Off-airport parking lot owner sues rental car company over lease

The owner of an off-airport parking lot property outside Denver International Airport and its tenant, Sixt Rent a Car, are in a legal dispute. (Courtesy of Denver International Airport)

The owner of an off-airport parking lot property outside Denver International Airport has sued a rental car company, claiming it bailed on a long-term lease.

DIA Land Co. LLC — which owns the property at 25200 E. 68th Ave., where ParkDIA operates — filed the lawsuit against Sixt Rent a Car earlier this week in Adams County District Court.

According to the filing, Sixt entered into a lease for parking spaces, maintenance bays and office space on the east side of the property in April 2018. The lease was set to expire in December 2023.

The lease was later modified to include a total of 626 outdoor parking spaces, with Sixt paying base rent of $60,000 per month, according to the landlord. When the pandemic arrived, Sixt wanted even more spaces, and agreed to rent additional ones for $3 per space per day.

In July 2020, while the parties discussed possible expansion of Sixt’s office space, the landlord heard from Sixt employees of “possible plans for tenant to abandon the premises in connection with an acquisition of another rental car business,” the lawsuit states.

That month, Sixt purchased 10 U.S. airport car rental branches from Advantage Rent a Car, which had recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to a trade publication. Among those was Advantage’s 78th Avenue location just outside of Denver International Airport. Sixt’s website indicates it has taken over that location.

Sixt then removed all its cars and vacated the premises by early September of last year, the lawsuit claims.

“Tenant’s about-face and sudden decision to abandon the premises came as a surprise to landlord given tenant’s repeated statements of commitment to the premises and plans for expansion or other business with landlord, and occurred just after landlord had provided significant assistance to tenant at tenant’s request,” the lawsuit reads.

DIA Land Co. is suing for damages of at least $2.37 million, saying that is the amount due in rent for the balance of the term and in late charges and interest.

Emails to representatives of both parties were not immediately returned. DIA Land Co. is represented by attorney Ryan Klein of Sherman & Howard.

Sixt operates several other locations in Colorado, including one near Union Station.

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