ResortWear looks set to win its David vs. Goliath legal battle with Seminole Tribe

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood renovation hurts retailers

By Jeff Weinsier - Investigative Reporter

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - The ground beneath them was shaking and the walls around them were coming down, and the owners of a small store at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood refused to close their doors.

The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood wants Tamir Wershaw and his sister Malka Livingston to close ResortWear, a boutique at the Seminole Paradise retail complex. But they have refused.

"I think I’m going to come there one day and the building will be demolished and all my merchandise will be in the garbage," Wershaw said.

Wershaw and Livingston said they have put hundreds of thousands of dollars into their business and their landlord, Seminole Properties Retail LLC, refused to negotiate a buyout  agreement.

The landlord sent them an eviction notice. They want them out by April 14. Their lease doesn't expire until 2020.

"It's hit the road jack, get out! That's not the the basis of a negotiation, that's the basis of a war," said Attorney Robert Stok, who is representing Wershaw and Livingston.

Seminole Tribe of Florida spokesman Gary Bitner said they were focused on resolving lease issues with several tenants, and most have settled. 

"This tenant's financial demands make that difficult, but we have presented a new counteroffer," Bitner said.

Stok said his clients are simply looking for another location and fair compensation for all the losses they have suffered during the $1 billion dollar expansion that is supposed to include an 800 room guitar-shaped luxury hotel. The renovation will create more than 2,900 new jobs, according to the Seminole Tribe of Florida. 

All of the stores around them have either closed or have been packing up. Cranes, fences and major construction surrounded their store. While the Seminole Hard Rock Casino and the Hard Rock Live concert venue remained open, the  Seminole Paradise retail complex was coming down. 

"I'm in the middle of a demolition zone," Wershaw said. 


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