Fort Worth Store Sued For Renting To Adult Business
FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The operators of the Alliance Town Center have sued Sam Moon, Inc., saying it rents to a tenant that violates the center’s rules by selling adult products.
The Velvet Box, located inside the Sam Moon Center at Interstate 35W and Heritage Trace Parkway, is the tenant in question. Sam Moon rents property from Alliance.
The Alliance Town Center Association sent a memo to the store’s owners Tuesday, saying The Velvet Box had 20 days to reach compliance and that it had filed a suit against the Sam Moon Center of Fort Worth in the 342nd Judicial District of Tarrant County.
Alliance is seeking monetary damages, attorney fees, court costs and interest.
“If you were to visit Velvet Box, you would easily see that we are not in violation of any of (Alliance’s) shopping center covenants either,” said Velvet Box owner Marcelle LeBlanc in a statement. “We are good neighbors and paying tenants that deserve to do business in peace.”
A city of Fort Worth spokesman said the business passed an inspection by a vice squad and was determined not to be a sexually oriented business.
The memo says City Ordinance 5.218 establishes that “a person commits an offense if, in a business establishment open to person under the age of 17 years, he displays a book, pamphlet, newspaper, magazine, film or video cassette, the cover of which depicts, in a manner calculated to arouse sexual lust or passion for commercial gain.”
LeBlanc said her business does sell vibrators, gels and massage items, but does not sell any pornography.
“Velvet Box is an upscale retail boutique that believes in service and education to give the customer the best shopping experience possible. We are very active in the Fort Worth Community and have been well received. In my opinion, it would be best if all parties could come to the table and simply have a conversation,” LeBlanc said in her statement.
Center shoppers were split on the store. Jessica Cosand agreed with the suit.
“We were really excited about Sam Moon and excited about some of the other shops, but I don’t like this one. I think it’s disgusting and in the wrong place.”
Another shopper, who asked not to be identified, defended the Velvet Box, calling it a classy store that does not qualify as a sexual-oriented business.
“You can walk in there with your wife or girlfriend and not feel like you have to take a shower when you walk out,” the shopper said.
The Velvet Box has another location in the trendy West 7th development.