Industrial development in Miami Gardens triggers litigation

A South Florida developer sued EastGroup Properties over its planned development on land that was part of a horse track

Rendering of Gateway Commerce Park (inset: John Coleman)
Rendering of Gateway Commerce Park (inset: John Coleman)

EastGroup Properties Inc. faces a lawsuit from a developer who claims the company dropped him as a partner in an 850,000-square-foot industrial development in Miami Gardens.

The developer, David Metalonis, alleges breach of a nondisclosure agreement, tortious interference with a business relationship and unjust enrichment in his lawsuit against EastGroup in a lawsuit filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court. In addition to EastGroup, the lawsuit names the company’s CEO Marshall A. Loeb and executive vice president John F. Coleman as defendants.

Metalonis seeks recovery of more than $750,000 in damages in his lawsuit. He is a former senior vice president of brokerage firm Colliers International who formed his own real estate investment and development firm, Metalonis & Partners LLC.

About a year ago, EastGroup paid $26.5 million for 61 acres of land that formerly served as a practice track and stable complex at the Calder Casino & Race Course.

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Metalonis claims in his lawsuit that he introduced EastGroup to the 61-acre site and discussed a joint venture for an industrial development there before the company unilaterally acquired the land and began to pursue the development without Metalonis.

Since then, Jackson, Mississippi-based EastGroup has successfully petitioned the Miami Gardens City Council to rezone the land, located along Florida’s Turnpike, for an industrial development called Gateway Commerce Park.

Miami-based attorneys Alan Grunspan and Charles Throckmorton V of law firm Carlton Fields filed the lawsuit against EastGroup on behalf of Metalonis. [Daily Business Review] Mike Seemuth