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Recent litigation could halt mall project on east coast

Though thousands of miles away from residents here in Michigan, a case out of New Jersey this month highlights the very complexities of real estate law we talk about every week on this blog. The case in question revolves around a contract dispute between a development company and several New York sports teams and a couple sports stadium operators. According to the recent litigation, the New York and New Jersey plaintiffs are suing the developer for breaching contract. The developer disagrees, stating that the teams and operators reneged on all of the contractual agreements, thereby undermining their own case.

The dispute centers around whether the developer, Ameream, is allowed to continue its plans for development and construction. The proposed plan is to expand on its “Xanadu Project,” which would increase the malls size and provide numerous forms of entertainment such as an indoor amusement and water park. But according to the NFL teams and the stadium operators, this would create competition for the MetLife Stadium, something that appears to be forbidden by the contractual agreement.

Though the case is still pending, Ameream intends on proceeding with the project and still plans on breaking ground in August. But depending on the outcome of the case, this could lead to further litigation. The plaintiffs in the case may also decide to file an injunction against Ameream to halt the project, further complicating an already difficult situation.

As many of our Michigan readers can attest, even large companies run into real estate issues from time to time. But as this case demonstrates, conflicting interpretations of a contractual agreement can often muddy the waters that much more.

Source: Courthouse News, "War Over Meadowlands Mall Heats Up," Chris Fry, July 17, 2013

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