Texas Developer Files Suit against Aviation Authority; the Lawsuit Claims the JAA's Lease to Majestic Realty Is Illegal, Because the Land Wasn't Put Up for Public Bid

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Byline: TIMOTHY J. GIBBONS

A Texas-based real estate developer is suing the Jacksonville Aviation Authority, saying its agreement to lease land to another developer is illegal since the project wasn't put up for public bid.

The authority agreed in December to lease 328 acres of Northside land near Interstate 295 to Majestic Realty Co. for the next 65 years. The California-based developer began looking at the parcel, known as Woodwings East, almost a year ago.

The contract for the land has not yet been signed.

But Jackson-Shaw Co., a Dallas-based company that is looking to buy land in the Jacksonville International Tradeport development next door to Woodwings, said the "best interest of the Authority and the public would be served" if the parcel were leased based on open bids, rather than private negotiations.

"To date, the Authority has not sought such bids or proposals, in violation of Florida law," said the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

Michael Stewart, spokesman for the Aviation Authority, said Thursday that the authority had not yet received the lawsuit. …