applications by Hob Nob owner Irene Margaret Davies against Brockwell Hospitality Investments Pty Ltd and Western Plaza Corporation Pty Ltd mainly relate to car park outgoings as well as a smaller component of ‘special rent’ that she claims was wrongly incurred.

Hearings into both applications concluded on May 9 and decisions are expected later this month.

Chris Brockwell declined to comment on the matters because they were before the tribunal.

Western Plaza Corporation managing director David Williams said he did not want to pre-empt the tribunal’s decision but the landlord had defended its car park charges claiming they were below the amount that could legally have been charged.

The square’s managing agent, CB Richard Ellis, is also the subject of two complaints by the same tenant before the Real Estate and Business Agents Supervisory Board that relate to the car park outgoings and insurance costs.

CB Richard Ellis director Helen Woodley-Page confirmed that the board was seeking “an explanation” from the agency.

“We are in the process of responding to the board,” she said.

While the legal issues are being dealt with, the owners have been attempting to sell the square.

Mr Williams told WA Business News that there was a binding agreement with the Raine Square Management syndicate and formal documentation could be completed within two weeks.

He said he did not believe that any legal matters would impact on the sale of the centre and that the two companies, Brockwell Hospitality Investments and Western Plaza Corporation planned to remain involved with the site as tenants by leasing the Western Plaza Hotel, which is part of the site.

Raine Square Management, a consortium of Neil McKinnon, Craig Hughes and George Patterson, is interested in buying the property for a reported $25.7 million.

Mr McKinnon said the consortium did not intend to inherit any legal issues if they persisted and the purchase would be on a “clear title” basis.

The consortium plans to turn Raine Square into food markets, however, a City of Perth spokesman said that council had received no planning application for Raine Square.

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