Town and Country Shopping Center suing Plush Entertainment Complex

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The owner of the Town and Country Shopping Center on University Boulevard in Arlington is suing the owners of Plush Entertainment Complex because Plush doesn't have enough liability insurance, according to a complaint that has been filed.

Many residents say the shopping center used to be a family place, but there has been a long list of problems there, which they say is because of the clubs. They say the violence has to stop.

"It was just a marvelous place to come and eat and dine," community activist Roberta Thomas said. "You had wonderful restaurants, Town and Country movie theater, which is now where the bars all are."

Thomas, who's big supporter of Arlington, remembers how the shopping center used to be.

"Now unfortunately it's turned into a crime hotspot, and this has been going on for years, and we're really sad to see this happen."

Thomas said while crime is widespread in the community, she's sick of seeing it happen outside the Plush Entertainment Complex, three bars owned by 845 North Inc.

Recently, the landlords for the shopping center filed complaints suing the company for not keeping up with the lease agreement.

"845 North Inc. is not in compliance with the liability insurance required of the lease at Town and Country, and the landlord was forced to file a legal complaint to resolve that issue," said Seth Rothstein, the landlords' attorney.

One of the documents attached in the complaints is from the insurance company, and it says because of recent violence it's likely no one will provide the insurance needed.

In October, a man was shot and killed at Plush. In September, three were shot.

And in 2008 and 2009, police said they were forced to shoot three people there. One man, officers said, was shooting in the air and came at them with a gun. The other two, they said, were speeding toward police after shots were fired.

There have been numerous violent incidents nearby that have no relation to the entertainment complex. But the sight of police tape in front of Plush is too much for Arlington residents like Thomas, who say they wouldn't mind seeing the bars gone.

"I really look forward to the day when Arlington will be able to revitalize itself and come back to the type of Arlington that it was when I moved into it," she said.

Tom Fisher, one of the owners of the company, issued this statement:

"We have been at Plush for 13 years now. Quality security has always been imperative, which is why we hire the exemplary services of off-duty (Jacksonville Sheriff's Office) when we are open for business."

The company is filing a countersuit and the owner said is trying to make changes to make the community better and the complex safer.

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