Port O' Call owners get $7.5 million from feds

Agreement » The settlement results in cancellation of a trial that had been set for fall.
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The federal government has reached an agreement with the owners of Port O' Call to pay $7.5 million for the now-closed downtown social club and the building it occupied.

The payment settles a condemnation suit filed last year by the U.S. government. The condemnation of the property -- the Shubrick Building, which was the home of Port O' Call, and the unoccupied Galley and DeWorth buildings -- opens up space just west of the Frank E. Moss U.S. Courthouse at 350 S. Main St. for a new courthouse.

Still pending approval by a federal judge is a $40,000 payment for rent that the property owners say they lost when the General Services Administration relocated tenants before the condemnation process. A rent payment of $75,000 that Port O' Call owes the government will be subtracted, resulting in a final payment of $7,465,000.

The condemnation suit valued the buildings and land at $5.465 million, but the owners had said the fair market value was "substantially higher." The Shubrick Building, at 60 to 78 W. 400 South, sits on less than an acre of land.

The agreement cancels a trial scheduled for this fall.

The club closed in February, and about 1,100 items, including neon signs and top-notch sound systems, were put up for auction.

Another part of the courthouse project, the move of the historic Odd Fellows Hall across Market Street, remains stalled over a contract dispute between a contractor and subcontractor. The 118-year-old building has been elevated off the ground and is sitting on dollies as the two sides try to negotiate a resolution.