UPDATE: The Landing will be demolished following the settlement’s completion.
Mayor Lenny Curry and Sleiman Enterprises president Toney Sleiman issued a joint statement this afternoon announcing that Jacksonville Landing Investments and the mayor’s office have agreed to settle their ongoing legal dispute.
Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, with the statement only indicating that it was an agreement “for the terms by which the Jacksonville Landing and the property at its location would see their best and highest use realized.”
Both sides struck a remarkably conciliatory note in their prepared statements, given the lengthy and often nasty public feud between the two parties.
“For years, Jacksonville Landing Investments and Sleiman Enterprises have contributed immeasurably to development and job creation in and around Jacksonville,” said Curry. “The Landing has been a fixture in the community much like the Sleiman organization, who stepped in at a time when the property’s future was in doubt upon the exit of the original developer. On behalf of the citizens of Jacksonville, I appreciate their willingness to work with me so that Jacksonville can consider an alternate path forward for the location of the Landing.”
“Mayor Curry is having success in Jacksonville and in downtown,” said Sleiman on behalf of Jacksonville Landing Investments. “The JLI team and the entire Sleiman organization want to see that success continue and we are ready to see this process come to a mutually agreed conclusion.”
The settlement agreement ends a legal battle that began last May when the city demanded that JLI turn over the Landing building due to what it referred to as a failure to rectify a breach of contract. The city deemed that, by failing to properly maintain the building, JLI was in violation of its property lease agreement with the city.
JLI owns the Landing building; however, the city owns the property upon which it is built.
Following the city’s notice, an increasingly contentious war of words began between Curry and the Landing’s management. On more than one occasion, the city threatened to not issue permits for events planned by the Landing staff.
For now, the details for this new path forward for the Landing are unclear. Pending the official presentation of the agreement, both parties will not be making any further comment.