Jury awards $18M to owner of Lincoln Plaza office complex in breach of contract trial

A jury found insurance underwriter Lloyd's of London failed to pay for storm damage to the Lincoln Plaza Renaissance Center in 2009.
by Tim Willert Modified: March 8, 2013 at 9:42 pm •  Published: March 9, 2013
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They are expected to file an appeal in the case.

The complex, built in 1967 along with the neighboring Lincoln Plaza Hotel (also empty and owned separately by Richard Tanenbaum), was bought in 2006 by California investor Dr. Vinod Gupta. At the time it was 100 percent occupied.

The massive hailstorm of May 16, 2010, pummeled a wide swath across the Oklahoma City metro area. It left so much damage that so many out-of-state roofing companies flocked in needing space to lease it improved industrial property stats for a year. The hail wrecked the roof of 45-year-old Lincoln Plaza Renaissance Center.

With roof repairs hamstrung by the insurance claims process — perhaps by the sheer volume of claims here that spring — heavy rains just less than a month later, on June 14, flooded tens of thousands of square feet of space in the office building. Most of it was space long leased by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.

By summer, the health care authority was vacating the premises, some 150,000 square feet. Before long, other tenants — also state agencies — were abandoning the complex, invoking a 30-day opt-out clause in all state office lease agreements. Many, including the health care authority, landed at Shepherd Mall.

The office building was "in chaos for two months," said property manager Amil Gupta in an April 2012 interview with The Oklahoman.

For one period, 18 tractor-trailers loaded with fans and other machinery and huge tubes connecting to the building through doors and broken windows had the place looking like a giant industrial octopus. By spring, 2011, the complex was almost 100 percent vacant.

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by Tim Willert
Education Reporter
Tim Willert is a native Californian with Oklahoma ties who covers education. Prior to moving to Oklahoma in June 2011, he was as an editor for FOXSports.com in Century City, Calif., and reported on courts for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and...
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