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Developer's lawyer wants Hall commissioners added to lawsuit

POSTED: February 24, 2009 12:32 a.m.

The attorney for the Midtown developers involved in a legal battle with Regions Financial Corp. over a 25-year-old easement filed multiple motions to counter the lawsuit against the developers Friday. One motion asks a judge to add two local elected officials to the list of plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

Attorney Julius Hulsey, who represents Gainesville City Center LLC, has asked that a judge name Hall County Commission Chairman Tom Oliver, Commissioner Billy Powell and Tread Syfan, an attorney for the Gainesville-Hall Redevelopment Authority, as plaintiffs with Regions Financial Corps. in the lawsuit against Hulsey’s clients. The bank filed suit against Gainesville City Center in late January, claiming the progress on their development violates a 25-year-old easement agreement that allows the bank parking and access through the planned development from Bradford Street. The Midtown Gainesville project includes two high-rise office buildings, a hotel and a parking deck.

The developers claim the easement, signed with their neighbors when the Town View Plaza shopping center was on the property, expired in 1994.

Oliver, Powell and Syfan formed City View Investments LLC in October with plans to purchase the Regions Operations Center property under the corporation’s name. Oliver previously has said the men have no interest in purchasing the property without the access to Bradford Street.

Hulsey moved Friday to add the three men as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, because they would benefit from the easements and have "demanded that the easements be conveyed with the real estate."

Hulsey also has asked that a judge dismiss the suit. He sent a letter to Steve Gilliam, the local attorney representing Regions, demanding that the bank drop the lawsuit by March 17 or face a claim of abusive litigation.

Hulsey also states that he intends to seek payment for damages and costs the developers have incurred as a result of the lawsuit, including delays in construction and loss of sales property.



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