Stop & Shop Purchases CanalSide Commons Property for $10 Million

This image which outlines the Canalside Commons property is part of the listing for the cancelled  Canalside Commons auction that was to take place 10/22/2013 .
IMAGE COURTESY McLaughlin & Co. LLC - This image which outlines the Canalside Commons property is part of the listing for the cancelled Canalside Commons auction that was to take place 10/22/2013 .

For 50 years, the 152-acre parcel of land at the top of MacArthur Boulevard, fronting the Bourne Rotary, has been owned by the family of Bourne resident, L. Mark DeCicco. That changed two weeks ago when Mr. DeCicco and his family sold the property, which had been the proposed site of CanalSide Commons, to a corporation set up by Stop & Shop Supermarket Company out of Quincy for $10 million.

Sales records filed with the office of Secretary of State William F. Galvin show that the property was sold on October 4 to Rotary Development LLC, a corporation out of Delaware. The company’s business address is listed as 1385 Hancock Street in Quincy, which is the address of Stop & Shop’s corporate headquarters. Records also show that the corporation was established by Stop & Shop on August 15.

The property had been scheduled to go up for auction next Tuesday, but then Rotary Development LLC stepped in with its offer for the property, Mr. DeCicco said. He confirmed that the Rotary Development LLC was in fact Stop & Shop.

Mr. DeCicco said that 50 years was a long time to own the property, and there is good and bad to the sale. “Most of all, it’s nice to be out of the pressure of foreclosure,” he said.

The sale brings to a conclusion a long-standing feud between Mr. DeCicco and a childhood friend of his, Lenord G. Cubellis. In 1998, the DeCicco family was looking to sell the land and entered into an agreement giving Mr. Cubellis the right to develop the property. The approval process for what began as a proposal to build a hotel on the property and ended with a multi-use retail and affordable housing project called CanalSide Commons dragged on for years.

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During those years, the real estate market tanked and the relationship between Mr. DeCicco and Mr. Cubellis deteriorated. In 2008, Mr. Cubellis filed suit against the DeCicco family and its land trust to stop them from selling the property to other potential buyers. By 2011, both sides reached an out-of-court settlement that returned control of the land to the DeCicco family. That deal required the family to reimburse Mr. Cubellis for the $3.8 million that he had spent trying to develop the site.

Mr. DeCicco said that after the settlement agreement there were several potential buyers for the property, including Stop & Shop, but those negotiations fell through.

Mr. Cubellis filed paperwork that attached a default interest rate of more than 20 percent to the unpaid settlement, and the balance owed by the trust ballooned to $5.6 million.

He filed suit in Barnstable County Superior Court, alleging that since the DeCiccos had not paid him, they were in default on the property. A superior court judge ruled in favor of Mr. Cubellis’s lawsuit. The property was scheduled to go up for auction on August 28, but Mr. DeCicco was successful in postponing it to October 22.

Mr. DeCicco said that a sizable amount of the $10 million sales proceeds went to Mr. Cubellis to settle the debt owed by the DeCicco family trust. He declined to say exactly how much went to his former friend.

Mr. DeCicco said that he had asked if the corporation plans to develop the site and they said that they do.

Lindsay Hawley of Stop & Shop’s New England Division said that the company would not comment on its plans for the property.

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