Sarasota Area Media Follow-up on My Westfield Lawsuit Blog

UPDATE: Sometimes there’s an advantage to being late to the party.

The Herald-Tribune filed its version of the Westfield/Benderson/Dillard’s lawsuit on Thursday, which allowed the reporter to really avoid rehashing or going into the lawsuit much at all.

The reporter lucked out that a second operating agreement/easement appeared in the Sarasota County Clerk of the Circuit Court’s system to give the added detail that as many as three tenants could take up the former Dillard’s space.

Maggie Menderski reported that the easement document revealed that a Florida-based furniture store is expected to move in along with another mystery tenant:

Siesta Retail also is pursuing a lease with Naples-based Clive Daniel Home, according to the documents. The home store has a wide inventory of indoor and outdoor furniture as well as bedding, rugs, flooring and window treatments. Smaller items, such as placemats and throw pillows, also are available. The chain launched in 2011 and opened its second store in Boca Raton in February.

The home store is expected to occupy about 33,000 square feet, leaving about 26,000 square feet for a third, unnamed tenant.

As a footnote, it’s interesting to see the second easement being filed as the existence of an updated agreement/easement being filed was one of the issues in court.

Well, since Benderson had tenants lined up now it probably made sense to avoid further issues and write up a new one given the circumstances.

ORIGINAL: Sarasota, Fla., area media have followed up on my Monday blog about the Westfield/Benderson/Dillard’s lawsuit and uncovered a couple items.

(When shall I expect a check, Alex et. al? Or at least a bottle of Siesta Key Rum?)

The Bradenton Herald was first to run a brief Tuesday night, but the Observer managed to move the story forward Wednesday morning revealing that L.A. Fitness will go into that space and the rest will remain to be seen:

An L.A. Fitness will occupy a little less than half of the 96,000-square-foot space, and is scheduled to open in spring of 2017. The firm has applied for a $60,000 building permit for interior renovations to the property, according to city records.

“We are working on the remainder of the space,” Mathes said in an email.

So the excitement continues!

The City of Sarasota also shows its building permit applications online with notes but this one required a phone call and an email with at least the city or Mathes—whomever could respond first—to see what the permit was actually for. All the city’s permit site says is “former Dillard’s Building.”

Several other permits have been stuck in pending for awhile, ranging from recent applications for staging for the project, utilities relocation and tree removal. The biggie—building the first of the new wings—has been pending for over a year and according to a planner’s note from last week, will have a new permit number entered in now that work is anticipated to move forward.

So yes, now that the lawsuit disappeared, all of this can move forward.

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune — the daily paper with the largest circulation and staff in the area — has not published anything on this as of 9 a.m. Wednesday, June 1, so if there’s anything more uncovered out of that paper’s report if they print something, I’ll add it here.


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