Robert Marani claims he has hypertension, anxiety and depression. And that it’s the village’s fault. So, of course, he sued. Claims the village violated his civil rights. Poor baby.
Offering evidence that the judicial system has not lost sight of common sense, a federal judge dismissed the case before even a single attorney had the chance to speak: “The parties are requested to meet and fully exhaust all settlement possibilities prior to filing any further pleadings.”
This case, of course, involves the screwed-up-from-the-start, not-finished Tuscan Lofts on Madison Street at Circle. If there is a more fully botched mixed-use project anywhere, we’d be surprised. When a first-floor retailer must install gutters inside a specialty shop to carry off rainwater, you know the project has systemic failings.
Where to pin those failings? Make a list. The peripatetic Marani tops the list. It’s his building, his vision, his design, his contracting, his construction. Failed on all counts. The village, its staff and its politicians, failed spectacularly in overseeing this project in the basic ways a local government is expected to function. The building department failed to inspect and enforce code issues until it finally – too late – shut down the project. The politicians, knowing the shortcomings of Robert Marani all too well, failed to lead, although the concerns were obvious and public. Banks that loaned money but didn’t monitor the project deserve to have lost their investments.
All sides failed massively. Entering into lawsuits is only the final admission that Robert Marani doesn’t have his head screwed on straight. The village’s comment that it will rely on the advice of its lawyers before deciding if it will enter discussions with Marani, as the judge advised, only shows how distracted from the dismal realities of this situation all parties have become.
Here’s the issue: This building remains unfinished, its many problems unsolved. Marani isn’t a victim here. He’s a perpetrator. The village, to borrow a phrase from an old Channel 11 self-help show, has been a co-dependent enabler of Marani’s grandiosity.We know who is to blame here. Everybody.
The only issue that matters is how to salvage this mess on behalf of the condo purchasers – both residential and commercial – and how to bring this building project to a non-reeking conclusion so the building is viable going forward.
The rest is just self-involved drama.