I spoke with the seller this evening and he seems genuinely puzzled as to what this is about. I don't think he's lying because I just don't think he could lie that convincingly. He also didn't ask for or even imply that he wanted more money from me.
Basically, he seems just as pissed as me that the landlord is pulling this shit, and is wondering whether they guy is doing something behind the scenes like putting liens on his equipment or getting ready to padlock the door and seize everything as retribution for what he's owed.
Apparently, the seller owes about $15,000 in back rent; more than a few months. The landlord told me today that he doesn't mind letting the place sit empty, since the seller is paying him. So a bit of a disconnect there. Seller tells me that his conversation with the landlord was similar to the one I had today; that the guy believes that my idea isn't viable, that I won't make money, and that he'll be in the same position with me in a year or so that he's in now with the seller.
He also supposedly told the seller that he's got another space that I might be interested in.... Which makes zero sense if he really thinks my idea is no good.
This is crazy stuff. For the life of me, I cannot figure out what this guy's angle might be. I've got calls in to my attorneys and my contact that knows commercial real estate, so I'm hoping they might give me some insight.
Other than that, I'm not sure what I can do, other than to string this out as long as possible and hope that this guy comes to his senses.