BUFFALO – The legal case involving the yet-to-be opened Jamestown Brewing Company and the owner of a downtown property will continue, although a judge has also denied some matters involving the suit from moving forward.
On Wednesday, April 17 Erie County Supreme Court Judge Timothy Walker ruled to dismiss a portion of a lawsuit filed in December by the owners of the Jamestown Brewing that claim their landlord and property developer – G. Patti Development – committed fraud when courting the business to enter into a lease agreement to rent out the former Lillian Ney Renaissance Center building (AKA Grant Building) at the corner of W. Third and Washington Streets.
Jamestown Brewing owners John McLellan Sr. and John McLellan Jr. had filed a lawsuit against GPatti after continued delays prevented them from opening their operation as scheduled. While the business was initially slated to open in the spring of 2018, it saw numerous construction and development delays and has yet to open its doors.
The McClellan’s are suing GPatti, claiming it wasn’t fully transparent in regards to the work that was needed to prepare the site, nor regarding communicating some environmental work that was required before the site would be ready. As a result, Jamestown Brewing was asking for compensatory damages, punitive damages, interest, attorneys fees and costs based on the alleged misrepresentations.
At the request of GPatti Development, Judge Walker dismissed those claims.
But the judge also denied a motion request by G. Patti Inc to dismiss a breach of contract claim from Jamestown Brewing that dealt with the spending of $1 million in state money from the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) fund. Jamestown Brewing claims GPatti misappropriated that money, leading to the breach of contract.
Judge Walker said he first wants to see a breakdown of how state that DRI money was spent on the Jamestown Brewing project before ruling on that matter. That review won’t take place until the project is completed because state economic development money typically isn’t released until a project is finished.
According to the Post-Journal, the total project cost for renovating the property and preparing it specifically for the Jamestown Brewing business was estimated at $3.84 million. Financing for the project included a $475,000 state Main Street grant that was awarded through the Regional Economic Development Council program in December 2015. The Jamestown Local Development Corporation has a $180,000 loan attached to the project. The IDA also offered tax abatements for the property.
There still is no word on when the brewery will open. Once open the business is expected to employ between 30 and 40 people. The restaurant will seat 280 guests in five different areas.