We received this statement from Tamara Murphy tonight regarding the legal battle that has erupted between her planned Capitol Hill restaurant Terra Plata and the redevelopment project she had expected to call home. One note as preface: Liz Dunn, one of the developers behind the Melrose Project, told CHS yesterday that she did not know how the letter that brought this legal tussle into public light ended up taped to the front door of the space where Terra Plata was supposed to be housed. Here is Murphy’s statement sent to CHS:
I am very disheartened and saddened by this situation. I did not confirm that Terra Plata’s deal had fallen through. Because of the letter on the window I am forced to defend Terra Plata by posting our position on a blog. I take issue with the fact that the landlords, Scott Shapiro and Liz Dunn, have posted this letter with personal information for public view and comment, given our current legal situation.
I sent you a photograph of the building’s communal meter bases that were installed in our leased space without our knowledge. What was to be a quaint wine cave and private dining room of 20+ seats is now a humming electrical room that serves the entire building. I have given these landlords every conceivable opportunity to remedy this situation and made repeated requests to sit down in hopes to work through this issue fairly and reasonably. Not only have my requests been denied, they have continually been met with even more unreasonable demands.
I am truly saddened by the adversarial situation with the landlords of the Melrose Project. Liz Dunn is someone I respected and trusted and is a big part of the reason that Terra Plata landed at the Melrose project. I have to believe that if it were up to Liz we would not be in this situation.
Terra Plata is firm in its position that we do not owe any rent or the amount on the letter posted. We will continue to exercise our rights under the lease. I have already invested a considerable amount of time, energy and money in this project. It is heartbreaking to be in a situation where we are forced to spend our energy and resources defending our rights as tenants rather than building our restaurant.
Our goal has been to find a reasonable solution that enables us to move forward on a positive path in completing the Melrose Project. The landlords still have an opportunity to do the right thing.
My desire has always been and continues to be, to open Terra Plata and contribute to the community and to the Melrose Project.
Photo: Brasa Restaurant