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Lawyer says Woodmont lawsuit won't be affected by Market Basket CEO firing

LONDONDERRY — A legal dispute between the developer of the pending Woodmont Commons project and the owners of the Market Basket supermarkets remains unresolved in the wake of Monday’s firing of the company’s CEO, Arthur T. Demoulas.

But the attorney representing Woodmont developers Pillsbury Realty Development, LLC, said Demoulas’ firing would make no difference in the lawsuit’s final outcome.

“This does not alter the binding contractual commitments that he and the (Market Basket) Board of Directors made to our client and the town of Londonderry back in 2011,” attorney Daniel Luker said on Tuesday.
Luker said he didn’t expect the case to be resolved anytime soon.

“Preliminary pleadings are being exchanged, and an attachment hearing has been scheduled for mid-September,” he said this week.

In March, Pillsbury Realty Development, LLC filed a $22.5 million lawsuit against the supermarket chain in Rockingham Superior Court. Luker said Pillsbury Realty principal Mike Kettenbach is attempting to attach some of the company’s real estate to obtain part of that sum.
In the lawsuit, Kettenbach, whose wife, Frances, is the ousted Demoulas’ sister, alleged that an access road into the yet-to-be-built Woodmont Commons development was part of his original agreement made over three years ago with Market Basket.
Though Kettenbach once worked as the supermarket chain’s head of real estate acquisitions, he’s said from the beginning that Woodmont Commons is an independent project of his and has no connection to any Market Basket business transactions.
The Londonderry Market Basket was relocated to the other side of the Garden Lane shopping plaza several years ago.

According to Woodmont attorney Ari Pollack, the agreement to build an access road connecting Route 102 to the Woodmont Commons planned unit development by way of the plaza stemmed from a planning agreement with the town as a condition to relocate the Londonderry store.

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