By Kendall Ashman
LEBANON, TN (WKRN) — A family-owned business is being forced out of the Lebanon Outlet Mall after a new management company terminated its lease early.
“To immediately terminate us like we are scum. It’s disrespectful and it’s hurtful what are supposed to do in the interim?” Tamikia White of Seafood Sacs asked.
The owners of Seafood Sacs said their lease was up in February of next year.
However, last week they were told out of the blue it was being terminated early and they have to be out by August 26.
“This is very disrespectful and dehumanizing to us,” Tamikia said.
Ronaldo and Tamikia White began selling their Cajun style seafood out of their food trailer over four years ago. In 2021, they moved into the Lebanon Outlet Mall.
“As you can see, this is a dying situation and we were approached to come inside and help with the foot traffic. We upheld our end of the bargain,” Tamikia said.
Their service is the only business inside the food court.
“We were responsible for bringing the life into this part of the dilapidated facility,” Tamikia said.
However, last week they were told they needed to be out much earlier than expected as new management recently bought the mall.
“There was no justification as to why it’s being terminated. We never had any issues, complaints, any type of discrepancies with management,” Ronaldo said.
“And then boom, this furniture place just moved in on top of us,” Tamikia added.
A furniture store already partially moved into the food court.
“Nobody is talking to me about compensating me for my losses or future earnings for what we’ve invested in here or buying out the remainder of my lease for this wonderful furniture company that they just dumped on us,” Tamikia said.
Now they have less than 30 days to find a new space – something they said is just not enough time.
“We are the only ones that I know of that have been forced out,” Tamikia said.
“Now we are stuck in a position where we need to find another place to keep our customer base that we worked really hard to obtain,” Ronaldo added.
In February of 2021, the new owners of the Lebanon Outlet Mall submitted re-zoning plans to build a high end, mixed use development at the mall.