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Commercial litigation likely in plaza and parking garage dispute

Georgia business owners who are involved in businesses related to plaza developments or structures may be interested in an Indiana case involving a plaza and a parking garage. A dispute that now includes threats of business litigation has erupted between an Indianapolis based realty group and a parking garage owner. The realty group owns the pedestrian plaza, and the plaza has been closed down due to issues with the parking garage underneath the plaza.

Kite Realty is the current owner of the pedestrian plaza. The underground parking garage beneath the plaza is owned by Dali Associates. The Indianapolis Department of Code Enforcement has recently closed the plaza down, citing the plaza as "unsafe" as a result of water damage to primary support structures in the garage. A small portion of the garage was ordered closed as well. The current owners of both properties have been in talks with each other regarding this problem for more than 24 months.

Dali has been the owner of the parking garage for as long as this problem dates back, to 1995, and reportedly installed some waterproof measures of protection at the time. Kite on the other hand suggests otherwise. With no resolution in place, the Code Enforcement followed, and the plaza has been temporarily closed until the problem is resolved to the Department's satisfaction.

The Code Enforcement officials have hired consultants to assess the extent of the problems and damage, a $65,000 cost that Indianapolis intends to bill to Dali. Dali suggests that commercial litigation is a "distinct possibility", and this will not be the first time Dali has entered litigation on this matter. Dali pursued damages against the previous owner of the plaza, Indiana Sports Corp, for the same issue. That litigation was confidentially settled earlier this year. The prior protective measures claimed to have been provided by Dali through that lawsuit is contested by Kite as simply not sufficient.

Commercial litigation in Georgia is no less complicated than in Indianapolis. A business owner who shares real estate with other businesses is wise to ensure all responsibilities are met in a timely fashion. Sometimes, however, this is easier said than done when the question arises as to which party is responsible. An experienced business and commercial litigation attorney can help frame the issues, assist in negotiating an equitable resolution, and pursue litigation to protect important property and contract rights when necessary.

Source: The Indianapolis Star, "Kite Realty disputes Pan Am garage owner's claims," Jon Murray, Sept. 20, 2011

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