Portsmouth, NH

Alleged reneging on deal by Portsmouth City Council restarts lawsuit from McIntyre site developers. New design at issue.

American Household News

Redgate-Kane partnership files motion to remove stay on lawsuit against City of Portsmouth.

PORTSMOUTH, NH – A development team that has been working for years on a plan to redevelop the federally controlled McIntyre site in downtown Portsmouth is resuming litigation against the City because the developers charge that the City Council and members of a Council sub committee have acted in bad faith on top of reneging on a binding agreement.

The lead figure for development partners Redgate-Kane announced they will "move forward and pursue relief and damages against the City for its breaching of a binding agreement and failure to act in good faith during negotiations over re-design of the McIntyre project," according to a press release posted on The Kane Company website. The long-planned redevelopment of that downtown property - home of the Thomas J. McIntyre Federal building - requires approval of the National Park Service.

“The Portsmouth City Council has done a disservice to this community with its actions, its indifference, and its complete failure to act in the best interests of Portsmouth,” said Michael Kane, President and CEO of The Kane Company, in a statement from the company's press release. “The Council’s reckless decision to breach our agreement has been compounded over the past 18 months by their disregard for the deep commitment of Redgate Kane to redevelopment of downtown Portsmouth. Regrettably, resuming this litigation is our only recourse.”

Thomas J. McIntyre Federal Building - Portsmouth, NH- City of Portsmouth image

The lawsuit was originally filed in March 2020, when Redgate-Kane first alleged that the City Council breached a binding agreement on the McIntyre project between the City and the development team. The following month developers agreed to stay the lawsuit during a period of negotiations with a Council sub committee. But after reaching common ground on a complex redesign of the original project plan, Redgate-Kane says, the Council sub committee said no action would be taken to enact a new binding agreement until after the November 2 municipal elections in Portsmouth.

The development team filed documents in Rockingham Superior Court on Tuesday, October 19 to resume the lawsuit. The partnership is seeking financial considerations it would have received under the original development agreement.

“The City Council has betrayed every stakeholder in the future of the McIntyre site and the redevelopment of downtown Portsmouth,” Kane said in the press release. “They broke our original binding agreement that was based on our original design. And they refused to honor the terms we negotiated to contemplate a redesign of the project.”

City officials are so far balking at the Redgate-Kane assertions - which include strong indications that the National Park Service does not favor the project redesign initiated by the City after the Council allegedly bailed on the original binding agreement.

"The challenge facing the Subcommittee and the City Council in connection with the McIntyre Federal Building is complex. The citizens of the City have selected a design. As our development partner knows, we have been in active discussion seeking the approval of the National Park Service of that design," the Council's McIntyre Subcommittee said in an October 20 statement posted on the City's project web site. "Simultaneously, we must continue to work with our development partner, Redgate/Kane, to reach an agreement under which Redgate/Kane will construct the selected design in accordance with a financial plan that must also satisfy the requirements of the National Park Service. Notwithstanding that complexity and the comments recently made by Redgate/Kane, we will continue with those efforts."

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