For Immediate Release: 4/12/2018 10:57 am
The City of Worcester has reached a settlement agreement with Fargo Management LLC in the skybridge lawsuit originally filed in 2012 (Fargo Management, LLC v. City of Worcester, Worcester Superior Court Civil Action No. 12-1028-C).
“By reaching a settlement the City has been able to resolve a large liability that had been ongoing for 12 years,” said City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. “We’re looking forward to putting this situation behind us.”
Under the settlement, the City will not be required to build skybridges (elevated pedestrian walkways) between the Hilton Garden Inn, Major Taylor Boulevard Garage and the DCU Center.
The City will pay the hotel $12.5 million, repaid over five years (six fiscal years). A down payment of $1.5 million will be paid upon settlement with an $11 million balance in principal payable in five equal installments of $2.2 million (July 2018-July 2022).
In 2016, the Superior Court ruled that the hotel was entitled to both the skybridges being built as well as monetary damages for failure to have the skybridges for a 10-year period. On top of the estimated cost of $15 million for constructing the skybridges, the City could have been responsible for an additional $10 million in damages for an estimated total of $25 million had the case not been settled through mediation.
Concerning the Major Taylor Boulevard Garage, the existing parking terms will be revised under the Land Disposition and Development Agreement so that the hotel receives 150 guaranteed spaces and 150 reserved spaces. The current term will also be extended by 10 years from 2018-2037. Fargo Management LLC will begin payment immediately at a rate of $15,000 monthly for 2018 with increases of three percent per year for a period of 20 years. Fargo will also put a digital sign on the UNO façade at its own expense subject to permitting.