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As Suffolk Downs Pitched For HQ2, Former Owners Say They Got Stiffed

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Suffolk Downs in East Boston is reportedly Boston's leading HQ2 bid site.

While Massachusetts leaders tout Suffolk Downs as an ideal location for Amazon HQ2, former investors in the racetrack have accused a business partner of shortchanging them during the property’s sale earlier this year

Seven ex-minority owners in Suffolk Downs have filed a lawsuit against New York-based developer Richard Fields and his company, Coastal Development SSR LLC. The lawsuit accuses the two parties of withholding $2.6M the investors claim they are owed from the $155M sale to HYM Investment Group in May, the Boston Business Journal reports.

Fields is part of the ownership group at Wonderland Greyhound Park, which is getting demolished this week with hopes of landing a new buyer. 

Sterling Suffolk Racecourse LLC previously owned Suffolk Downs. Coastal Development has a 40% stake in Sterling Suffolk, and the seven investors have a combined 9.3% stake in Coastal Development. Those investors claim they have yet to receive any money from the sale, according to the lawsuit filed last week in Suffolk County Superior Court.

Five Massachusetts-based owners are part of the suit: Patrick Corcoran of West Newbury, Walter Downey of West Roxbury, David Geller of Brookline, John L. Hall II of Brookline and Denison Hall of Manchester. 

HYM has publicly indicated it was pursuing retail, residential and office space at Suffolk Downs, but the 161-acre site is one of the few areas in Boston that could conceivably house HQ2 close to the urban core without having to pursue tricky partnerships and costly infrastructure upgrades. Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo has emerged as an advocate for redeveloping the racetrack for the new headquarters.