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Fairmont Development, City of Tallahassee reach settlement agreement in Washington Square dispute

Posted at 5:46 PM, Aug 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-20 17:15:43-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The City of Tallahassee is selling two key pieces of land that led to the lawsuit that the developers filed at the beginning of the month.

Fairmont will buy the first floor of the Eastside Parking Garage downtown for $10,000. Fairmont also will pay $177,000 to buy no-build air rights nearby.

That allows the company the chance to determine what is built into the skyline over the easement.

Negotiations between the city and the developer began last Tuesday.

In an emergency commission meeting, city leaders unanimously voted to move forward and work towards seeing the project completed.

"We certainly wanted this project because it will be tremendous boom for not only our downtown, but the community in general," said Curtis Richardson, Tallahassee Mayor Pro Tem. "We had to protect our public's interest. That interest was in the land that was paid for with taxpayers dollars. I hope that's what everyone understands from our perspective as a city."

The two parties will spend the next month negotiating the purchase and sale of the entire garage.

The city will not be required to sell the garage to Fairmont unless all agree.

The mayor says that this means construction will resume. He's not sure when, but he says the sooner the better.

However, there are still two separate liens looming over the construction site. Representatives from Fairmont have yet to respond.

A lawsuit between the City of Tallahassee and Fairmont Development, who is building the future Washington Square development site, may soon be settled.

A Special City Commission Meeting has been set for Tuesday, August 20, for a possible settlement of a lawsuit between the City of Tallahassee and Fairmont Development.

Fairmont Development sued the city earlier this month over the use of the first floor of the city’s Eastside parking garage at 215 South Calhoun Street.

In 2016, the city agreed to let Fairmont use the first floor for utilization of its “back of house” operations to include employee parking, storage, deliveries, waste disposal etc., but Fairmont contends the city is backing out of the agreement.

If the settlement is agreed upon, Fairmont will pay $187,000 to use the parking garage.