|Court Allows Petricca to Collect Rent From Mall Tenants|
|By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff|
02:39AM / Friday, January 05, 2018
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Judge Paul Smyth has allowed Petricca Construction to recoup some $72,000 of credits tenants owe to the Berkshire Mall.
Petricca is attempting to essentially garnish the mall owner's wages to the tune of $248,997 owed to the company for snow removal. Petricca had sued and won the case against Berkshire Mall Realty Holdings over work performed last winter.
The owners never paid the Berkshire Superior Court judgement and, in November, Petricca started a trustee process. The court summonsed 19 stores at the Berkshire Mall to disclose what they owed in credits to the mall and, one by one, the majority of the stores agreed to withhold rent or other payments until the court made a judgement on the process.
On Wednesday, Smyth approved a motion to charge the Palace Hair Design, His and Hers Inc, Regal Cinemas, Sears Roebuck and Co., Solomon's Furniture, and Spencer Gifts amounts the companies disclosed owing to the mall owners.
The collection, however, is only part of what is owed to Petricca. In seeking the ex parte trustee process, Petricca's attorneys wrote there "is a clear danger that the defendant, if notified in advance of the motion for approval of the trustee process, will attempt to divert or conceal, or otherwise place out of reach the funds in the hands and possession of the trustee sought by this attachment."
The issue dates back to last winter, when Petricca had entered an agreement to plow and remove snow from the Berkshire Mall parking lot.
"On or around October 26, 2016, Berkshire Realty and PCC entered into an agreement concerning the provision of services at the Berkshire Mall. According to the agreement, Petricca Construction Company agreed to provide snow removal services as well as services incidental to snow removal, including salting, at a property operated by Berkshire Realty known as the Berkshire Mall," reads the docket filed in Berkshire Superior Court.
The lawsuit is the largest of three filed against the owners of the Berkshire Mall in 2017 for unpaid bills.
The Berkshire Mall has been struggling recently with the loss of multiple anchor stores. Macy's, Best Buy, Sears, and J.C. Penney have all opted to vacate the property.