Chow brothers hit back at claims of unhappy tenants at Capital Market
The Chow brothers have hit back at claims that stallholders at Capital Market are unhappy with the way their landlords have treated them.
Brothers John and Michael Chow, who own brothels and strip-clubs around the city, are also the landlords of Capital Market in Willis St, through their property company CGML.
Some of the tenants at the market of about 20 stalls criticised their landlords on Monday, saying they had allowed loud construction throughout the lunchbreak and racheted up rents through operating costs.
One tenant called them "money-hungry".
But on Wednesday the Chow family sent a photo to The Dominion Post of 15 people at the market holding up signs saying "Capital Market Tenants Support Chow Brothers".
The photo was sent with a statement defending the landlords' actions.
"The operating expenses for the market are fair and reasonable, in fact they are lower than the current rate most food courts in Wellington operate on," the Chows said.
"During the different phases of construction, the landlord has been in regular communication with the tenants. Memos and notices are sent out regularly. We have a representative on site at all times."
The Chows said the majority of stallholders were "hardworking immigrants" who had created a successful business at the market and were now able to support their families.
"These are opportunities they would not otherwise have had," they said.
Speaking on Thursday, Michael Chow said he was "hurt" to read negative feedback from tenants.
"If someone stabs our back, then I feel hurt. It's not reasonable ... it's a one-side story, that's why I'm coming to tell you the facts."
He said they could not "please every single tenant", but the majority were happy.
"From our point of view we're being fair and reasonable, and the majority of tenants support us, and we have to be paid, we're a commercial business, and that's the reality."
But some stallholders in the photo said they did not understand why they were asked to be in it.
Another stallholder, who was not photographed, said seven of the people pictured were not tenants.
"It's just a sham, basically. They herded people together to take this photo and then put it on Facebook.
"Many of them speak very little English and they thought they were promoting their stores."