City moves to terminate Jacksonville Landing’s lease

Jacksonville, FL — Amid litigation and blame being thrown from both sides, the City of Jacksonville has taken new action against the Jacksonville Landing, although the Landing’s owner is calling it a “non-event”.

WOKV has obtained a letter from the Office of General Counsel to Jacksonville Landing Investments, through Sleiman Enterprises, notifying the owner of the Downtown Riverfront mall that the City would be terminating the lease agreement.

The letter builds on a prior notice from the City, which was sent in October, saying JLI was in breach of the lease agreement. The complain said the Landing was not operating as a "first class retail facility", and listed complaints from vacant spaces to disrepair. The City says JLI has failed to "cure its breach", and as such, the City is terminating the lease.

“The City demands that JLI provide it with immediate access to, and possession of, the Leased Property and all Building Improvements and other fixtures thereon. Additionally, the City requests that JLI provide copies of all sub-leases currently in effect for the Property,” says the OGC letter, dated today.

The City owns the land, but leases it to Sleiman Enterprises, which owns and operates the building itself. JLI took over a prior lease agreement in 2003.

WOKV has learned JLI has now issued subpoenas to Mayor Lenny Curry and his Chief Administrative Officer Sam Mousa, demanding all communications that have taken place about JLI, the Landing, and related areas. Sleiman Enterprises says they intend to let the court decide this lease issue as part of legal action they filed claiming the City is the defaulting party.

“It’s a shame that our downtown- and our city- will never reach its full potential due to it [sic] lack of real leadership. We need leadership that doesn’t depend on political power plays, bullying others and disingenuous actions,” says a statement from Sleiman Enterprises.

Following the October claim, JLI sued the City in November, with claims including that the City has not delivered on adequate parking or security.

The parties are involved in other legal disputes, including one from 2015 that relates to the purchase of a parcel and another from early this year over docks that were damaged in Hurricane Matthew. 

A Jacksonville Landing spokesperson tells WOKV they did receive the letter from the City. They are working on a response, and this story will be updated as that’s available.

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