|Fairfax County Courthouse|
The judge hearing the Pro Maxx Fitness eviction case in Fairfax County General District Court Sept. 19 upheld the eviction and ordered the gym’s owners to pay $35,000 in back rent to Carol Zach Reuss, the property manager of Annandale Shopping Center. The gym must vacate by Sept. 30.
The owners of Pro Maxx, Ahmed Ragheb and Susan Hilaski, can appeal the ruling, said the gym’s attorney, Martin J.A. Yeager but there hasn’t been a decision on whether they will. Gym employees and members had undertaken a petition drive and other efforts in support of Pro Maxx Fitness, but in the end none of that made a difference.
During the trail, Reuss’ attorney Thomas McIntosh, claimed that Pro Maxx also owed thousands of dollars in unpaid real estate taxes and common area maintenance fees. Yeager argued that the shopping center, not the tenants, are responsible for those charges. The judge said those charges aren’t relevant to the case.
McIntosh put Greg McGillicuddy, a local real estate broker with Trust Properties on the witness stand to talk about whether the rent charged to Pro Maxx is a reasonable amount based on comparable rents in the area. The judge ruled that isn’t relevant, saying the bottom line is whether the gym owners paid the amount in their contract.