When I reported on Monday that Prema Yoga, at 236 Carroll Street at the corner of Court Street, would officially close its doors on February 15th after three years in the community, and that Area Yoga, the studio right down the block at 389 Court Street, would take the space over, I had no idea there was so much controversy behind the move.
While Area yogis rejoiced at the additional studio space, Prema yogis wrote in to complain about the "underhanded way that Prema was taken" and that Area was monopolizing the choices in the neighborhood.
Obviously, emotions ran high.
It would now appear that the problem was an internal dispute between Lesley Desaulniers and Mary Long, the two Prema business partners. It only involved Area Yoga marginally.
Mary and Lesley parted ways a while ago, and Mary continued running the studio. Lesley, however, stayed on the lease. When Mary decided to close the studio this month, a realtor proposed the lease to Loretta Gendville, Area's owner, who decided to take it over.
That's when Lesley, Prema's former co-owner reappeared, wanting to renew the lease with her new partner, Amanda Harding.
All terribly confusing, I know.
Rather than get involved in the quarrel, Area's Loretta Gendville has decided that this is way too much trouble. She just wrote to me to explain what happened:
"I was told about the Prema Yoga space being available by Janet Guerra, a broker at Brownstone Realty. I was shown the space by her and told it was available March 1 as the sole owner of Prema was giving up the lease. Mary Long had 2 years left on her lease. I asked several times to clarify if Mary was the only owner of the lease as I was confused about the true ownership of Prema Yoga as initially I thought Lesley was a partner. Turns out Lesley was the former partner, but due to a relationship breakdown, Lesley gave up ownership to Mary but was never formally removed from the lease.Lesley wanted to sign a new lease with the landlord and her future partner Amanda, but the landlord decided she would rather give a new lease to an established studio. The owner of the building asked Mary whom she should give the new lease to. Mary recommended to the landlord to give a new lease to AREA Yoga. I received my signed and executed lease at the beginning of Feb.Meanwhile, Leslie and her new partner Amanda have sent the message below to their students, announcing a "new" Prema at 236 Court Street. Obviously, they have worked things out with the landlord.
Instead of dealing with a lease dispute, AREA Yoga has decided to focus on opening a full scale studio in a new neighborhood and additionally concentrate on the 10th location of AREA Kids." Loretta Gendville
"Dear students, Thank you all so much for your heartfelt support, strength, and love during this difficult time of transition in our yoga community. We are so thrilled to bring you wonderful news! As of March 1st, we are opening the doors to a brand new yoga center, located on the familiar corner of 236 Carroll Street! The course of events of the past few days has been extraordinary. Staying true to our dreams, intention, and conviction has paid off and we couldn't be more excited to begin building our sacred studio together in the beautiful space we call home.Please join us on Saturday March 3rd for our grand opening celebration. More details on all of this to come within the next week, but please save the date! Our full yoga class schedule will start on March 4th.Our new interactive website, www.premayogabrooklyn.com, will be up and running soon. Keep checking back for updates and class registrations. Expect class schedule changes, additional faculty, wonderful workshops, and events all in the weeks and months to come. We look forward to beginning this new journey with you... " Lesley and Amanda
Stay tuned, folks....