Entertainment Complex Developer Sues Irving

City Council voted 5-4 against extending contract with Las Colinas Group

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Irving faces a lawsuit from the Las Colinas Group after the City Council voted 5-4 to decline a contract extension for the proposed Irving entertainment center. (Published Tuesday, Aug 7, 2012)

    The developer working on Irving's controversial entertainment center filed a lawsuit after the City Council narrowly declined to extend its contract.

    The City Council voted 5-4 on Monday night against extending the Las Colinas Group's contract, which expired at midnight. The developer had been working with the city since 2007 to build the entertainment complex.

    Mayor Beth Van Duyne said the City Council's decision to end its relationship with the Las Colinas Group was the right move.

    "The time was up," she said. "Promises have been made over and over. Extension after extension after extension has been granted. And finally, the City Council said enough is enough," she said.

    The company's attorney, Larry Friedman, said the 25-page lawsuit's objective is to recover damages from the city.

    "Las Colinas Group itself has spent over $15 million on this joint venture," he said. "Both sides have spent a great deal of money. Both sides have put a lot of time and effort into this."

    The filing questions the conduct of City Manager Tommy Gonzalez and accuses Mayor Beth Van Duyne of attempting to sabotage the project by proposing hostile City Council resolutions.

    "There are numerous breaches of contract on behalf of the city, and my clients have, over the past several months, attempted to sit at the table and negotiate resolutions of those issues with the city," Friedman said.

    He said the city would be served later this week and would have 20 days from Aug. 13 to respond.

    If anyone deserves to get paid back, it's the city, Van Duyne said. She also said she is seriously considering pursuing an audit of the Las Colinas Group.

    "I want to find out where our money went -- how was it spent, and if it was misspent, I want to see that the city can get things returned to them that were taken improperly," she said.

    Van Duyne said building an entertainment venue in Las Colinas remains a high priority. She is asking serious developers to contact the city with their proposals.

    "We can go back and forth with accusations," she said. "I'm going to let the attorneys handle the lawsuit. I'm going to be focused on getting something developed."

    Voters approved building an entertainment complex in 2007. So far, the city has spent more than $40 million on the project.