L&C Landlord Seeks Millions Over Canceled State Lease

L&C Landlord Seeks Millions Over Canceled State Lease

By Phil Williams. CREATED Jul 20, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The landlord for one of Nashville's landmark high rises has filed a claim against the state, asking for millions of dollars in damages.

It comes after the Haslam administration decided to back out of the state's lease for two-thirds of the building.

The L&C Tower at Fourth and Church has been the home to the Department of Environment and Conservation since 2004.

But the Haslam administration recently notified the L&C that it's going to move out this summer -- well before the state's lease expires at the end of next year.

It's part of the administration's Project T-3 -- Transforming Tennessee for Tomorrow -- an effort to consolidate state office space.

The Haslam administration is utilizing a provision in the lease agreements that allows the state to terminate leases "for cause" -- one of the causes being "the availability of space in State-owned property."

In a claim filed with the Tennessee Claims Commission, the landlord's lawyers call T-3 "a shell game" to get out of leases the state doesn't like.

The claim notes that, while the Haslam administration is terminating some leases, it is using its consultant, Jones Lang Lasalle, to secure new leases.

"Even though the State has purported to terminate leases because of the purported availability of space in State-owned buildings, the State intends to move employees from a decommissioned State-owned building into a private building, instead of moving the employees into the purportedly available State-owned space."

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Phil Williams

Phil Williams

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Phil Williams is chief investigative reporter for NewsChannel 5's nationally award-winning investigative team. His investigations have earned him journalism's highest honors.