A Miami developer is suing the general contractor it hired to build a 22-story mixed-use tower in Boston’s trendy Seaport District, alleging construction delays cost it $4.9 million in lost revenue.
Winchester, Mass.-based contractor John Moriarty & Associates took the job to build the $164-million NEMA Boston project in June 2017 for developer 399 Congress, an LLC tied to developer Crescent Heights. The project was due to be completed between September and November 2019, but in its lawsuit filed in Suffolk County, Mass., Superior Court on Oct. 7, the developer says it became clear in August of that year that work would not be finished on time.
The companies then agreed to an amended contract that included milestone completion dates set by Moriarty through Jan. 31, 2020, the complaint states. The contractor told the developer that it was past the issues that had caused the prior delay. However, the developer alleges that Moriarty failed to meet the new deadlines, forcing it to inform prospective tenants that the building would not be completed by their scheduled move-in dates. Several of them canceled leases as a result, the lawsuit says.
“The inexcusable delay to the project was solely a result of [Moriarty's] inability to properly and timely perform its work,” the developer alleges. The suit does not specify what caused the delays.
The developer also says it had to bring in its own personnel to complete punchlist work.
In its lawsuit, 399 Congress seeks $3 million in damages, which it says is the maximum allowed under terms of the contract.
Moriarty did not immediately respond to inquiries from ENR. However, the contractor twice filed to place liens on the property—on March 25, 2020, and July 30, 2021—alleging that it was still owed more than $825,000 for work on the project.
Meanwhile, 399 Congress no longer owns the NEMA Boston property. Real estate records show the developer sold the building to an LLC associated with New York investment firm KKR for $322 million on July 9.
NEMA Boston was built on a property known locally as the “sausage parcel” because of its narrow, sausage link shape. The building includes 414 apartments, retail space and a three-level parking garage.