Sears is fighting in court and the state legislature for the power to sublease the second floor of its department store at a mall in Palm Beach Gardens to Dick’s Sporting Goods. Blocking Sears is a city resolution in 2012 that prevents anchor tenants at The Gardens Mall from subdividing their space without approval from the city and the mall’s owner, Forbes/Cohen Florida Properties L.P.
Sears sued the mall owner and the city to sublease its second-floor space at the mall, but a Palm Beach Circuit Court judge ruled in favor of the defendants. Sears appealed the ruling to the 4th District Court of Appeals, which will hear oral arguments in the case April 25. Meanwhile, the Florida Retail Federation is supporting a legislative proposal to enact local business regulations only if they’re permitted by Florida statutes. If enacted, the proposal could cause the 2012 resolution by Palm Beach Gardens to expire by 2020. [Palm Beach Post] – Mike Seemuth