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Children’s retailer owes Cafaro, lawsuits claim

WARREN — Landlords for seven Cafaro Company-owned shopping malls this week have filed legal action against a Secaucus, N.J., retailer that sells children’s clothing, seeking more than $550,000 in back rent and unpaid maintenance fees.

The owner of Children’s Place stores in Cafaro’s Ohio Valley Mall, St. Clairsville, Ohio; Governor’s Square Mall in Clarksville, Tenn.; Huntington Mall in Barboursville, W.Va.; Kennedy Mall in Dubuque, Iowa; South Hill Mall in Puyallup, Wash., Millcreek Mall in Erie, Pa. and Spotsylvania (Va.) Mall have been named as defendants in separate civil lawsuits filed in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.

Among the unpaid charges that the landlords claimed include insurance premiums, fire alarm inspection, common area maintenance, media and marketing funds and trash removal as well as rent.

According to the separately filed lawsuits, the Cafaro landlords claim the Children’s Place St. Clairsville store owes $49,656; the Clarksville, Tenn., location, $68,152; the Barboursville, W.Va., store, $98,758; the Dubuque, Iowa, location, $8,250; the Pyallup, Wash., store, $67,349; the Erie, Pa., location, $116,735; and the Spotsylvania, Va., store, $141,935.

Each of the lawsuits have been assigned to the four common pleas court judges. Filing the lawsuit on behalf of the Cafaro landlords was attorney Michael J. Wright.

An attempt to reach an attorney at Children’s Place corporate headquarters was unsuccessful.

According to its website, the Children’s Place was founded in Hartford, Conn., in 1969 by David Pulver and Clinton Clark. They began by selling toys, apparel and accessories before deciding that apparel had the most growth potential. By the early 1980s, The Children’s Place was repositioned as a specialty retailer of children’s apparel for newborns to preteens and began offering private label merchandise as well as branded product.

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