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Small business says larger retailers prompted eviction from uptown landmark

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

The complex called the Shops at Town and Country near Camelback Road and 20th Street has seen it's ups and downs, but it's currently going through a revitalization, and some local businesses said it's at their expense.

Clay Poulson is packing up his shop, Made on Planet Earth, and leaving the Shops at Town & Country. 

"It doesn't sell when it's in the box," Poulson said.

The complex has recently welcomed larger businesses, but Poulson believes they are kicking out smaller businesses to make room. 

Poulson said he's been on a month-to-month lease since June and never got the chance to renegotiate. He has a similar shop in Tempe, but there's no room there for all his imports. 

"They just bled my business dry through all the rough months and then short notice, less than a month, pack it up and go," Poulson said. 

And he said while his landlord isn't doing anything illegal, it's just not right. 

"To set up their lease package is a 45 day period for just the lease paperwork and then I have to build a store after that," Poulson said.

Red Development, the company behind the revitalization of Town & Country, sent us a statement saying:

"It is our policy not to discuss the specifics of lease negotiations with retailers. We were unable to agree to ongoing terms with Made on Planet Earth at The Shops at Town & Country. The mix of retailers and restaurants at The Shops at Town & Country is well balanced, with national, regional and locals all playing an important part. The center also supports over 30 local vendors through their long-standing weekly, Wednesday Farmers' Market.

The Shops at Town & Country recently added Nordstrom Rack, Whole Foods and local shops and restaurants including Chris Bianco's Pizzeria Bianco. Also coming soon is the local concept Grassroots Kitchen & Tap and first-to-market, Snooze Eatery."

Poulson is still planning his next step, realizing it may not happen before the holiday season. Made on Planet Earth will be open until Saturday.

"They want to put in big corporate stores, and they sacrificed a bunch of small guys to do it," Poulson said.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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