BENNINGTON — A planned sale of a Depot Street shopping center for $700,000 has stalled due to a right-of-way issue involving neighboring property, and the proposed buyer has filed a lawsuit in the Bennington Superior Court Civil Division.
Dionysus LLC, an entity controlled by Paul Carroccio, owner of TPW Real Estate of Stratton, Ludlow and Manchester, filed suit over the situation earlier this month against the center’s owner, Concord-based Aubuchon Realty Co., Mass.
According to the complaint, “Dionysus LLC, seeks to require Aubuchon Realty Company Inc. to deliver marketable title to the two Bennington properties it promised to sell in the contract it entered into with Dionysus LLC, and for damages caused by breach of contract.”
The 1.7-acre mall contains Anytime Fitness, Hollister’s Appliance, and TJ’s Fish Fry, and for many years contained an Aubuchon hardware store.
It sits directly across from the Depot Street site where Carroccio and a partner are planning a four-story mixed-use building with 60 rental units. The proposed construction project is not mentioned in the suit on the nearby mall.
Carroccio’s Dionysus LLC was also involved in the 2019 purchase of the historic Bennington Brush Building, located behind the proposed new construction site and facing North Street.
RIGHT OF WAY
According to the complaint, Aubuchon agreed in August 2021 “to sell to Dionysos, and Dionysos agreed to buy, the land and premises described therein at the price [$700,000] and other conditions set forth therein.
The property is said to “comprise three buildings on 1.7 acres located at 100 and 120 Depot St. in Bennington.”
According to the contract, the lawsuit states that “the closing of the sale and purchase was to occur on November 3, 2021.”
Reached Wednesday, Eamon Moran, president of Aubuchon Realty Co., declined to comment due to the ongoing court case.
‘LEARNED OF LINE’
The lawsuit, filed for Dionysus by attorney E. William Leckerling, of Lisman Leckerling, of Burlington, states, “In late October 2021, Dionysus learned that the Northern Baptist Church was asserting that it had the right to use the property to gain access to his property and that he would have done so for many years.
Northeastern Baptist College is listed as the owner of the former Kirkside Motor Lodge property west of the fry site. College President Mark Ballard could not be reached Wednesday for comment.
On October 29, 2021, the lawsuit states: “Dionysus notified Aubuchon that the title was not marketable in light of NBC’s claim. … [The] notice to Aubuchon requested that he clear the cloud against the title and granted an extension to the closing date to give Aubuchon a reasonable time to do so.
On January 5, according to the complaint, “Dionysos informed Aubuchon, in light of Aubuchon’s continued failure to remove the title cloud, that he intended to pursue remedies available to Dionysos and requested mediation”.
On February 16, mediation took place, but no resolution was reached, according to the complaint.
Plaintiff also seeks monetary damages plus interest, an award of punitive damages, and all procedural costs, including, but not limited to, his attorney’s fees.