UNIVERSITY PARK -- Jacqueline Zumba was served with a $1.52 million lawsuit from TB Mall at UTC, LLC on Jan. 12, according to Sarasota County court records.
The lawsuit seeks damages after Zumba broke her lease with the mall in October. Low sales and dismal foot traffic contributed to Zumba's decision to vacate the space, she told the Herald after the boutique's closure.
"We put our blood sweat and tears into that store and we're very sad to have to leave," Zumba said in October. "We hope one day we can come back and make it work again. It just didn't work for us." She moved the downtown Sarasota Jackie Z location to The Mall at UTC with hopes of seeing success in the area's new mega mall.
Zumba's other store in St. Pete's Sundial shopping center is still open.
Zumba entered into a 7-year lease July 9, 2014 for a 1,953 square-foot store on the second floor of the Mall at UTC. The minimum rent was $105,000 annually, or $8,750 per month. The lease was modified twice to adjust rent based on Zumba's gross sales.
On Oct. 29, a representative of the Taubman Co. sent Zumba a letter informing her the closure was without the landlord's permission and Zumba would remain responsible for all obligations in the lease. Another letter was sent to Zumba on Dec. 24 by Andrew Rosin, the lawyer retained by TB Mall at UTC, LLC, alerting Zumba of a possible lawsuit if the matter was not resolved by Jan. 4.
Zumba was not immediately available for comment on the lawsuit.
"The lawsuit speaks for itself," Rosin said, and would not comment further.
Janelle O'Dea, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095 or follow her on Twitter@jayohday.