IPI sued to vacate warehouse


The company that owns the Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC warehouse in Lower Base is suing IPI for failing to pay rent on the property since March 2020 and is asking the U.S. District Court for the NMI to issue an order to remove them from the property.

James Whang, doing business as South Pacific Lumber Company, the company that owns the commercial warehouse space on Lot No. 057 E 29, Lower Base, is suing IPI for non-payment of lease.

Due to its failure to make rent, Whang is alleging breach of contract, holdover tenancy, and unjust enrichment and is asking the court to issue an order removing IPI from the property, granting the him immediate repossession of the premises, and a jury trial.

The plaintiff is also seeking injunctive relief to preserve assets currently held in the warehouses to ensure payment of the judgment entered in this case.

Whang, through attorney Colin Thompson, also wants IPI to pay a total of $391,703.13. According to the breakdown, IPI owes $276,080 for rent, $110,432 for late fees, and $5,191.13 for utilities.

Lastly, the lawsuit is asking for an order for attorney’s fees and costs and litigation fees and costs pursuant to the lease and all related fees and costs as otherwise may be provided by contract or by law.

According to court documents, IPI leased the premises from Whang back in May 8, 2015. The initial term of the lease was for a one-year period starting on May 11, 2015, and ending on May 11, 2016, with a right to extend the term of the lease for up to five years.

IPI agreed to pay the plaintiff rent on or before the fifth day of each month during the term of the lease. IPI also agreed to pay the plaintiff a 5% penalty assessed on the sixth day of each month for all cumulative amounts past due.

On April 26, 2016, IPI and Whang signed an amendment to the lease extending the term of the lease to May 10, 2021, increasing the leased space to include the entire premises, and reducing the rental price per square foot, resulting in the monthly rental amount of $16,240.

According to the complaint, IPI has not paid any rent to plaintiff pursuant to the lease since March 2020, up until July of 2021.

Last July, plaintiff served defendant with invoices for the amounts outstanding under the lease for past due rental, late fees, and utility payments and notices to vacate the premises but to date, IPI has not responded to them.

“On July 28,2021, plaintiff served defendant with a ‘3-Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit,’ notifying IPI of its continued failure to pay rent, outstanding amount due under the Lease, defendant’s failure to vacate the premises, and gave defendant until Aug. 2, 2021, to vacate the premises. Defendant has not responded to these notices,” Thompson said.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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