Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

City Should Offer Sleiman a Buyout on Landing

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

City Should Offer Sleiman a Buyout on Landing

Article excerpt

Byline: Ron Littlepage

I love a good fight as much as anyone does, and the one shaping up between Mayor Lenny Curry and the Sleiman family is a real doozy.

After months of verbal wrangling, the feud now heads to court.

While I find the prospect of dueling parties having to give sworn testimony in public intriguing, Downtown's renaissance is going to suffer the longer this squabble continues.

And lawsuits aren't resolved quickly. Another lawsuit pitting the city against Sleiman Enterprises involving the Landing was filed in 2015 and remains unresolved.

Other properties critical to Downtown's resurgence are finally moving forward, such as the redevelopment of the Barnett building and the Laura Street Trio.

But the city-owned land on the Downtown riverfront where the Landing sits and the Landing itself are fast becoming known as a dump after the involvement of the Sleimans in what was once considered a Downtown jewel.

When the Landing opened in 1987, it might have been a good idea for the city to keep ownership of the land while the developer of the mall, the Rouse Company, owned the building.

But that was then and this is now.

The biblical admonition that a house divided against itself can't stand is evident in this case.

I've followed Toney Sleiman for years.

One thing to know about Sleiman is if you are running for public office, you don't want him on your side.

After battling John Peyton while Peyton was mayor, Sleiman threw his support to Mike Hogan in the next mayoral race.

Alvin Brown won.

Then Sleiman became chummy with Brown and supported his re-election bid.

Curry won.

Another thing to know about Sleiman is that he and his family develop strip shopping centers and he has the vision of a strip shopping center developer.

Another trait Sleiman has is that there is always something else with him. …

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