Developers File Second Lawsuit to Halt 1,000-Foot Supertall Tower on the LES Waterfront

Posted on: August 8th, 2016 at 5:09 am by
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That thousand-foot supertall skyscraper on the Lower East Side waterfront was delivered another setback last week. A second lawsuit on the doorstep delivered by a thorn in the proverbial side.

Gary Spindler and Roy Schoenberg of Little Cherry LLC – already in court with Two Bridges Neighborhood Council and Settlement Housing Fund over shirking its deal to create a 47-story building on the Pathmark pharmacy site – filed a related suit against mega developers JDS Development and SHoP Architects this past Friday. You’ll recall that these guys are planning a 77-story, thousand-foot tower literally on the back of senior housing at 80 Rutgers Street.

As previously reported, the Department of City Planning put the kibosh on the project until the initial lawsuit is settled. But with this latest legal maneuver, it might be even longer before this construction, the tallest in the area, blocks the light.

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In the end, past transgressions continue to haunt Two Bridges Neighborhood Council and Settlement Housing Fund, which together co-own the land in question (i.e. 247 Cherry Street). Despite news about the purported $51 million sale of 500,000 square-feet of air rights earlier this year, project renderings, the planned 600 rental units, and community center for this cantilevering beast, Spindler and Schoenberg remain the wedge here.

Crain’s had the scoop:

Friday’s lawsuit accuses [JDS Development head Michael] Stern of helping the nonprofits undermine their contract. In addition, because Little Cherry holds a ground lease on 235 Cherry St., it argues that it has to approve the sale of development rights to Stern and since Little Cherry does not plan on giving its consent, the firm argues that the deal is not valid.

“Little Cherry is claiming that, as a tenant, it has veto power, and that JDS is unlawfully interfering with its rights,” said Raymond Hannigan, a partner at law firm Herrick, Feinstein representing the plaintiffs.

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247 Cherry rendering, Note the egregious stilts and cantilever

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