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Developer agrees to undisclosed settlement with broker over contract dispute

A protracted contract dispute between a broker and developer that included a lawsuit seeking $5.5 million in alleged unpaid commissions related to the City Center West Orange mixed-use development in Ocoee came to a close this week after both parties agreed to an undisclosed settlement agreement.

The matter involved Tom Nelson, the owner of Orlando-based Premier Nelson Group, and David Townsend, whose affiliated companies City Center West Orange LLC and CCWO Development Management LLC are behind the not-yet-started City Center West Orange project, which is slated to consist of 600 luxury apartments and 200,000 square feet of commercial space.

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Nelson filed a lawsuit against Townsend and his companies in September of 2020 claiming that Townsend failed to uphold his end of a verbal contract. Townsend denied the allegations and in January of 2021 filed a motion to Florida’s Ninth Judicial Court to dismiss the case saying that the plaintiff failed to provide any evidence to support a “purported oral agreement” in which monetary promises to Nelson were made.

While Nelson did not provide any documentation of the agreement in his court filings, his attorney filed a motion to compel discovery, seeking all related documents regarding the subject arrangement between Nelson and Townsend, in addition to the complete funding history and funding statements of the City Center West Orange mixed-use development, which promises a market value of over $1 billion once complete.

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Circuit Judge John E Jordan denied the motion to dismiss on April 23, 2021.

The outcome of the civil case was set to be determined by a six-member jury, but the parties reached settled the case on the eve of the trial, according to court documents.

Nelson could not be reached Tuesday and Townsend declined to comment.

Nelson was represented by attorneys John W. Zielinski and Richard Smith with NeJame Law in Orlando. Townsend was represented by Howard Marks and Sheena Thakrar with Burr & Forman law firm.

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Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at (407)-800-1161 or dwyatt@GrowthSpotter.com, or tweet me at @DustinWyattGS. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn


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