Taft Wins Victory for Developer in Millennium Hotel Battle with Port of Greater Cincinnati

On Nov. 3, Taft client Vandercar LLC, a Cincinnati commercial real estate developer, won a summary judgment against the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority. Vandercar was awarded a $5 million development fee for its role in acquiring the Millennium Hotel for redevelopment.

Vandercar reached a deal to purchase the Millennium Hotel in downtown Cincinnati in July 2019 from its Singapore-based owner, Millennium & Copthorne PLC. Vandercar then assigned to the regional Port its rights to purchase the real estate and redevelop the Millennium property in exchange for fees tied to the closing of the purchase and the beginning of the redevelopment project.

Vandercar filed suit in February 2020 when the Port issued revenue bonds to finance the purchase and demolition of the existing building, but refused to pay Vandercar the second fee, arguing that demolition is not part of the property redevelopment process.

The Taft team includes Cincinnati litigators Russell Sayre, Beth Bryan, Stuart Dornette, and Brian Morris.

Sayre represents businesses, corporations, and individuals in commercial litigation and arbitration. Over the course of his nearly 30-year career, he has gained experience litigating cases involving ERISA, trade secrets, class actions, derivative claims, multi-party litigation, and antitrust litigation across numerous state and federal courts. He serves as chair of the Cincinnati litigation practice.

Bryan focuses her practice around complex business, commercial, legal malpractice, and election litigation. She brings extensive trial and appellate experience in state and federal courts.

Dornette has substantial personal experience in complex litigation – particularly involving financial, corporate, and securities issues – in state and federal courts within and outside Ohio. He is repeatedly honored by Chambers USA as a “Leading Lawyer” in Commercial Litigation.

Morris is an attorney in Taft’s Litigation practice, where he advises clients on contracts, business disputes, business torts, and other legal matters relating to private and public companies. He returned to Taft after serving as a judicial law clerk for The Hon. John B. Nalbandian, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

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