JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Regency Square Mall is safe from being auctioned, for now.
Circuit Judge Kevin Blazs on Tuesday granted a stay in legal proceedings that would have seen the property go up for auction on Thursday.
Blazs also ruled that the defendants Regency Mall Realty LLC, Regency CH LLC and Regency Nassim LLC, which are associated with New York-based Namdar Realty Group, must file a bond of $175,000 to cover contingency.
The 2017 lawsuit, which was filed by JAAMM Inc., the nonprofit Jacksonville Automotive & Motorcycle Museum, sought damages and filed a mechanic's lien after the organization spent $135,044.25 on repairs to space it leased at the mall. The city would not allow JAAMM to obtain a certificate of occupancy due to the conditions of the space, and the mall owners' failure to make repairs to the roof resulted in leaks, two electrical fires and mold in the leased space, according to the lawsuit.
Blazs awarded a judgment to JAAMM Inc. on Feb. 5 for the mall owners to pay $162,872.62, which would have covered the cost of the repairs and legal fees, by March 21. If the mall owners did not pay, the mall would be put up for auction.
However, James Adam Owens, the attorney representing Namdar Realty Group, filed a motion to stay on March 13. In it, Owens argued that the forced sale of the property would cause the mall owners irreparable harm.
The case now goes to the District Court of Appeals. No court date has been set yet.
Regency Mall Realty LLC, a partnership of Namdar Realty Group and Masson Asset Management Inc., purchased the 1.6 million-square-foot enclosed mall in February 2014 for $13 million, picking up a property that had fallen into disuse as both customer behavior and retail industry trends changed. Occupancy was under 40 percent when it was purchased.