International Décor Outlet files suit against Regency Square Mall landlord due to mall conditions

Action News Jax has learned plans to revive the Regency Square Mall have hit a snag.

We told you in March of last year that International Décor Outlet (IDO) was set to start opening more than 80 stores last summer. Since then, two stores have opened.

Leaking roofs, malfunctioning air-conditioning units and mold are just some of the complaints listed in a lawsuit against the landlord of Regency Square Mall.

It’s because of those conditions that the International Décor Outlet said it is delaying plans to open 86 stores inside the mall.

Shoppers said they were looking forward to the new stores.

"It's been like a ghost town for a while, so it definitely needs something to bring this area back up," shopper Amy Watkins said.

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IDO signed a lease in November 2015 for 200,000 square feet in the west wing of the mall to sublease the spaces to designers of home décor and home-improvement materials. There were also plans for an Asian Town retail and restaurant area.

But when Action News Jax’s Danielle Avitable went to look at that area of the mall Thursday, there were empty stores, signs to lease the area and trash bins in place to collect water from leaking roofs.

It’s something shoppers said the property owners should repair.

"They need to spend their money and fix it up," shopper Diane Norris said.

Employees inside the mall said they were excited for the additional foot traffic the stores would bring in, but it has remained a ghost town.

The director of marketing for IDO said they still plan on opening the stores if the issues can be resolved.

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A statement was sent from IDO that reads:

"Our business relies on bringing in new tenants. But there is no way to attract tenants into a retail space that has a leaky roof or no air conditioning. We want to help bring Regency back, but there are too many obstacles in front of us. The building continues to deteriorate, and we have no chance of being successful in that kind of environment."
Action News Jax tried reaching out to the general manager of the mall and also put in calls to the mall's corporate office Thursday, but did not hear back.