Miami developer sues Moriarty for $3M on delayed Boston high-rise

Miami developer sues Moriarty for $3M on delayed Boston high-rise

Phil Puccio

Dive Brief:

  • A Miami developer is suing John Moriarty & Associates, a Winchester, Massachusetts-based general contractor, for failure to complete construction of an apartment and retail building in Boston’s Seaport District on time. The developer, 399 Congress, has since sold the building.
  • The delay resulted in approximately $4.9 million in lost revenue, according to the lawsuit filed in Suffolk County, Massachusetts, Superior Court on Oct. 7.
  • The developer is seeking recovery of $3 million in contractually specified liquidated damages, as well as costs resulting from the contractor’s failure to timely complete the project, according to the complaint.

Dive Insight:

Moriarty entered into a written contract with 399 Congress, a limited liability company tied to Miami-based developer Crescent Heights, in June 2017, to perform certain pre-construction, construction management and general contracting services for the project at 399 Congress Street. The project consisted of a 22-story tower with 414 luxury rental units, retail and amenity space and three levels of parking.

The project was originally scheduled to be completed by November 2019, but around August 2019, it became apparent that due to delays, Moriarty would be unable to complete the project construction on schedule, according to the complaint. The court document does not include details about what caused the delays and Moriarty declined to comment on the case.

As a result, 399 Congress and Moriarty agreed on a new schedule that required the project to be complete no later than January 2020 in advance of the prime leasing months for the summer of 2020.

Still, Moriarty failed to finish the project on time due to “inability to properly and timely perform its work,” alleges the complaint. As a result, 399 Congress advised prospective tenants that the building and some amenities would not be complete upon move-in, which caused multiple tenants to cancel their leases, according to the complaint.

The COVID-19 pandemic would then add increased financing costs, increased staff compensation, loss of significant rental revenues, loss of interest rate savings provisions in loan documents and reputational damage, the complaint alleges. 

399 Congress no longer owns the project. The developer sold the building to a company associated with New York investment firm KKR for $322 million in July, according to Suffolk County land records.

Miami developer sues Moriarty for $3M on delayed Boston high-rise News

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