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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Dec. 19, 201710:21 AM EST

City moves for dismissal of Jacksonville Landing Investments lawsuit

Response states “The Complaint is little more than a laundry list of stale grievances."
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

The city has responded to the complaint filed Nov. 16 by Jacksonville Landing Investments LLC alleging that the city is in breach of contract and has refused to fulfill its obligations under its lease of the Jacksonville Landing.

In a motion to dismiss filed Friday with the Duval County Clerk of Courts, the city cites its letter to Jacksonville Landing Investments dated Oct. 17.

In the letter, the city notified Jacksonville Landing Investments that it is in breach of its lease “due to its obvious failure” to operate the Landing as a “first-class retail facility” as the lease requires and gave the retail center’s managers 30 days to begin to take steps to improve the facility.

“Unfortunately, JLI chose to do no such thing,” the response states.

Instead, the response continues, on the 30th day after the city’s letter, JLI launched an “all-out media blitz of blame shifting” centered around the complaint it filed Nov. 16 claiming the city is in breach of its obligations.

“The Complaint is little more than a laundry list of stale grievances, false and incomplete assertions, and gratuitous and self-serving statements. None of it presents a serious or meritorious legal claim against the City,” the response states.

The motion says JLI’s description of the city as its “public partner” as inaccurate and states that the relationship between the parties is that of a landlord and tenant governed by the lease agreement.

The motion also disputes the Landing’s assertion that the city is obligated to provide parking for the retail center or pay for JLI’s redevelopment of the property and contends that JLI misstated the city’s obligation to require security and police protection.

“Consistent with its disregard of the provisions of the Lease Agreement and evidencing that it is not actually concerned with asserting meritorious causes of action, JLI did not provide the required notice to the City of purported breaches or afford the City an opportunity to cure before it filed suit. These and other assertions negated by the Lease Agreement render the Complaint subject to dismissal,” the response states.

The case is assigned to Circuit Judge Virginia Norton.

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