Superman Building Owners Win the Battle Against Previous Tenants

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Providence, Rhode Island, by flickr user Tony Keny, licensed by Creative Commons.

Corporate corruption?

The 26-story structure in the heart of Providence, Rhode Island, referred to as the Superman Building, has deteriorated over the years. High Rock Westminster Street LLC purchased the building in 2008, and accuses its previous tenant, Bank of America, for breaching the lease contract. In 2013, due to the poor maintenance work of the previous tenant, the building’s owner filed a lawsuit. The main cause for concern was the clear decay of limestone on the sides of the building. High Rock holds the Bank of America responsible.

While the previous tenant has not occupied the building in over four years, the two parties have just now reached a settlement. Before they came to a resolution, they were set to go to trial in Federal Court on Monday, May 15. The specific terms of the settlement were not disclosed to the public; however, it was revealed that the settlement amount is $54 million. Rhode Island Governor, Gina Raimondo, supports the reveal of this settlement value to the public, as taxpayers have aided in the continuing restoration costs of the skyscraper.

Bank of America confesses no wrongdoing in the lawsuit or settlement, and insists that High Rock was looking for a way to generate revenue for its next project: converting the building into livable units. The previous tenant promises that it spent millions of dollars in repairing and maintaining the building. The fact that the building is 89 years old plays a contributing factor into why the building is falling apart.

The owner wishes to save the vacant building. High Rock, with the help of the state, is working to find a potential buyer or new tenant. In addition to its crumbling conditions, the floor plan of the building is also a weak selling point. The currently small quarters of the rooms contradict the popular demand for spacious units. Perhaps the settlement money, won in High Rock’s favor, will lead the Superman Building to a strong future.