Lexington Green mall sues company promoting Summit

ctruman@herald-leader.comMarch 13, 2014 

The Mall at Lexington Green, 161 Lexington Green Circle, in Lexington, Ky.,Monday, September 24, 2012. Three new stores are coming soon to the mall which is at Nicholasville Rd. near New Circle Rd. Photo by Charles Bertram | Staff

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The Mall at Lexington Green is suing the company promoting the new development called The Summit, to which Whole Foods Market has announced plans to move, saying the company used private information to drive the grocery and another prospective tenant away from Lexington Green.

Lexington Green's lawsuit against Birmingham, Ala.-based Bayer Properties was filed March 7 in Fayette Circuit Court.

Whole Foods, the grocery store chain specializing in organic and natural foods, announced last week that it would move its Lexington store from Lexington Green into The Summit, the shopping center planned for Nicholasville Road and Man o' War Boulevard. The store would move in 2016 and was the first tenant announced for The Summit, which will be about 11/2 miles south of Lexington Green.

The lawsuit says that Lexington Green and Bayer had entered into a 2010 consulting and leasing agreement under which Bayer sought prospective tenants to fill commercial space at Lexington Green. Under the agreement, Lexington Green gave Bayer confidential business information, including terms of Lexington Green's leasing arrangements with its tenants.

Lexington Green's lawsuit says that although the agreement with Bayer was terminated in February 2011, Bayer "did not return this confidential information to Lexington Green and has continued to use that information to interfere with Lexington Green's existing and prospective leases."

Bayer interfered in a Lexington Green lease with the New England-based clothing retailer Vineyard Vines, according to the lawsuit.

The suit alleges that Bayer made "inaccurate, false or misleading statements to Vineyard Vines about the alleged effect upon Lexington Green of a lease that Bayer had negotiated with Whole Foods Market that could result in Whole Foods moving from Lexington Green to a prospective new development being promoted by Bayer."

The suit further alleges that Bayer used confidential information about Lexington Green's leasing and other business practices to induce Whole Foods to move from Lexington Green to the Summit.

Lexington Green seeks undisclosed damages, plus costs and attorneys' fees.

Scott Davidson of Langley Properties, which manages Lexington Green, referred all questions to attorney Gregory Parsons, who filed the lawsuit. Parsons said that he had nothing to add to the lawsuit's statements.

Doug Schneider, senior vice president for Bayer Properties, said the company does not comment on pending litigation.

Cheryl Truman: (859) 231-3202. Twitter: @CherylTruman.

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