Charlestown Shipyard Quarters Marina to be Sold; Former Owner to Pay Up to $450,000 in Penalties
Marina To Be Redeveloped Into a New Full Scale State-of-the-art Marina
BOSTON – The owner of Shipyard Quarters Marina in Charlestown will pay up to $450,000 in penalties to settle a slew of environmental and public safety violations and has decided to sell the facility to a local developer, who will turn the property into a multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art marina, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.
“After suffering years of neglect, Shipyard Quarters Marina will no longer pose a threat to public safety,” AG Coakley said. “We look forward to working with Mayor Walsh’s Office, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, and the new owner to ensure that the public and boat owners can enjoy a brand new marina and refurbished Harborwalk in the heart of Boston.”
“I'm extremely pleased to see this issue come to a close,” Mayor Martin Walsh said. “With this settlement, Charlestown residents and boat owners will get back what they deserve: a safe and beautiful marina for all to enjoy. I'm grateful to the Attorney General's Office for their dedication and hard work in pursuing this case on behalf of the people of Boston.”
“This is a prime example of what can happen when a marina owner fails to maintain structures as required under the Commonwealth’s common sense Waterways statute,” said Commissioner David W. Cash of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). “I am relieved this dilapidated marina is finally being removed and will no longer be a source of debris threatening safe navigation in Boston Harbor. The repairs will enhance public benefits in the Charlestown Navy Yard area and expand pedestrian access around the perimeter of these prominent, historic piers.”
On Tuesday afternoon, Judge Elizabeth Fahey approved the consent judgment that was filed last week in Suffolk Superior Court and requires that the marina owner Martin Oliner and his entities Shipyard Quarters Marina, LLC and LDA Pier 9, LLC, to pay a $250,000 civil penalty within 21 days of the entry of the consent judgment, with an additional $200,000 suspended and waived if certain milestones are achieved within specific timeframes. This is the largest penalty to date under the Massachusetts Waterways Act.
Oliner of Lawrence, N.Y has also decided to sell the marina to Charles Lagasse, Jr., a well-respected and experienced Newburyport developer who owns and operates the Boston Yacht Haven on Commercial Wharf. Once the property is sold, Oliner will no longer own, manage, or operate the marina going forward.
Lagasse’s entity, Charlestown Marina LLC, will take ownership of the marina and assume the responsibilities embodied by the consent judgment, that are expected to give rise to a vibrant new marina on the Charlestown waterfront. Those responsibilities include:
- the removal of all dilapidated docks at the piers 6 and 8 sections of the marina by Oct 31;
- the construction of new docking facilities at pier 8 in accordance with a future approval from MassDEP, with at least 50 slips operational by May 1, 2016 and the remainder operational by May 1, 2017;
- the construction of new docking facilities at pier 6 within two years of the date that MassDEP issues a new waterways license;
- the extension of the Boston Harborwalk around the full perimeter of pier 6;
- the replacement of the old, deteriorated decking on pier 6 and pier 8;
- the conversion of private parking on the piers to public parking; and
- the completion of short and long term repairs to ensure the structural integrity of the harborwalk and piers 6 and 8.
According to the settlement, Lagasse has agreed to pay up to $250,000 if his company does not meet the construction deadlines.
A lawsuit and request for a preliminary injunction against Oliner, Shipyard Quarters Marina, and LDA Pier 9 were filed together in Suffolk Superior Court in August 2013.
According to the complaint, Oliner was appointed as the trustee of the Shipyard Marina Trust and Shipyard Quarters in August 2005. At the time the lawsuit was filed, he was then the sole manager of Shipyard Quarters Marina and LDA Pier 9, which were also named as defendants.
The complaint alleged that Oliner and his entities had failed to maintain the marina in good working order and failed to obtain authorization from MassDEP for alterations of the building on pier 6, which now serves as the location for the Pier 6 Restaurant.
Acting on the Commonwealth’s request, the court entered a preliminary injunction, requiring Oliner to submit to the Commonwealth a full engineering inspection report on the marina. The inspection ultimately showed that all of the docking facilities at the marina and substantial sections of the harborwalk and pier 8 were unsafe.
Oliner was also ordered to reimburse current vessel owners for their lost use of the marina from the date the docking facilities were closed to the end of their lease terms and to provide a reasonable amount of time for boat owners – some of whom lived on their boats – to leave. During that period, the Attorney General’s Office assisted in the process of reimbursing the displaced boat owners and, in collaboration with the City of Boston and MassDEP, assisted owners who used their boats as their sole residence to find new marinas.
In addition, the injunction also froze both Oliner’s personal financial assets and his entities’ assets. The injunction also required regular inspections of the marina and the completion of certain immediate repairs to ensure the public’s continued safe use of the harborwalk and pier 8.
The case is being handled by Assistant Attorneys General Seth Schofield and Betsy Harper of Attorney General Coakley’s Environmental Protection Division, with assistance from Advocate Amber Foley from the AG’s Victim Services Division, Jennifer Davis, Senior Counsel in MassDEP’s Office of General Counsel, Benjamin Lynch, Chief, and Andrea Langhauser, Senior Planner, of MassDEP’s Waterways Program, and Lealdon Langley, Director for MassDEP’s Wetlends and Waterways Program. In addition, the AG’s Office worked closely with Stephanie Kruel, former agent for the Boston Conservation Commission, David Waterfall, Assistant Corporation Counsel for the Boston Conservation Commission, Sergeant Joseph Cheevers of Boston’s Harbor Patrol Unit, and Edward Coburn, Assistant Corporation Counsel for Boston’s Inspectional Services Department.