Rise Together, one of two developers behind a project to bring 120 residential units, office space and a new marina to Dorchester's Port Norfolk last week sued the other developer, CPC Ericsson, for what it says is its refusal to pay a consulting firm that helped ensure the new buildings would be energy efficient and resistant to climate change.
In its suit, filed in Suffolk Superior Court, Herby Duverné and Jim Grossman's Rise Together of Charlestown are asking a judge to immediately issue a $150,000 attachment on the property to ensure it gets paid, so that it can in turn pay Steven Winter Associates (SWA), a Norwalk, CT architectural firm that reviewed the proposed buildings at the tip of Port Norfolk for energy efficiency and climate resilience.
SWA actually sued Rise Together last year for the $123,291.25 it says it's owed for its work on the project, which was approved by the BPDA and the Zoning Board of Appeal in 2022.
Rise Together says CPC Ericsson, a subsidiary of Ryan Sillery's City Point Capital, shouldn't be allowed to have its cake and eat it, too: "CPC Ericsson expected, or reasonably should have expected, to pay for SWA's work - either directly to SWA or through RISE Together - but CPC Ericsson has refused to do so, with no apparent excuse other than that it does not want to pay SWA for the work that it did for CPC Ericsson."
Rise Together says it sued now in part because it believes CPC Ericsson is about to gain a construction loan, from Metro Credit Union, which it says its ostensible partner will use in part to pay off some prior debts, but now the SWA bill.
Rise Together adds that it filed its suit - formally alleging unjust enrichment, breaking of a promise to pay SWA and deceptive business practices - and request for attachment now because it claims CPC Ericsson is about to finance construction with Metro Credit Union in a way that would leave it and SWA out in the financial cold:
"As a result of the imminent closing of the construction loan and a conveyance of a mortgage securing that loan, there is a clear danger that if CPC Ericsson is notified in advance of RISE Together's request for a real estate attachment on the propose, CPC Ericsson will accelerate the closing and convey the mortgage to Metro CU to prejudice RISE Together's ability to secure and recover the money it is owed for the work it did on behalf of CPC Ericsson by contracting with SWA to provide services for the project."
CPC Ericsson has until June 10 to file an answer to the suit.