Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A continued snag in Site 5 (and giant planned building): court schedule suggests P.C. Richard case won't be resolved until next year

Plans for development of a giant building on Site 5, currently home to P.C. Richard and Modell's, were snagged in March, as I wrote, when a state judge granted a preliminary injunction stalling the process by which Empire State Development would condemn the property for the ultimate use of Greenland Forest City Partners.

They were further stalled after an appeals court denied an appeal by Forest City Ratner, which signed a disputed letter of intent (LOI) with P.C. Richard parent A.J. Richard. 

Now, according to an order (below) signed 5/10/16 by Kings County Supreme Court Justice Sylvia G. Ash, the two adversaries face a court schedule for document production, depositions, and more, to be completed by 3/31/17, presaging a trial. (Of course, the case may settle at any point.)
"There are no updates on Site 5," ESD official Marion Phillips III said at the meeting yesterday of the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation. "The condemnation has been halted, as well as project movement." 

So the state authority has no formal proposal for what I've dubbed the "Brooklyn Behemoth," the developers' plan to move the bulk of the B1 tower approved for the arena plaza across the street, thus creating a tower with some 1.55 million square feet in bulk. Then again, the developer is looking for an architect for the Site 5 tower.

Unofficial mockup of Site 5 tower
The outline of the dispute

A.J. Richard seeks declaratory judgment, specific performance and injunctive relief to enforce
the 12/2/06 written agreement with Forest City Ratner. The plaintiff contends that Forest City is required to acquire the store and convey a replacement property--a commercial unit in the new building be built on the same site.

Forest City contends that the the letter of intent is merely a proposal, not a binding contract, and that "specific performance and injunctive relief are barred because plaintiff has an adequate remedy at law"--i.e., presumably that Forest City could pay.

Forest City has said that plans for that tower include Time Warner Center-style retail--not the same as a discount electronics store.

Many documents are under seal.

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