VOL. 11 | NO. 22 | Saturday, June 2, 2018
Malco Sues Overton Square Landlord Over Lack of Parking
By Patrick Lantrip
Memphis-based Malco Theatres Inc. is suing Overton Square landlord Loeb Properties over the dwindling number of parking spaces surrounding Studio on the Square.
The movie theater chain alleges net profits from Studio on the Square have been reduced as a result of insufficient free parking, which Malco claims is in violation of a long-standing lease agreement, according to documents filed in Shelby County Chancery Court.
Malco opened Studio on the Square in 2000, and Loeb Properties bought Overton Square in 2012.
“The Studio on the Square is the only Malco Memphis area movie theatre without a large surface lot in front of the theatre,” the suit states. “Malco specifically bargained for the parking rights contained in the lease and amendment.”
In addition to monetary damages and declaratory relief, Malco is seeking an injunction to stop Loeb’s plans for an Overton Square hotel, which was awarded a tax incentive package from the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County last year.
The lawsuit states Malco had access to as many as 475 free spaces in the parking lot on Trimble Place until construction of the Overton Square garage and Hattiloo Theatre on portions of the lot reduced it to 137 free spaces. The garage charges $3 parking after 6 p.m.
“Taking the remaining 137 spaces in the Trimble Lot and developing them into a hotel and attached garage would further deny Malco and its customers the right to park in all common parking areas of the development,” the court documents read in part. “Once the remaining spaces are closed for construction and the hotel built, Malco will never get those parking spaces back. Malco would be irreparably harmed by the development of any of the remaining surface lots.”
Additionally, Malco is disputing Loeb’s common area maintenance (CAM) fee, alleging the theater chain is being excessively charged due to a failure to include all buildings in Overton Square when making the calculations.
“Loeb may own the land which comprises the Overton Square Development but it cannot just do as it pleases with that land,” the documents went on the state. “It has to develop and use the land subject to the contractual and property rights of others including Malco.”