A dispute over who should pay for repairs in a building at 802 North St. in Jackson has led to a lawsuit that seeks to evict real estate investment firm Full Spectrum, developers of a $129 million multi-use project envisioned as one of the most ambitious in Jackson’s history.
The landlord, law firm Stimley-Brown, claims Full Spectrum — developers of Old Capitol Green– has not paid rent for more than a year and has “feigned” repairs to shave money off the rent for the two floors it occupies ay 802 North St.
Full Spectrum’s lawyer, Walter Weems of the Brunini Law Firm in Jackson, said the money that would have gone to rent has been diverted to repairs on the building totaling more than $11,000, including roof and heating-and-air conditioning system repairs and repairs for water-related floor damage..
Stimley-Brown said it has not received a dime of the monthly rent of rent of $2,500 for over a year and has not actually done the repairs.
Weems said Full Spectrum has contractor invoices to show the repairs were indeed made. “They’ve had a leaking roof for six months with a blue tarp,” Weems said. The repairs “are real.”
He cited a section of the lease that requires the landlord to pay for any repairs costing above $200. The lease, however, also includes standard language that “no alterations, addition or improvements can be made to the property without the landlord’s OK.
Another $13,000 or so in repairs are needed to repair and paint exterior windows and to fix cracked interior walls, according to Weems, who said Full Spectrum wants to move to a new location right away and does not intend to make the additional repairs.
Full Spectrum has been a holdover tenant in the building since an original lease expired in February 2010.
Full Spectrum wants a $10,000 offset on unpaid to cover the expenses of the repairs it says it made, the lawsuit filing notes.
The Stimley-Brown law firm has occupied a pair of second floor offices in the building since acquiring it in January 2008.
“What we have here is a garden variety dispute,” Weems said.
The Old Capitol Green redevelopment project – planned for a multi-block area between State and Jefferson streets — is still on track and is unaffected by the suit, said both Weems and spokeswoman for the Full Spectrum South, the Jackson subsidiary of Full Spectrum North in New York.
“It is a super, super project,” Weems said. “They are not going anywhere” except “they’ll leave the building” for another one as soon as possible.
Full Spectrum, in an April interview, said it planned a late summer start on a multi-story parking garage and said a deal on full financing appeared close.
Turning dirt for the garage would mark the start of Full Spectrum’s $129 million portion of development in the Old Capitol Green district, a 14-block expanse of warehouses and industrial buildings targeted for transformation into a “sustainable” mixed-use community of shops, hotels, apartments and office buildings.
Full Spectrum’s initial phase of the ambitious multi-property project born in the real estate boom five years ago consists of the parking garage and a pair of buildings atop it, one a 10-story office tower and the other an eight-story retail-residential building. The garage and buildings will be situated a block south of Hal & Mal’s restaurant and lounge, 200 Commerce St.
Full Spectrum says construction of the buildings would begin once the garage is about 80 percent complete. Getting to that point in the garage work should take about nine months, said Malcolm Shephard, development director for Full Spectrum South, the Jackson arm of New York-based development company Full Spectrum
The zoning in place allows conversion of warehouse space into loft apartment buildings as well as conversion of buildings to ground-floor retail and upper floors of office and residential.
The investment by other developers and property owners participating in the master plan development is projected at $1.1 billion.