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    Getty Realty Wants GPMI to Continue Paying Rent

    Real estate investment trust asks bankruptcy court for assistance in the matter.

    NEW YORK -- Getty Realty Corp. asked a U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York judge to compel Getty Petroleum Marketing Inc. (GPMI) to continue paying rent on properties it leases.

    GPMI leases about 800 properties from Getty Realty, primarily located within the Northeast. However, as CSNews Online reported on Dec. 5, GPMI filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

    Getty Realty told Judge Shelley Chapman that GPMI should continue to pay rent because it still occupies the approximate 800 locations and it also continues to collect rent payments from convenience store owners who sublease properties, reported Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review

    In return, GPMI has reiterated earlier claims that Getty Realty has failed to meet environmental obligations as required in a master lease between the two parties. GPMI has stated there is "significant contamination of soil and/or groundwater" at properties it leases. In court papers, GPMI said costs to remediate the alleged environmental problems would exceed $75 million, reported the news outlet.

    Getty Realty has stated several times that it believes the environmental allegations are "without merit." In bankruptcy court, the real estate investment trust reasoned that even if the environmental allegations are accurate, GPMI must make rent payments while the dispute is being resolved.

    "The debtors will remain fully able to assert that right against rent in future months when -- and if -- the debtors are actually required to spend money for actual remediation," Getty Realty said in court, as reported by Dow Jones.

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