Land Sale Breach of Contract Causes $250 Million Lawsuit Against Universal

According to news sources, a company that planned to build a sports theme park near Universal’s upcoming Epic Universe theme park is suing Universal and a property development company for $250 million, claiming the company wrongfully sold the land to Universal in 2018.

Fourth Watch Acquisitions, which specializes in real estate entertainment development, alleges Universal City Property Management III breached a binding agreement made in September 2017 to sell 135 acres of land along Universal Boulevard to the company for $125 million.

The lawsuit, filed in Orange circuit court on Friday, says Universal interfered in the contract and bought the land in April 2018 to develop its new theme park. Fourth Watch Acquisitions stated the land was located between unconnected properties Universal already owned, and by buying it Universal hoped to “eliminate a competitive threat,” records show.

Universal City Property Management sold land along Universal Boulevard to Universal’s SLRC Holdings LLC in April 2018 after the two settled a 2016 lawsuit over theme park development rights on the property, GrowthSpotter reported.

Fourth Watch Acquisitions’ damages include “tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars” lost in the process of developing the unnamed theme park, lawyer Tucker Byrd said.

“Under the law, every piece of property is unique,” Byrd told the Orlando Sentinel in an interview. “And you can’t say, ‘just go get another parcel somewhere.’ … And of course, this property had immense intrinsic value — where it is and what it was around.”

Universal’s Epic Universe is projected to open in 2025. Construction resumed on the theme park last spring after the pandemic delayed it for a year.

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