City cancels land lease for riverfront mall in downtown Jacksonville

The mall's owner, Sleiman Enterprises, sued the city in November for allegedly failing to provide security and maintenance for the mall

Jacksonville Landing (Credit: Wikipedia)
Jacksonville Landing (Credit: Wikipedia)

The city of Jacksonville notified the owner of a riverfront shopping mall on city-owned land that the lease has been terminated.

The city also demanded to take over ownership of the buildings that comprise the copper-roofed mall, called Jacksonville Landing, a 31-year-old property overlooking the St. Johns River that has lost many of its tenants.

Sleiman Enterprises, the mall’s owner, filed a lawsuit in November alleging the city violated terms of the land lease by failing to provide security and maintenance for Jacksonville Landing.

The company sent an email to the Florida Times-Union claiming that the city’s cancellation of the land lease is “a desperate attempt to disrespect and circumvent the legal system where we’ve already filed [a lawsuit] … to prove the city, not Sleiman, is the defaulting party.”

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Sleiman alleged in the email that “the unfortunate state” of Jacksonville Landing is the city’s fault.

The city notified Sleiman in October that it failed to operate a “high-quality, first-class retail facility,” which the land lease required.

Sleiman responding by filing its lawsuit, which claims that the city intentionally compromised the viability of the mall by failing to meet its responsibilities under the land lease. [Jacksonville Times-Union] – Mike Seemuth