Boston Business Journal

‘Best Corner in the Back Bay' at Center of Lease Dispute Lawsuit

Boston Business Journal

A fast-growing yoga apparel chain has sued the developer behind a building under construction at the corner of Newbury and Dartmouth streets in Boston's Back Bay, claiming it violated a lease agreement by backing out of the deal at the last minute in favor of another tenant willing to pay more.

Los Angeles-based Alo Yoga is asking a judge in Boston to force L3 Capital LLC to honor the ground-floor lease at 149-155 Newbury St., a one-time parking lot that L3 has billed as the “last remaining undeveloped land parcel” on Newbury. The office-and-retail building is set to open by the end of 2023.

In early September, after almost six months of negotiations, Alo and L3 agreed on the terms for a lease, and Alo sent over a signed agreement on Sept. 15, according to Alo’s complaint, filed Friday in Suffolk County Superior Court.

But L3 did not return the signed lease, and on Sept. 27 the firm’s principals told an Alo executive that L3 was instead proceeding with another business paying more money for more space in the building, the complaint said. The lawsuit did not name the other tenant nor specify the size of the space at issue.

The failed deal is hurting Alo’s plans to expand into the Boston market, thwarting a company with over $1.5 billion in revenue that plans to more than triple the number of Alo stores worldwide by the end of next year, according to the lawsuit. (Alo's parent company also owns the brand Bella+Canvas.) Alo recently opened its first Boston location in the Seaport District.

The Newbury location was to be the “centerpiece of Alo’s strategy in the Boston market” and a “launching ground” for the brand locally, the complaint said, after Alo determined Newbury and Dartmouth was “the best corner in the Back Bay.”

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