A battle has remained ongoing for the past three years, involving the Sears corporation and a shopping mall outside the state of Illinois. The contract disputes are connected with an upper level of space located above the Sears store in the shopping mall. Mall owners have been adamant in stating that Sears has no right to sublet the space above its store without first seeking approval from both the owners of the mall and the city in which the mall is located.
The legal battle is in regard to a deal that Sears has reportedly signed with Dick’s Sporting Goods. The signed deal would allow Dick’s to lease the space available on the second floor of the Sears store in a shopping mall. Sears maintains that it does, indeed, have the right to sublet the space and is now suing the property owners and the city. The mall has become known as a luxury shopping center in the town and some have asserted that a sporting goods store does not fit the image that the shopping locale has adopted.
Some have questioned whether the city of Palm Beach, Florida where the legal battle has been taking place, has the right to become involved in a dispute between a property landlord and a tenant. Sears has accused the city of enhancing the property rights of Forbes/Cohen Florida Properties LP at Sears’ expense. Sears, whose headquarters are based in Illinois, has reportedly used the corporate strategy of finding new use for old space as a means to revive its store chain. Sears has also claimed that it was never informed that the local city council would be voting on a resolution that would necessitate seeking approval before subletting store space in a shopping mall.
In Illinois, some property owners might find themselves facing similar contract disputes. In such circumstances, it is often prudent to seek the advice of an experienced business and commercial law attorney in order to discuss the details of one’s case and determine how best to proceed. A legal professional in the area would be able to explain all applicable laws and offer guidance as to the options that might be available in pursuing one’s legal interests in court.
Source: mypalmbeachpost.com, “Sears sues Gardens Mall owner to let in Dick’s Sporting Goods“, Alexandra Clough, Sept. 25, 2015