University to acquire property housing Hegarty’s

  • St. James Estates has voluntarily withdrawn two of the three counts in the suit it filed against the university last September.
  • The only remaining litigation is the amount the university will be required to pay to purchase the property at 1120 W. Wells St.
  • The university has no immediate plans for the property, which includes Jim Hegarty's Pub.

A legal dispute between Marquette and St. James Estates LLC over property that includes Jim Hegarty's Pub may be settled within the next two weeks.

Once an amount is determined, the university will purchase the property at 1120 W. Wells St., said Tim Olsen, communication manager in the Office of Marketing and Communication, in an e-mail. St. James and Marquette have a joint condominium agreement for the structure.

Last September, St. James filed suit against the university for allegedly interfering with a property transaction when the school learned that a medical clinic was proposed for the site. St. James has withdrawn two of the three counts of its complaint related to "intentional interference with contract and punitive damages," said Mary Pat Pfeil, senior director of university communication, in an e-mail last week.

Marquette, in turn, will withdraw its motion to dismiss the case by Thursday, Olsen said.

Last August, St. James received a $2 million offer from a third party wanting to open a medical clinic on the property, according to the lawsuit. Marquette valued the property at $525,000.

The lawsuit contended that Marquette amended the condominium agreement in September to prohibit any "medical or hazardous waste" on the property. The suite also claimed that St. James "suffered damages" as a result of the university's actions.

According to the lawsuit, the university said the proposed transaction did not "constitute an offer from a bona fide third party."

The university contended that the condominium agreement gave it right of first refusal on sales of the property, no matter the proposed buyer, allowing the university the right to a property purchase transaction before St. James sold to a third party.

Appraisals requested by the university have been completed, Olsen said. The "fair market values" determined by the appraisals will be addressed in the university's response it will file by Thursday.

The purchasing amount will be decided by the court or by the two parties outside of court.

Olsen said the university has no objection to a "properly managed" pub on the site.

"While the university has no immediate plans for the property, its strategic location as part of larger property on the northeast corner of 12th and Wells is significant as we consider the long-term needs of the university," Pfeil said.

St. James had not responded to interview requests at deadline.