The Real Deal Miami

Marina sues City of Miami over lease

Operator claims it is being forced out of longtime Virginia Key location

April 16, 2014 03:45PM

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Rickenbacker Marina

Rickenbacker Marina

Rickenbacker Marina is in heated litigation with the City of Miami over the boat storage company’s lease for its longtime location on Virginia Key.

The marina filed its latest complaint against the city in Miami-Dade Circuit Court on Tuesday, according to Miami New Times. Its issues with the city date back to a 2009 lease renewal that extended Rickenbacker’s rights to operate the marina through 2016. Under the lease, the marina agreed to construct an 11-foot-wide walkway.

Environmental concerns over adjacent mangroves made the 11-foot walkway impossible, however, according to Rickenbacker’s attorney David Haber. So a five-foot walkway was constructed instead. The city withdrew its approval of the lease two years later, leading to an initial lawsuit filed by the marina.

The city countersued, claiming the marina was in default of the renewed lease because of the smaller walkway. It also demanded $2 million in compensation from the marina for the construction of a parking structure.

“This is not a case where we didn’t pay them,” Haber said. “This is a case where the guy’s paying his rent for 30 years and they just don’t like him anymore and they want someone else.” [Miami New Times]Eric Kalis

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