Judge denies request to dismiss Von Maur lawsuit

BY DI STAFF | APRIL 02, 2012 6:30 AM

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A judge denied Coralville's request to dismiss the lawsuit involving the move of Sycamore Mall's Von Maur to Coralville.

Eight local developers and 18 businesses initially filed a petition to temporarily stop the developments at the Iowa River Landing. Sixth District Judge Marsha Bergan denied their request last week because she said officials could not prove transactions between Coralville and contractor Oliver McMillan were illegal. Later in the week, she said the defendants could not dismiss the lawsuit altogether, leaving options for the plaintiffs to amend their petition.

Plaintiffs argued in the initial petition that parts of an incentive package worth nearly $16 million that the City of Coralville offered Von Maur and its independent contractor were illegal.

Transactions included Coralville granting McMillan the exclusive right to develop the new property site for fees above $3 million, a $1.5 million grant allowing McMillan to purchase the Von Maur property and then sell it to Von Maur Inc. for $10, and a $9.4 million grant for Von Maur to construct a new department store.

Matt Adam, an attorney for the plaintiffs, filed an amended petition March 28, according to online court documents. Bergan denied the defendant's motion to dismiss the case and the plaintiffs' motion to amend the petition March 30.

— By Beth Bratsos

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