Diamonds aren’t forever: Seybold Building jeweler claims owner won’t relocate his store

Downtown Miami building on the National Registry of Historic Places is replacing its facade

Dec.December 03, 2019 09:45 AM
The front entrance of the Seybold building at 36 N.E. First Street

The front entrance of the Seybold building at 36 N.E. First Street

A jeweler at the Seybold Building in downtown Miami claims the landlord is about to put the store out of business as a result of an ongoing renovation project.

Nemaro Jewelers, which is four years into a 15-year lease, is suing Seybold owner Flagler Street Associates in Miami-Dade Circuit Court for allegedly breaching the lease agreement.

The 166,000-square-foot building at 36 Northeast First Street near Flagler Street was originally completed in 1921 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s a vertical shopping center housing more than 300 jewelers on 10 floors.

Lawyers for Nemaro and Flagler Street Associates could not immediately be reached for comment. According to the complaint, the landlord informed Nemaro sometime shortly after June 26, 2018 that Flagler Street Associates would be undertaking a major renovation of the Seybold Building. Specifically, the property owner is replacing the full facade of the building, a job that will take six months or longer to complete, the lawsuit states.

As a result, a substantial portion of Nemaro’s suite will be demolished, rendering the space unusable for a jewelry store, according to the complaint. Nemaro, owned by Yair Kassab according to state corporate records, informed Flagler Street Associates that it was willing to cooperate with the landlord to find an alternate space in the building.

However, the jeweler sought assurances from Seybold’s owner that the temporary alternative space would be move-in ready in order to avoid disrupting Nemaro’s business.

Nemaro claims that the relocation required extensive planning that involved the placement of safes and the installation of security alarm and video monitoring systems.

But Flagler Street Associates made no effort to prepare the temporary space when the company informed Nemaro that the construction work was beginning in October, the lawsuit alleges. Instead, when Nemaro pointed out that it could not operate in its space during the construction, Flagler Street Associates declared the jeweler was in default of the lease, according to the suit.

In addition, Flagler Street Associates “unilaterally commenced construction activities, framing off or boxing in the exterior of Nemaro’s leased premises.” Nemaro claims its business is going to be destroyed. The jeweler is seeking unspecified damages against Flagler Street Associates.

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