The owner of the onetime firehouse at 661 Centre St. in Jamaica Plain this week sued her ex-husband, who runs the J.P. Licks ice-cream chain based there, for some $113,000 in back rent from last year.
In a suit filed in Suffolk Superior Court on Thursday, Kimberly Goldstein, through her Zooephebe Realty Trust, charged that her ex-husband and J.P. Licks owner Vincent Petryk has refused to pay the rent in arrears despite getting nearly $2.9 million in federal pandemic assistance - including money he allegedly said would go towards rent.
Petryk and Goldstein were married when they formed a real-estate trust, called Dada Cow Realty Trust, to buy the large old firehouse on Centre Street in 1998 and turn it into the new home of J.P. Licks - which grew into a chain whose ice-cream and coffee products are made there and where Petryk has his office. About ten months after they were granted a divorce, in April, 2009, Goldstein and a new partner filed a document with the Suffolk County Registry of Deeds taking over ownership of the building under the Zooephebe name.
In the suit, Goldstein says Petryk made his full $23,160.96 monthly rent payments in January and February of last year, but started making only partial payments in March, when Gov. Baker announced pandemic-related shutdowns and restrictions. In June, for example, Petryk only paid $6,583.11 in rent, the suit alleges.
Petryk resumed making full rent payments in January of this year, but has refused to make up the $113,000 Goldstein says he is still in arrears for last year. She said he has refused to make good on the money even though in April, 2020, J.P. Licks got a $1.4-million federal Paycheck Protection Program loan/grant - the application for which states that $173,200 would go towards rent. Petryk got another PPP check in January of this year for $1.5 million, the suit says.
The suit says J.P. Licks never actually shut down at any point in 2020 and that:
Upon information and belief, J.P. Licks has possessed sufficient funds to cure its breach of the Lease, but it has willfully and intentionally refused to pay its outstanding rent balance.
Goldstein is seeking her back rent plus damages and attorney's fees.