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Harris Teeter claims no wrongdoing in Carolina Beach, asks judge to dismiss counterclaims in court

Jubilee Carolina owns the property on Lake Park Boulevard where it has been promising a Harris Teeter --- but never constructing one (Port City Daily/Johanna Ferebee)
Jubilee Carolina owns the property on Lake Park Boulevard where it has been promising a Harris Teeter for years — but has never constructed one. (Port City Daily/Johanna Ferebee)

CAROLINA BEACH — The battle for the next grocery store in Carolina Beach trudges on as Harris Teeter trades legal barbs with neighboring property owners who plan on building a Publix grocery store.

Related: Lawsuit: Harris Teeter never wanted Carolina Beach store, only to force residents across the bridge

Jubilee Carolina, the developer and property owner behind the proposed Harris Teeter in Carolina Beach fired the first shot after the Town of Carolina Beach approved a conditional use permit for a new grocery store at the Federal Point Shopping Center by appealing the board’s decision.

Jubilee’s appeals were denied and the town’s decision upheld, but residents still have no new grocery store and the legal actions continue.

Harris Teeter might have dealt the first blow but Wilmington Holding Company (WHC), the initial defendant named by Jubilee is fighting back in court and filing complaints of its own.

WHC has alleged that Jubilee and Harris Teeter have no intention of ever constructing a grocery store on the island, and that Harris Teeter was only interested in protecting another Harris Teeter located off the island.

WHC also claims that Jubilee has misrepresented its intentions for several years to delay the development of WHC property and that Jubilee has acted in a “willful and malicious” manner.

However, Jubilee has responded in kind by requesting that the court dismiss all of the claims brought forth by WHC and grant Jubilee access to WHC property; Jubilee cites a 2009 agreement that would allow a Harris Teeter store to connect to North Lake Park Boulevard with an easement through WHC’s property — however, the agreement also required Harris Teeter to begin operation of a store by 2016.

The facts

  • Jubilee and WHC had a Lease Restriction Agreement (the “Agreement”) from 2009
  • The “Agreement” restricted the uses WHC could lease the property to exclude any grocery store
  • The “Agreement” required Jubilee to at least complete a foundation of 40,000-square-feet by Jan. 30, 2015
  • The “Agreement” required Jubilee to open the fully staffed and stocked store to the public by April of 2016
  • The “Agreement” granted Jubilee access to WHC property to construct a driveway to access Saint Joesph Street
  • No foundation or grocery store has been constructed on the Jubilee Property

Jubilee’s response to WHC’s claims

Jubilee has filed documents in court claiming WHC has, ” … wrongfully failed and refused to execute and deliver the easement agreement,” by allowing the sale of the property to CBDC and not requiring the access to Jubilee.

Jubilee is requesting the court to declare the “Agreement” as valid and enforceable, and give Jubilee the right to construct and complete a driveway with full access on the WHC Property.

The plaintiff is also claiming that WHC has breached the contract and that Jubilee has satisfied all of the requirements of the “Agreement” — despite the fact no foundation or store has been constructed — several years past the required dates of completion.

In court documents, Jubilee alleges it has been harmed by WHC by the breach of contract since the breach has impeded the development of Harris Teeter.

A hearing has been scheduled for Dec. 6, 2018 for Jubilee’s motion to dismiss the defendants’ counterclaims and strike the defendants declaratory judgment counterclaim.

According to court documents, a trial has also been scheduled for April of 2019.

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