Developer tosses lawsuit, brews initial ambitions

MERRIMACK – A lawsuit filed by the developer of the former Madden’s Restaurant property has been dropped.

Joseph Cleary of New Horizon Development sued Federated Realty Five and two of its representatives last month, saying they breached a contract, fraudulently misrepresented information and had $500,000 of his money, among other charges.

But Cleary said Friday he has withdrawn the suit in what both sides are now calling a “miscommunication.”

Cleary couldn’t be reached by phone, but wrote in an e-mail, “The lawsuit was a complete misunderstanding caused by a lack of communication and subsequently has been dropped. We look forward to doing more business with Federated Companies and more specifically Jonathan Cox and Jonathan Rauch in the near future.”

Cox and Rauch, both of Federated Realty Five, were specifically named in the suit, which had been filed in Hillsborough County Superior Court.

“It was a miscommunication to begin with, so, obviously once (the lawsuit) was brought to our attention, it was quickly put to bed,” Cox said Friday.

Federated Realty purchased the 583 Daniel den’s’ Restaurant, when the establishment closed last year. In May 2007, the company sold it to Cleary with an agreement that coffee giant Starbucks would be part of development plans.

That fell through this winter when New Horizon representatives reported that Starbucks was in a “holding pattern” due to management changes.

Cleary has since been back to the town’s planning board and was approved to build a retail-only development. Cleary said Friday he’s waiting for the town to issue a certain permit, and then construction will start.

He expects the building to be complete within six months.