Anthony Ostlund secured Camelot LLC's right to terminate its tenant's lease and proceed with plans to redevelop “Block E” in downtown Minneapolis
“It was very satisfying to develop and implement a legal strategy that enabled Camelot to overcome the roadblock erected by AMC and successfully pursue its business goal of redeveloping Block E.” --Norm Baer, Attorney for Camelot LLC
Our client, Camelot LLC, is a real estate developer that owns the property in downtown Minneapolis formerly known as “Block E.” It was our client’s goal to rebrand and redevelop the property. In order to do so, our client needed to have the building mostly vacant which required the termination of leases including the lease with AMC Showplace Theaters (AMC). AMC rented approximately 40% of the property’s square footage while paying nothing - an arrangement AMC had made with our client’s predecessor.
AMC contended it had the right to renew the lease under the same terms for an additional ten years. Our client could not afford to redevelop the property if they were forced to continue renting 40% of its property for free.
We represented Camelot in settlement discussions and mediation with AMC, but our client's offers were rejected. We commenced a lawsuit against AMC seeking a declaration that the lease contained an option to renew only if the parties agreed on new, negotiated terms, rather than an option to extend on the same terms contained in the existing lease.
The federal district court granted judgment in our client's favor and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed the decision. Ultimately, our client prevailed on the case in its entirety and did not have to pay AMC a penny to vacate the property at the end of its lease. Instead, AMC was ordered to pay our client’s attorney’s fees and costs. Our client has been able to move forward with the redevelopment project for the new Mayo Clinic Square.
“Norm is smart, creative, and decisive. He is always well prepared and he doesn’t waste your time.” --Phil Jaffe, Camelot LLC partner
Camelot LLC v. AMC ShowPlace Theatres, Inc., 665 F.3d 1008 (8th Cir. 2012)