The owner of Westfarms Mall has agreed to pay nearly $27 million to the owners of Blue Back Square in West Hartford. The cash is in settlement of a claim that the Blue Back project was delayed because of needless lawsuits. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.
Taubman Centers, which owns a majority stake in Westfarms launched a series of eleven lawsuits against the Blue Back retail and upscale housing project, even before construction started. The owners of Blue Back claim those suits were purely motivated by the economic threat to the nearby mall. They lead to a year’s delay, meaning Blue Back opened its doors in late 2007 just as the economy was beginning to sour. Blue Back says because of this timing, financing was harder to come by, construction costs were raised, and units were harder to lease or sell.
Taubman will pay $27 million in an out of court settlement, but has not admitted any fault in the case. Its partners in Westfarms have also agreed to pay a further $7 million. The town of West Hartford has launched its own legal action against Taubman, citing its $48 million investment in Blue Back. That suit, which is currently in Superior Court in Waterbury seeks more than four million dollars in damages.
For WNPR, I'm Harriet Jones.