JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — In 2016, Impact Church bought the former Belk building from Regency Square Mall for more than $7 million dollars.
The church completed millions of dollars of renovations on the inside and spent even more to fix the neglect of the building's structure that they say the mall's management company wasn't quick enough to fix.
Complaints filed by Impact Church against Regency Square Mall in 2019 and 2020 allege neglect of maintenance obligations.
In 2019, Impact says Regency's months of delayed response to a power outage resulted in "excess condensation developed on the chiller pipes which soaked through the ceiling and walls, destroying large parts of the drop-down ceiling tiles, dry wall, and floor.".
A statement written by Impact Church's Executive Director of Administration, Randall Jordan says, "once the chiller system water flow was diverted around our property as requested, the water issues were resolved."
But Jordan says the church had to pay out of pocket to fix the damage after the water issues.
Then in 2020, Impact filed another complaint. They say it paid more than $15,000 a month to Regency and Namdar, the company who owns the mall, to pay Jacksonville Electric Authority for electricity service. Impact alleges Regency did not pay JEA, which left the church without power to the building. Impact says they are currently working on paying JEA directly to avoid this issue in the future.
Aside from the maintenance issues, Jordan says the church is here to stay.
"Both our church and our school, Impact Christian Academy, have been able to pursue their missions in amazing ways in this location. Regrettably, we've not found the mall ownership to be willing partners in helping our success or that of the mall tenants," Jordan said.
Attorney Eric Lawson says Namdar has responded to the allegations, denying them.
"Impact’s lawsuit against Regency is for breach of the common area maintenance contract attached to the complaint and found in the public records. Impact is seeking monetary damages against Regency and Namdar for their failure/refusal to maintain the property as warranted in the contract. Regency’s breaches have caused Impact to incur thousands of dollars in damages," Lawson said.
First Coast News reached out to Namdar Realty Group about the ongoing litigation but did not get a response. The company has only been able to confirm the property is not under contract for sale.
Litigation is ongoing, and the jury trial is expected to occur sometime in 2023.