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Jackson’s Granted Preliminary Injunction in Boston Properties Parking Suit

by Dave Emke — June 14, 2017 at 3:10 pm 28 Comments

(This story was updated at 3:40 p.m. to include additional information from, and links to, the court documents that were filed Tuesday, as well as comment from Boston Properties.)

In a Tuesday ruling from the Fairfax County Circuit Court, Jackson’s Mighty Fine Food & Lucky Lounge in Reston Town Center was granted a preliminary injunction against the ParkRTC system.

The injunction (view) will restrict Boston Properties from enforcing its pay-to-park system against Jackson’s guests in the Orange Garage, or otherwise interfering with Jackson’s guests’ right to park for free and without charge in the Orange Garage, according to a press release.

“We are pleased with the ruling of the Fairfax County Circuit Court granting a preliminary injunction [Tuesday] and reinforcing Jackson’s view that the current ParkRTC system creates confusion and concerns for our guests,” said Jon Norton, CEO of Great American Restaurants. “Jackson’s puts its guests first and we are delighted that they will no longer be forced to use the cumbersome ParkRTC app or the current pay-to-park system in the Orange Garage.”

Neither Great American Restaurants nor Boston Properties has provided clarification on how Jackson’s patrons will be able to park without using ParkRTC. An executive at Jackson’s said Wednesday afternoon that he would not comment on the issue.

Following the lawsuit filed by Jackson’s in March, Boston Properties made several amendments to the parking regulations, allowing free garage parking after 5 p.m. and one hour of free parking on weekdays in the garages. The announcement of these changes May 31 came one day prior to the second day of evidentiary hearing in the suit, in which Jackson’s owner Great American Restaurants claims the pay-parking rules violate agreed-upon terms of their lease.

According to the lawsuit:

“Great American and Boston Properties agreed to specific lease provisions which provided that parking for Jackson’s customers in the structure on the Garage Parcel would be free, that any parking access and control system would not unduly impede Jackson’s right to ‘free parking and access,’ and that, if the landlord ever sought to implement paid parking, it would ‘at its sole cost and expense’ provide a system that allowed Jackson’s to validate tickets ‘so that parking for [Jackson’s] customers and employees shall be free and without charge at all times and in all instances.”

“From the beginning, we have asked Boston Properties to uphold our lease rights, and [Tuesday’s] ruling is a step in the right direction,” Norton said.

If Boston Properties is successful in appealing the injunction, Jackson’s would be required to pay $25,000. In the letter announcing its ruling (view), however, the Court says Boston Properties’ argument about the necessity for paid parking has been “inconsistent.”

“Boston Properties argues that if the system is enjoined, then the entire pay-to-park system will have to shut down, thus resulting in an amount likely to be many millions of dollars. That argument, however, is inconsistent with Boston Properties’ initial argument that the pay-to-park system was necessary to ensure parking spaces would be available for the tenants and their employees and customers. Boston Properties has not yet admitted that the primary motivation to install the pay-to-park system was to monetize an asset that has become more valuable as the area has become more densely populated. Thus, the Court does not consider Boston Properties’ lost revenues argument to be persuasive in determining the amount for bond.”

A trial date for the suit has been set for February 2018.

Boston Properties has previously said it is “very confident” it will prevail in legal challenges related to paid parking. In response to Tuesday’s ruling, Boston Properties says it “is reviewing the Court’s opinion and considering [our] options.”

  • Jason Rub

    Thankfully Great American Restaurants has the resources to pursue legal action, as a lot of the smaller shops in RTC (the few that remain despite the influx of chains) probably wouldn’t be able to afford the lawyers necessarily. Thanks Jackson’s!

    • ichrysso

      Yep, but keep in mind that GAR cannot fight for all the smaller shops. It is unclear if the other businesses had the same foresight to push back on the parking question like GAR did when the lease was negotiated.

      App is a mess, validation rules are confusing and they did no favors lying to the community all this time. Bad partnership for Reston.

      • Ella

        Not only the foresight, but the smaller businesses were at a disadvantage. If they refused to sign a lease unless parking was free, BP would have told them to go scratch. BP needed Jackson’s, tried to fight them initially about the lease provision for free parking, and eventually had to give in when Jackson’s would not budge. Smaller businesses simply did not and do not have such an influential advantage. Shame on BP.

      • Why do you bother?

        They won’t have to, since according to BP’s whine, they’ll have to shut the whole greedy mess down.

    • Chkitout1

      Hurray for Great American Restaurants!!!! Boston Properties sucks, they could care less about the community, only interested in greedy dollars.

      • Why do you bother?

        COULDN’T care less.

  • Tammi Petrine

    Oh Happy Day!!! Hope that this signals the end of BPX’s terrible, greedy destruction of our community. Congrats, GAR/ Jacksons! YAY.

  • Scott

    How is this going to be managed for Jackson’s customers vs non-jackson’s customers if the app and validation system isn’t used?

    • Tom H

      You must agree to a surgical placement of an RFID chip into your body so that Boston Properties can track your movement in and out of Jacksons. 🙂

      • Scott

        I was thinking GPS ankle bracelet administered by one of the “parking ambassadors” but that makes more sense.

        • JoeInReston

          If you fail to start a GPS ankle bracelet session, a special Bumble Bee barnacle helmet will be attached to your head via suction cups, preventing you from seeing directly ahead.

        • Mike M

          Ambassa-whatchoo-say?

  • Jenny Gibbers

    What about Clydes? I know they were one of the first to raise issue with paid parking.

    Dominos.

    • JoeInReston

      Jackson’s had specific clauses in their lease against paid parking, where as most other (all?) merchants did not insist on such clauses and signed clauses that allowed Boston Properties to charge for paid parking.

  • Drip

    Hopefully if the newspapers opt to report on this decision, or if the online news posters like Reston Now make some calls beyond press releases and statements, they will ask how exactly BP will implement the judge’s order, i.e. will BP reserve a section of the Orange Garage for Jackson’s parking?

    • Reston Now

      I have calls in to Jackson’s and BXP in the attempt to get that info, and I’m in my way to Jackson’s now. This is a developing story.

    • Bookoo

      What a coincidence….every single person who parked in the Orange garage went to Jackson’s.

    • John

      I wonder what will happen when the Orange Garage inevitably fills up and a Jackson’s customer is forced to park in a different garage…

  • Mike M

    🙂

    • 40yearsinreston

      They aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer. Their arrogance is breathtaking

      • Why do you bother?

        Narcissists believe that the rest of us are stupid to the point of vegetation.

        • Mike M

          You seem like you’ve had a little too much water.

  • 40yearsinreston

    The court does not believe BPX’s rational
    Even the dogs in the street know it is about monetizing the increased population
    These bozos would kill the goose with the golden eggs
    There is no way they can comply with the court order without scrapping the spyware and having attendants on the gates or changing the entrances
    Keep up the boycott

  • Ella

    Thank you Great American Restaurants. What BP is attempting to do to Reston directly contradicts the values and intent on which our community was created. Thank you Judge Tran for pointing out BP’s clear money grab attempt. This injunction is a step in the right direction. At the very least, parking should be 3 hours free and then BP can continue to hold onto its baseless explanation of “preventing commuter parking”.

  • Tom

    Score one for the little guys! SUCK IT BP!!

  • RestonAssurance

    Good for Jacksons!

  • JoeInReston

    According to the logic of Boston Properties lawyers, Boston Properties will have to shutdown the pay-to-park system while the injunction is in effect. Looks like the court has called their bluff. Let’s see if this argument is as insincere as the argument that the paid parking system was about restricting commuters.

  • McMike

    Today there was a sign in the garage saying that Jackson’s customers don’t need to start a parking session. Not sure how that actually works.

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