Forest City is not happy about Tim Headington's plan to install luxury goods purveyor Forty Five Ten on Main Street downtown. The apartment management company — which owns the Wilson Building next door, as well as the Mercantile, Continental and Element buildings nearby — says it was misled about the height of the proposed shop and its distance from the Wilson. Forty Five Ten would block almost all light, air and visibility from at least eight units on the Wilson's south side, rendering those units virtually uninhabitable, Forest City says, so the management company is suing Headington in Dallas County district court.
When Headington pitched them on the project, Forest City says, the company was told that the retail development would be three stories tall. By the time the full details of the Headington project became public in May, Forty Five Ten had morphed into a five-story store with only a 5-foot setback from the Wilson.
"Headington’s proposed use of the adjacent property to construct a retail structure will constitute a nuisance and will substantially and unreasonably interfere with Forest City’s use and enjoyment of the historic Wilson Building. Headington’s actions are intentional and Headington knows that its proposed development will cause damage to the Wilson Building. At least eight apartments in the Wilson Building will be denied almost all access to air, light, and view by the proposed development, and the damage resulting from this substantial and unreasonable interference will cause permanent damage to the Wilson Building and thereby significantly diminish the market value of the property," Forest city says.
They want the new Forty Five Ten to be set back at least 20 feet from the Wilson, matching the distance between the 1904-built building's three towers, and a legal guarantee that Headington will never "interfere with Forest City's use and enjoyment of the Wilson Building."
William A. Brewer III, Headington's lawyer, issued a statement dismissing Forest City's claims: “Our client believes the lawsuit grossly mischaracterizes the facts related to this project. The project, which has enjoyed widespread support from many city leaders and community stakeholders, brings a significant new business to the downtown district. Although our client has attempted to work cooperatively with Forest City, they have rebuffed those efforts and instead chosen to file a lawsuit which we believe lacks merit. We believe the release by Forest City of a professional video in conjunction with the filing of the lawsuit should be viewed as what it is – a desperate attempt to disparage Headington and to extract value to which Forest City is not entitled.”
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(Note: I live in the Wilson, but my apartment would not be one of those affected by the development.)
Check out Forest City's complaint below, along with the video presentation: