The property manager for Potomac Shores has filed a counterclaim demanding more than $491,000 in response to court action by Tim’s Rivershore Restaurant to extend its lease.
CHR Properties LLC of Delaware claims restaurant owner Tim Bauckman owes unpaid rent and late fees along with damages for Bauckman’s refusal to leave the property at the end of Cherry Hill Road outside Dumfries.
Tim’s Rivershore Restaurant and Crab House has been a favorite on the Potomac River for 28 years, but Bauckman was notified in February that his lease would not be extended. After he announced the restaurant would have to close, thousands took up the cause of saving the business with petitions, a Facebook page and a rally at a Prince William Board of County Supervisors meeting.
Last month, Bauckman filed a complaint in Prince William County Circuit Court to extend his lease with CHR Properties, pointing to a 2013 lease provision allowing two, one-year extensions.
In a response filed earlier this month, CHR Properties argued that provision in the lease wasn’t applicable because Bauckman had reverted to a month-to-month lease in December 2020. And even if it was, Bauckman has been in default for unpaid rent and late fees as well as not maintaining the property according to lease provisions, CHR argued.
“Landlord is prepared to put on evidence that Rivershore was in default on February 24, 2021, when it attempted to exercise the option, had been in default for nearly two years, and is still in default,” CHR wrote in its counterclaim.
The CHR filing lays out a pattern of unpaid or late rent back to 2018 with Bauckman still owing more than $41,000. The base monthly rate had been $6,500 and went up to $10,500 when the lease went month-to-month at the end of the year, according to the filing.
The counterclaim also demands that Bauckman pay for damage caused by failure to maintain the property and CHR’s costs for delaying the lease to a new restaurant tenant.
CHR also filed for eviction, known as an unlawful detainer, for possession of the property.
Bauckman previously owned the property, but after Hurricane Isabel left severe damage in 2003, he said he was “ham-stringed” by Prince William County into selling to the original owner. After passing from bank to bank, the property was bought by developer SunCal in 2010 for the Potomac Shores development. Since then, Bauckman has rented the restaurant from various property managers for SunCal.
Bauckman told InsideNoVa on Tuesday the restaurant “is definitely paid up on rent” and that he has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars repairing, maintaining and improving the property over the years.
“They’re at the point where they’re just not cashing the checks,” he said.
A spokesperson for Biddle Real Estate Ventures, which manages Potomac Shores, said Monday the company can’t comment on pending litigation.
Tim’s Rivershore has remained open, and Bauckman said he plans to stay open while the case makes its way through court. Court records show a hearing date scheduled for May 7.