Brady Sullivan Tenant Alleges Developer Trashed Art and Heirloom

Tuesday, April 10, 2018
GoLocalProv News Team

Photos at one of the Brady Sullivan properties in MA.
For Matt and Michelle Troiano, their battle with super developer Brady Sullivan seems to never end. They are among the more than 100 people who allege that living in one of Brady Sullivan's mill complexes has been making them sick.

Now, the Troianos claim that when they moved out, Brady Sullivan failed to properly notify them of their storage rights -- and threw out some of the possessions in violation of state law.

The New Hampshire-based company disputes the claims.

Latest Brady Sullivan Battle

For the two artists, the loss of some of the work was heartbreaking and a financial loss.

“I was [an artist], but I’ve been working a day job for the last five years,"  said Michelle Troiano. "Matt is a web designer and was a painter. He hasn’t had time to paint in years. I was a licensed tattoo artist in Massachusetts, and had my own space, before relocating to Rhode Island. I have a degree in illustration from Parsons School of Design. For the last two or three years, my day job has taken over. Now, I make art for fun, when I have time. ”

The Troianos lived at the Harris Mill Lofts in Coventry.

As GoLocal reported on March 16, 2018, the number of tenants with allegations of exposure to "mold and other pathogens" from living at developer Brady Sullivan’s mill buildings in Rhode Island is growing exponentially. Now, there are more than 100 former and present tenants of the mill loft apartment properties with complaints.

Brady Sullivan owns and operates six loft-style apartment mill complexes in Rhode Island. Those properties are:

Harris Mill Lofts in Coventry

US Rubber Lofts in Providence

Lofts at Anthony Mill in Coventry

Tourister Mill in Warren

American Wire in Pawtucket

Lofts at Pocasset Mill in Johnston

Certified Letter Sent to the Address of the Troiano’s Old Address

The Troianos say moving was difficult due to illness that they allege is tried to the mold in their apartment.

“They threw out our art and a few valuables.We were mostly moved out, both ill from the mold, and it took longer than expected. However, they sent us a notice dated 3/27, certified mail, and that was forwarded to our new address 3/30. It was recorded by the USPS as delivered 4/3. We received it on [April 6, 2018]," said Troiano.

“The notice stated we had 7 days to respond, and according to our neighbors, our belongings were beside the dumpster on April 3. What they did not remove, they damaged…and we are heartbroken they callously threw away things that cannot be replaced. The antique press was a family heirloom. Gone forever,” she added.

“Matt was offered $5,000 for the finished piece years ago. He turned it down. I have no idea about the press. It’s been in the family for a long time. Years ago, it printed bags for the family orchard apples sold at a roadside stand. I’ll have to start stalking eBay,” she said.

The Troianos aren’t covered by insurance because they changed their renter's insurance to their new location during the move.

Brady Sullivan Dispute the Claim

“The notice of abandonment was sent to the tenants in question on March 27, 2018, to the only known address we had. Brady Sullivan re-took possession in accord with R.I. Gen. Laws 34-18-40 after the seven day response period expired and there had not been any response. You should know that the tenant skipped out on the last rent payment, so they did not provide us with a forwarding address,” said Patti Doyle, spokesperson for Brady Sullivan in Rhode Island.

Developer says the couple left the apartment unclean PHOTO: Brady Sullivan
“There were no valuables left behind when these tenants vacated the unit and we have communicated that to the attorney representing the former tenants. We took multiple photographs of the unit when we entered to clean which show that the unit was left in filthy condition.  We have also offered to provide those photographs to the attorney. We did find significant trash, a dirty litter box and a refrigerator full of food which had begun to rot. The unit is still being cleaned,” Doyle added.

Besides this dispute and the more than 100 who are claiming to be adversely impacted from adverse environmental issues tied to at least two of the Rhode Island apartment complexes, the company has a checkered history in other states too.

New England Complaints

This is not the first time allegations or enforcement actions have been levied against Brady Sullivan:

Worcester

On January 4, 2016, GoLocal Worcester reported: "A developer who works throughout New England is under fire in New Hampshire — and workers unions and environmentalists are now asking the EPA to investigate all Brady Sullivan properties throughout the region, including Worcester.

Developer Brady Sullivan is currently the subject of a lead contamination lawsuit at Mill West in Manchester, NH, and Kevin Ksen with the Carpenters Local #107 in Worcester said a petition to the EPA with over 20,000 signatures is intended to monitor all of the developer’s properties, and cited examples of labor issues in Massachusetts that prompted the action. 

“We had some experiences with labor issues at Brady Sullivan properties in Massachusetts,” said Ksen.  “Our main concern is when property is developed, are they hiring quality workers, and doing legitimate work.  What happened in [New Hampshire], another contractor wouldn’t get away with that. So when that lawsuit moved forward, that’s what moved us to do the petition with Clean Water Action and Public Citizen,” said Ksen. 

More in Worcester

On January 7, 2016, GoLocal reported:

More concerns are being raised by community organizers and New England labor leaders about the developer poised to redevelop the Old Courthouse in Worcester. But, business leaders and one member of the Worcester City Council defend the developer.

Developer says the couple left the apartment unclean PHOTO: Brady Sullivan
Brady Sullivan, a New Hampshire based company, purchased the building from the City of Worcester in April for $1.2 million. This project is not its only project in the Worcester-area. The company is also developing the Junction Shop Lofts in Worcester and the Lofts at Lancaster Mills in Clinton.

Now, new concerns are coming to light over the quality of the company’s work, issues of environmental exposure and allegation of failure to make timely payment to workers.

As GoLocalWorcester reported on Monday, Developer Brady Sullivan is currently the subject of a lead contamination lawsuit at Mill West in Manchester, NH, and Kevin Ksen with the Carpenters Local #107 in Worcester said a petition to the EPA with over 20,000 signatures is intended to monitor all of the developer’s properties, and cited examples of labor issues in Massachusetts that prompted the action.

“We had some experiences with labor issues at Brady Sullivan properties in Massachusetts,” said Ksen.  “Our main concern is when property is developed, are they hiring quality workers, and doing legitimate work.  What happened in [New Hampshire], another contractor wouldn’t get away with that. So when that lawsuit moved forward, that’s what moved us to do the petition with Clean Water Action and Public Citizen,” said Ksen.  

Now, there are concerns about building quality and new documentation of mold in Brady Sullivan units. 

“If Worcester cared about good jobs for local people, they wouldn’t have gone so willingly into this agreement. Brady Sullivan’s bad reputation is defined by their subcontractors’ track record of poor workmanship, health violations, safety violations, insurance fraud, and wage theft which just keeps getting longer,” Manny Gines, Organizer for the New England Carpenters. “Worcester already decided, so now it’s the City’s responsibility to guarantee that the problems that have been documented in Worcester and Clinton as well as Vermont, and New Hampshire don’t happen again.

"Three of the four workers at Brady Sullivan’s mill project in Clinton that were the victims of wage theft in July were Worcester residents," he said. "That should wake Worcester up enough to know they need to monitor Brady Sullivan and their subcontractors really closely in order to make sure this project doesn’t become a black-eye.”

In contrast, Tim Murray outlines the importance of the redevelopment of the Old Court House, “Brady Sullivan Properties’ multi-million dollar private sector investments in Worcester are significant. These investments are creating many jobs and spending locally where previously there were none as well as restoring dangerous and vacant buildings into needed, market rate, and workforce housing.”

Murray said, “Additionally, these investments expand the city’s tax base, which is critical in paying for needed municipal services. Also, Brady Sullivan’s commitment to work with the city to include local workers and contractors on these projects is fully supported by the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce.”

New Hampshire

New Hampshire Public Radio reported on November 27, 2017, “A group of Manchester residents exposed to elevated levels of lead dust has reached a settlement with property developer Brady Sullivan. Several dozen residents of the Mill West apartment complex in Manchester sued Brady Sullivan, contending that the company’s construction project in 2015 in lower levels of the mill building kicked up dangerous levels of lead-dust into luxury apartments on higher floors.They also say Brady Sullivan, after making complaints about the lead exposure, would not let them out of their leases.” Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Brady Sullivan has also been tied to soil contamination issues on Londonberry, NH, asbestos dumping in Lawrence, MA and more than half a dozen other environment complaints around New England.

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