Dillard’s to appeal store’s title transfer

LONGMONT – Dillard’s Inc. plans to appeal a court decision to transfer the title of its department store at Twin Peaks Mall to the Longmont Urban Renewal Authority.

Attorneys for Dillard’s (NYSE: DDS) want the title transfer to be delayed indefinitely, according to a court document filed Tuesday in Boulder District Court. Dillard’s attorney Leslie Fields did not immediately return requests for comment about the eminent-domain case. Longmont city officials filed the case in May in connection with a planned $80 million Twin Peaks Mall redevelopment.

Boulder District Court Judge D.D. Mallard awarded the title to the Dillard’s Longmont store to LURA last week. LURA is made up of Longmont’s elected city council members. Unless Mallard or an appellate judge decides to stop the transfer, mall owner NewMark Merrill Mountain States is expected to proceed with the mall redevelopment.

Dillard’s will be “irreparably harmed” if it loses title to its property, Fields wrote in the Tuesday document. Dillard’s owns the Longmont property and holds veto power over any redevelopment at the mall.

“Without title to its property, (Dillard’s) will likely be required to close down their business operations and shutter their retail store,” Fields said.

If a judge is not willing to delay the title transfer indefinitely, it should be put on hold until Sept. 20, Fields said. Financial compensation is not enough to cure the harm to Dillard’s, Fields said in the document.

At the same time, LURA attorneys asked again for a jury trial to be scheduled to set the price for the Dillard’s store in a court filing made Tuesday. To retain retail tenants who have committed to the project, as well as to obtain financing, “a high level of certainty” is critical, according to the court document.

Mallard has not yet ruled on the jury-trial request.

City officials offered to purchase the Dillard’s property for $3.6 million earlier this year, but Dillard’s has requested $5 million. An appraisal done by the city in November valued the property at $3.03 million.

NewMark Merrill has unveiled some plans for the new Village at the Peaks shopping center at the current Twin Peaks site. The Village at the Peaks is slated to open in early2015. A 100,000-square-foot Sam’s Club, a 30,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market (Nasdaq: WFM) grocery store and a movie theater are to be anchors of Village at the Peaks.

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