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Heated words stalled negotiations in Florida real estate dispute

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A real estate dispute became heated over the sale of Channelside Bay Plaza. The Tampa Port Authority must give approval on real estate transactions for this property because the port owns the land on which Channelside Bay Plaza sits. Without such approval, progress is stalled.

The Liberty Channelside partnership of two entrepreneurs is looking to gain ownership of the property, which would mean that the port would no longer have say in lease penalties. The duo offered $2 million upfront to the port, but the port demanded $8 million in escrow. This is a high amount that a friend and attorney of the entrepreneurs says is akin to punishment for the mistakes of previous owners.

The port feels such a high amount is necessary in order to show the entrepreneurs commitment to investing the substantial funds necessary to update the dilapidated complex. The pair was frustrated so heated words were exchanged in a conference call, and the port ended communications when things became "unprofessional."

However, it appears relations are being smoothed over, as the port remains willing to negotiate provided "certain rules of decorum are followed." The entrepreneurs were apologetic, essentially saying that negotiations got the best of their emotions.

Real estate disputes can become complex and even acrimonious, but an experienced real estate attorney can cool emotions, advocate on behalf of their client and pursue the best outcome. Whenever an individual is looking to embark on a real estate transaction in Florida, it is in an individual's best interest to retain legal experience well versed in not only the real estate industry, but the local market as well.

Source: Tampa Bay Times, "Channelside dispute turns personal for Port Authority, potential buyers," Jamal Talji, May 16, 2013

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