Author Topic: The city moves to terminate the Landing's lease agreement.  (Read 17446 times)


thelakelander

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heights unknown

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Re: The city moves to terminate the Landing's lease agreement.
« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2018, 11:47:58 PM »
What a HOT mess!
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Snaketoz

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Re: The city moves to terminate the Landing's lease agreement.
« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2018, 09:19:32 AM »
I'm no lawyer, but I don't think the city can just negate a lease.  The current administration is reminding me of the old days, pre consolidation, when the good ole boys ran Jacksonville.  It's back to what can we do to help enrich our friends instead of what's good for the city.  This Landing fiasco and the JEA privatizing and hiring of the interim JEA CEO proves that this is one screwed-up ball of confusion administration.  I put it all on the mayor.

KenFSU

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Re: The city moves to terminate the Landing's lease agreement.
« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2018, 12:21:54 PM »
I'm no lawyer, but I don't think the city can just negate a lease.  The current administration is reminding me of the old days, pre consolidation, when the good ole boys ran Jacksonville.  It's back to what can we do to help enrich our friends instead of what's good for the city.  This Landing fiasco and the JEA privatizing and hiring of the interim JEA CEO proves that this is one screwed-up ball of confusion administration.  I put it all on the mayor.

Back in October, the city sent Sleiman a letter stating that he was in breach of contract for the five reasons listed below. They gave him 30 days to bring the Landing into compliance with the original terms (an impossible task). The city's justification for terminating the lease on Friday is that Sleiman failed to operate the Landing as a first-class retail facility, full of high-quality tenets, in line with similar properties in Philly, Baltimore, Boston, etc.



Where this all falls apart, and likely ends up in a years-long, self-destructive legal battle, is that Sleiman can and has filed a suit against the city claiming that they are actually the ones in violation of the original lease with Rouse by not providing 800 promised parking spaces, security, and upkeep. Sleiman also believes that the city has actively tried to undercut the Landing, both in shutting down Florida/Georgia festivies on multiple occasions for code violations, and for sabotaging attempts to bring a 12,000 sf chocolate factory to the Landing as an anchor tenet.

Personally, all things considered, I think Sleiman has the upper hand. At the end of the day, the types of first-class retail tenets that the city expects Sleiman to recruit require the type of dedicated, 24/7 parking that the city has defaulted on since 1987. In addition to parking, nautical access (also guaranteed by the city in the original lease) has also been cut off, with 75% of the docks lying in disrepair since 2016. Lack of a police presence, also guaranteed in the lease, has resulted in all kinds of safety issues over the years, up to and including shootings and murder. This has also hurt the Landing's reputation and ability to attract new tenets.

Both sides need to play ball, neither side has put in the effort that they should, but at the end of the day, when we're talking strictly about the lack of first-class retail tenets, Sleiman has a paper trail of his efforts to recruit such tenets, and it's always come back to the parking issue.

Doesn't matter that there's plenty of parking downtown, on the streets and in public garages.

What matters is that the dedicated, Landing-specific, 800 spaces that the city promised to provide as a condition of Rouse building the Landing were never constructed, which has handicapped the venue's ability to draw in tenets ever since.

It's never gonna happen, the pissing match is too strong, but this could all be solved by getting Sleiman, Curry, and the DIA at a table, identifying the three major issues holding the Landing back, taking another look at the last 15 years of plans and studies. and plotting a path forward.

jaxnyc79

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Re: The city moves to terminate the Landing's lease agreement.
« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2018, 01:09:26 PM »
I'm no lawyer, but I don't think the city can just negate a lease.  The current administration is reminding me of the old days, pre consolidation, when the good ole boys ran Jacksonville.  It's back to what can we do to help enrich our friends instead of what's good for the city.  This Landing fiasco and the JEA privatizing and hiring of the interim JEA CEO proves that this is one screwed-up ball of confusion administration.  I put it all on the mayor.

Back in October, the city sent Sleiman a letter stating that he was in breach of contract for the five reasons listed below. They gave him 30 days to bring the Landing into compliance with the original terms (an impossible task). The city's justification for terminating the lease on Friday is that Sleiman failed to operate the Landing as a first-class retail facility, full of high-quality tenets, in line with similar properties in Philly, Baltimore, Boston, etc.



Where this all falls apart, and likely ends up in a years-long, self-destructive legal battle, is that Sleiman can and has filed a suit against the city claiming that they are actually the ones in violation of the original lease with Rouse by not providing 800 promised parking spaces, security, and upkeep. Sleiman also believes that the city has actively tried to undercut the Landing, both in shutting down Florida/Georgia festivies on multiple occasions for code violations, and for sabotaging attempts to bring a 12,000 sf chocolate factory to the Landing as an anchor tenet.

Personally, all things considered, I think Sleiman has the upper hand. At the end of the day, the types of first-class retail tenets that the city expects Sleiman to recruit require the type of dedicated, 24/7 parking that the city has defaulted on since 1987. In addition to parking, nautical access (also guaranteed by the city in the original lease) has also been cut off, with 75% of the docks lying in disrepair since 2016. Lack of a police presence, also guaranteed in the lease, has resulted in all kinds of safety issues over the years, up to and including shootings and murder. This has also hurt the Landing's reputation and ability to attract new tenets.

Both sides need to play ball, neither side has put in the effort that they should, but at the end of the day, when we're talking strictly about the lack of first-class retail tenets, Sleiman has a paper trail of his efforts to recruit such tenets, and it's always come back to the parking issue.

Doesn't matter that there's plenty of parking downtown, on the streets and in public garages.

What matters is that the dedicated, Landing-specific, 800 spaces that the city promised to provide as a condition of Rouse building the Landing were never constructed, which has handicapped the venue's ability to draw in tenets ever since.

It's never gonna happen, the pissing match is too strong, but this could all be solved by getting Sleiman, Curry, and the DIA at a table, identifying the three major issues holding the Landing back, taking another look at the last 15 years of plans and studies. and plotting a path forward.

I'm inclined to agree with your assessment.  As much as I despise Sleiman's portfolio of crap strip malls and pole signs all around the region,  the Landing is a fairly high-profile symbol of the health and vitality of the COJ, and Curry's Administration is beginning to show a penchant for public showdown over resolution.  Meanwhile, outsiders visiting downtown don't have all this back-story - they see a crap center in the heart of downtown, and walk away with the impression that the city doesn't look after itself - a reflection on both the property owner and the Mayoral Administration.  Surely there's a relatively inexpensive way to turn the entrance to the Landing into a stretch of vintage storefronts so that you quickly have the feel of a walkable, urban-style village along the city's streets...Activate the Streets...Turn the Landing inside-out.

jaxnyc79

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Re: The city moves to terminate the Landing's lease agreement.
« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2018, 01:14:48 PM »
Also, if you look at the Jacksonville Landing Facebook page, it's actually quite comical to read the comments on visitors' experiences at the venue.  Someone described it as a waterfront homeless shelter with mic nights:). 

Snaketoz

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Re: The city moves to terminate the Landing's lease agreement.
« Reply #22 on: May 27, 2018, 01:41:26 PM »
I was initially proud of the Landing.  I took out of town visitors there numerous times when it first opened.  I am sad to say that now, I don't know of anyone who would even consider going there, day or night.  I has a high gag factor in my opinion.  The mayor should be leading and not blaming.  The Landing is a bad joke.  It has/had so much potential.  We need to stop electing candidates for office who promise to "keep our taxes low", and start electing people who will promise to pull us UP, out of the dark ages.  What would help Jacksonville most?  A bunch of incentives to companies in already developed parts of town, or spending money and restoring this piece of real estate that can and should be the catalyst for turning a neglected downtown into a thriving center?  If we had some progressive ideas from our politicians, perhaps we wouldn't need to bribe companies to move here. 

jaxjaguar

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Re: The city moves to terminate the Landing's lease agreement.
« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2018, 05:27:03 PM »
Looking through his portfolio you can see how lackluster all of his properties are. Basically just a bunch of generic Publix strip malls. His old proposals are no surprise based on what he currently owns. Someone with more money and more vision needs to build a multi use space there. 

The cities old suggestion of low income housing for that space is silly too. This is prime real estate and people will pay whatever to live there if it's a quality building that's a one stop shop / entertaining center

thelakelander

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Re: The city moves to terminate the Landing's lease agreement.
« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2018, 06:35:13 PM »
You can't place all the blame on Sleiman. Most of his centers are pretty decent. They just happen to be strip malls in the suburbs. With that said, downtown would be lucky to have half of the tenants taking up space in most of his centers. I really wouldn't mind both of them working together and him running the Landing like he would any other property he owns. If the indecision caused by the continued disputes went away, the Landing would be completely different.
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Snaketoz

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Re: The city moves to terminate the Landing's lease agreement.
« Reply #25 on: May 28, 2018, 10:46:23 AM »
I don't blame Sleiman at all.  He is a businessman and took on the Landing with that in mind.  Since he took over, the city has been more of a hindrance than a help.  They want Tony to assume all the liabilities and blame while they wait on the sidelines waiting to cash in. 
As far as his malls are concerned, his business bought malls from another era and for the most part has modernized the existing footprint and improved them.  If the city would live up to their agreement, we wouldn't be having this discussion.  Curry is acting like he is saving us taxpayers from the evil Sleiman, while doing nothing to live up to the city's agreements.  Lenny, fulfill the city's agreements on the original contract before you blame Tony.

KenFSU

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Re: The city moves to terminate the Landing's lease agreement.
« Reply #26 on: May 28, 2018, 11:48:35 AM »
Sadly, to the detriment of downtown, it seems like Curry has no interest in working things out with Sleiman. If he did, he would have followed up on the October 2017 letter with a good faith effort to work out the differences. Instead, his solution has been to put Sleiman on notice and then quietly try to buy the buildings from him (not sure on a dollar figure, or where those funds would have come from). When that didn't work, he moved to evict. His only solutions seem to be buy out or kick out.

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Re: The city moves to terminate the Landing's lease agreement.
« Reply #27 on: May 28, 2018, 01:21:01 PM »
My first thought is that this is Curry's effort to bury the Landing to get more support for the Lot J / Khan development in the sports district.

Just like with the tax plan - if he can be the one seen as getting that done, he can pat himself on the back know that he's completely off the hook 10 years when/if it fails.
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heights unknown

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Re: The city moves to terminate the Landing's lease agreement.
« Reply #28 on: May 28, 2018, 01:39:49 PM »
Also, if you look at the Jacksonville Landing Facebook page, it's actually quite comical to read the comments on visitors' experiences at the venue.  Someone described it as a waterfront homeless shelter with mic nights:). 
LOLOL...y'all need to really stop; THAT was too funny. Waterfront homeless shelter with karaoke mic nights. Oh lord.
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heights unknown

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Re: The city moves to terminate the Landing's lease agreement.
« Reply #29 on: May 28, 2018, 01:47:11 PM »
Seems to be a thing of, "whose gahunnas hang the lowest, spurt the furthest, and are the biggest," (snicker); funnies aside, they both need to come together for the good of the city and the public/taxpayers, come to a consensus, middle ground, and then shake hands, sign a new "fresh start" agreement, move ahead, don't look back, and move on. (Pipe dreams huh?). In a more better world, that would be the case; but we're in modern times when the order of the day is, "hack his or her's head off, laugh about it, chalk up one for yourself, and business as usual." They need to really get together at the table or else give em boxing gloves and whoever wins, has the landing and the property.
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