A dozen small businesses being evicted from strip mall in Middleburg

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. — Nearly a dozen small businesses forced to find new homes in 90 days.

Black Creek Plaza in Middleburg was recently purchased by Orange Park Medical Center.

Since taking over they enacted a clause in the tenants’ lease forcing them out in three months.

Trying to move a business in 90 days is going to be tough,” explains Neil Tinney, owner of Massageology.

He says he and other tenants are scrambling.

Back in March, the property was sold to Orange Park Medical Center, Inc.

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And with that came this letter that says every tenant at the strip mall needs to be out in 90 days, which is June 8th.

Tinney explains, “To only give us such a little amount of time to try and move a business that we’ve tried to build over the past few years, I don’t know if we can do it.”

A spokesperson for the OPMC says in part, “We have given them a 90 day notice in accordance with their lease in order to allow them time to find another location and to relocate.”

Many of the businesses have been around for years, their clients depend on them.

“They’ve put us in a tough situation to try and find a building in Middleburg when there’s not really much left out here.”

For Tinney, he’s in the works of buying a new space down the road. But the costs following a pandemic were something he wasn’t prepared for.

“This building that I’m trying to purchase is going to cost me about $140,000 at the end of the day and for small business, we don’t have that kind of money.”

OPMC says it understands the disruption and is working with the current tenants to help them with the transition.

Tinney says the only correspondence he has received is the letter he got back in March.

“They haven’t reached out to anybody in here to tell us anything.”

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Orange Park Medical Center says they are developing plans for a new care site to better serve the growing community in Middleburg.

Tinney hopes for better communication and if possible an extra 30 days.