City, Fairmont Development settle parking garage dispute

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By: Monica Casey | WCTV Eyewitness News
August 20, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Washington Square saga came to an end on Tuesday, as the City of Tallahassee entered into a settlement with Fairmont Development, ending the construction stalemate.

The City held a special commission meeting; the vote to accept the settlement was unanimously, with the meeting lasting only ten minutes.

The issue stemmed from a dispute regarding the City's 2016 agreement with Fairmont Development involving the easement under the Eastside Parking Garage on Calhoun Street.

As part of the settlement, Fairmont Development will pay Tallahassee $10,000 and the City will file a document acknowledging that the easement runs with the land.

Fairmont Development will also pay an additional $177,000 to the City for a no build aerial encumbrance, about ten feet wide, running above the 6th floor of the buiding, controlling what can be build.

The City will enter into an exclusive negotiation with Fairmont Development to purchase the garage during the next 30 days, at a minimum price of $1.5 million. If Tallahassee and the developer do not reach an agreement regarding that parking garage sale within the 30 days, the City is free to begin negotiating with other possible purchasers.

Commissioner Curtis Richardson said this will be good for Tallahassee; in particular, it will help the long-running goal of creating an 18-hour downtown.

"We all certainly wanted to see that happen, and make sure that it worked, but we had to protect the interest of the City and the taxpayers as well," said Richardson. "They were able to sit down, clear heads prevailed, and negotiated an agreement that I think we all can be happy with."

Mayor John Dailey agreed, saying it is a proud day for the City of Tallahassee, as the 19-story development moves forward, drastically changing the downtown skyline.

Commissioner Dianne Williams-Cox also felt the excitement about the project.

"It's a part of the puzzle, that's going to create a vibrant downtown and will be inviting for visitors to come to Tallahassee and have a nice place to stay while they're here, and hopefully spend a lot of money," said Commissioner Williams-Cox.

As part of the agreement, the lawsuit filed by Fairmont Development earlier this month will be dismissed.

By: WCTV Eyewitness News
August 20, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Tallahassee City Commission has unanimously approved a settlement with Fairmont Development over use of the parking garage, and the Washington Square project is set to move forward.

This is a developing story that will be updated.

By: WCTV Eyewitness News
August 19, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- 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, who is constructing the future Washington Square development site.

Earlier this month, Fairmont Development sued the City over use of the first floor of the parking garage, which the city said could be used for "back of house" operations, including employee parking, storage, deliveries, and waste disposal, but Fairmont Development's attorney Tim Jansen said the city backed out of the agreement.

In the proposed settlement, Fairmont will be paying the city close to $187,000 to use the parking garage.

Construction on the development has been halted for over a month.

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