CHARLESTON - A developer says the City of Nitro has failed to keep up with payments owed to it from the building of the Nitro Marketplace shopping center.

THF Nitro Development filed a lawsuit Oct. 19 in Kanawha Circuit Court against the city, Treasurer Tifney Terry and the Nitro Development Authority.

Terry, meanwhile, reportedly said the city is withholding payment while a legal issue with the contract is resolved.

THF says the city hasn't made payments from business and occupation taxes since March. The city gets $36,000 in B&O taxes generated by business, and THF gets the next $400,000. After that, it is split 80/20 in THF's favor, the suit says.

Terry also reportedly said the marketplace, which was built in the 1990s, generates approximately $800,000 in B&O taxes every year.

"The shopping center now consists of over 400,000 square feet of retail space and employs over 400 people," the suit says.

THF seeks a declaratory judgment against the defendants, and a writ of mandamus forcing them to pay.

"THF is entitled to damages for the breach of the City and/or Authority in the amount of the monies due and owing it under the agreement," the complaint says. It also adds that the City made all its scheduled payments from 1997 until now.

Michael Glasser of Lewis, Glasser, Casey and Rollins in Charleston is representing THF Nitro. The company's successor-in-interest, THF Cross Lanes, signed the original agreement.

Judge Jennifer Bailey Walker has been assigned the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-2196

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