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In the new South Boston, a parking space goes for six figures

A West Broadway condo association has sued the developers who put up their building and a man who lives down the street but who has a deed to one of its parking spaces, saying the developers sold him the space after they had already given up control of the building.

In its suit, filed this week in Suffolk Superior Court, the 150 West Broadway Condominium Trust asks a judge to boot Peter Russell, who lists another West Broadway address, from Parking Space 8 and to pay 2 1/2 year's worth of "fair market" parking fees for the time he's used it. The trust is also asking for a judge to "quiet" or basically revoke, the deed that developers Joe Hassell and Stephen Pitrowski recorded for their sale of the space to Russell, and for Russell and the developers to pay for trust's legal costs.

Should the judge find the sale was legal, the trust continues, it asks the developers be forced to hand over the $112,500 Russell paid for the space, since it was sold after the developers had ceded the building to the trust - and to require that should Russell sell the space, he only sell it to an actual resident of the building. The 24-unit building has 32 parking spaces in an underground garage.

The trust alleges that Hassell and Pitrowski filed a master deed for the building with the Registry of Deeds in May, 2018 agreeing to hand over the entire building, including its parking spaces, to the trust after certain sales conditions had been met, and that that handover occurred on Sept. 27, 2019, after three resident trustees were elected to replace the developers in that role.

But, the complaint continues, the developers then sold a parking space to Russell on March 30, 2020, even though their LLC no longer owned the building. A deed for the space was recorded with the Suffolk County Registry of Deeds on April 6, 2020.

It adds:

Parking spaces are at a premium in the geographic area of the locus with such spaces often made available for use on the basis of daily, weekly, or monthly fees.

Although Defendant Peter Russell has enjoyed the use and occupancy of the locus, he has paid no fees for the same to Plaintiff, the rightful owner of the locus.

Defendant Peter Russell's use and occupancy of the locus has prevented Plaintiff from providing the use and occupancy to anyone else for a fee.

Complete complaint (3M PDF).



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nobody cares about a parking spot? And this development had more spots than units.

Voting closed 8

Ever hear of the cliche saying "Money talks, bullshit walks." ?? That's why it's a cliche. And a sad fact of real life in politics and getting what you want. Especially in a city that's getting more and more congested.

Voting closed 13

Who is the bullshitter, here? Russell, who paid $112,500 for the parking spot? Hassell and Pitrowski, who allegedly sold the parking spot after they no longer had a right do so? The condo trust, who hired a law firm to sue Hassell, Pitrowski, and Russell?

I'm genuinely confused, because it seems like everyone involved probably has fairly deep pockets.

Or are you just making a general observation about the fact that someone paid > $100k for a spot in parking garage?

Voting closed 5

I'm not a lawyer but this looks like a fraud case to me.

Mr. Russell was defrauded by the developers who no longer had control of the parking spaces in that building at the time of the sale.

Mr. Russell will have to relinquish the space that was fraudulently sold to him. The developers should return the money from the sale to Mr. Russell. Mr. Russell is the victim here so any fees owed to the legitimate owners of the space should also be the responsibility of the fraudsters who cheated him.

OT: Lots of "anons" around lately. I wonder what they are afraid of that stops them from creating an account with an actual username? I'm not talking about Anon of course.

Voting closed 22

This is what title insurance is for.

Voting closed 12

Does it actually work out that way? Or do they find a reason to deny the claim, because their lawyers have been doing this a long time and knew what to put in the fine print?

Even if they do pay out without a lot of grief, it's still a scam. You know that ballot question to require dental insurance companies to pay out 83% in claims? Title insurance pays out about 4%! The industry and the lawyers it pays off are so politically connected that nobody feels like fixing this.

Voting closed 7

But I just never cared enough to get one. It's just sorta meaningless to me.

Voting closed 6

This never would have happened in old Southie.

Voting closed 2

Is there more to this case? As it's described here, it seems pretty obvious that the developer had no right to sell the parking space. Why is it going to trial if the conclusion is so obvious?

Voting closed 6

At a certain point the developer Does give over control of the condo association to the owners. That doesn't mean it gives over ownership rights to units or parking spaces it hasn't sold yet. You have to see what the condo docs say, usually they reserve the right of the developer to sell the spaces. Sometimes you can only sell to residents of that condo, sometimes not.

People are taking this story on face value, but it may be the view from one side. (No, I will not read the condo docs for you.)

Voting closed 2