Boston developers settle nasty dispute over $800M condo project
From scrapped condos to destroyed evidence, the saga has come to an end
John Fish and Stephen Weiner have called off their contentious dispute after four years of occupying center stage in Boston’s real estate industry.
Suffolk Construction’s Fish and Weiner Ventures’ Stephen and Adam Weiner settled litigation over a failed $800 million condominium project in the Back Bay neighborhood, the Boston Globe reported. The two sides released identical statements, confirming that the dispute had been resolved. Terms were not disclosed.
Fish and the Weiners have been at each other’s throats for years. The legal fight created a fissure between Fish and Stephen Weiner, who were once close, but have drifted as the battle dragged on.
It all started in August 2019, when Weiner — best known for developing the local Mandarin Oriental hotel — released a statement announcing the scrapping of the luxury condo project at 1000 Boylston Street, which Weiner personally invested in. That announcement didn’t appear to have any sign off from Suffolk Construction, which was building the property.
Two months later, Suffolk’s Fish sued Weiner and his son, Adam, alleging the loss of tens of millions of dollars when the Weiners backed out of the project. Fish claimed Stephen didn’t want to backstop $400 million in financing for the development.
The Weiners eventually countersued for fraud and negligent misrepresentation. The father-son duo claimed Fish lied when he said he could obtain state approvals by a certain date and on favorable terms. They also claimed Fish was actually the one to cancel the project.
Most of the counterclaims were dismissed in 2021, but Fish pressed on, even suing the law firm that worked on the condo project and represented Weiner’s company in the original lawsuit. That $300 million lawsuit was settled two years ago.
The case took a turn against the Weiners a year ago when a judge ruled that the Weiners deleted emails and text messages despite knowing Fish was likely to sue them. The Weiners had claimed they didn’t think a lawsuit was likely and that it was normal business practice for them to wipe electronic communications.
— Holden Walter-Warner