By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,319)
The well publicized abandonment of the development of a $8,000,000 condominium project called the Newbury Lofts took an ugly turn with the news that Developers Collaborative has sued Rebeco, S. Donald Sussman’s redevelopment company. The complaint was filed on Jan. 8 in Superior Court and other pleadings are currently pending in Court according to Kevin Bunker’s attorney. The suit seeks $178,000 plus accruing interest for services performed by Kevin Bunker and still outstanding.
Billionaire S. Donald Sussman owns properties in the India Street Neighborhood d/b/a Rebeco, LLC d/b/a Hampshire Street Properties. A few years ago, Sussman announced plans to develop the properties into condominiums. In a surprise move, Tom Federle, real estate attorney for Sussman, announced that he was “delaying” the development in January 2013. Residents of the area were stunned at the change in plans and felt resentful at Sussman for all of the wasted hours spent on the project. But at the same time, hopeful that something good would still come of the properties. The India Street Neighborhood Association was first created to deal with the rundown conditions in and around the Sussman properties by a group of area property owners.
The short lien complaint states that Tom Federle, real estate attorney to S. Donald Sussman (Sussman owns MaineTodayMedia, including the Portland Press Herald) approached Kevin Bunker, manager of Developers Collaborative requesting that he submit a proposal to develop the Sussman property in the Hampshire Street area. Subsequently, Bunker was also told to “fast track” the project so it would be ready for construction last fall the lien complaint alleges. Last September, Bunker heard for the first time that “they were no longer interested in pursing the Project.” (Meanwhile, mhn.com was told by Federle to use the word “delayed” or “postponed” when writing about the change in plans rather than the word “abandoned.” MHN.com complied) Through the lawsuit, Bunker is seeking $l78,000 for the agreed upon work he performed for Rebeco. The fact that Sussman owns MaineTodayMedia may account for the fact that you haven’t read anything about this lawsuit in the Portland Press Herald - yet.
A prefunctory motion to dismiss the case will be heard early next month.