The Real Deal New York

P.C. Richard sues Forest City over eminent domain seizure at Pacific Park

Two sides signed LOI over possible condemnation of 590 Atlantic Avenue

January 26, 2016 06:15PM
By Rey Mashayekhi

590 Atlantic Avenue

590 Atlantic Avenue in Downtown Brooklyn (inset: MaryAnne Gilmartin)

It’s the fuse that finally burnt out.

Electronics chain P.C. Richard & Son is suing Forest City Ratner over the eminent domain condemnation of the retailer’s Downtown Brooklyn store at 590 Atlantic Avenue, where the developer plans to build a 25-story tower as part of its Pacific Park project.

The two sides signed a letter of intent in 2006 detailing an agreement whereby, if the Empire State Development Corp. were to condemn 590 Atlantic Avenue as part of the developer’s plans for its Atlantic Yards (now Pacific Park) project, Forest City would provide P.C. Richard with space at a new development at the site.

In September 2015, Empire State Development kicked off the eminent domain process at the property, known as Site 5, which houses both P.C. Richard and a Modell’s sporting goods store. The location is adjacent to the Barclays Center and Atlantic Terminal and holds nearly 440,000 square feet of development rights, according to Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Report, a watchdog blog.

But while Forest City claims the 2006 LOI was non-binding and featured only an obligation to enter good-faith negotiations with P.C. Richard, the retailer, which owns its portion of Site 5, alleges the agreement is binding and entitles it to a new retail space at Forest City’s development.

P.C. Richard filed for a preliminary injunction against Forest City in Kings County Supreme Court last month seeking to prohibit the developer from leasing “retail space on the lower floors of any tower erected” on the property and arguing the retailer is entitled to “a replacement property at the same location” on the lower floors of the development.

Forest City responded to the filing on Jan. 15, court documents show, denying P.C. Richard’s allegations. The parties are due in court Feb. 18.

Representatives for both P.C. Richard and Forest City, which is developing Pacific Park through a joint venture with Greenland USA, declined to comment.

In November, the city’s Economic Development Corp. said it is looking to redevelop P.C. Richard’s longtime Union Square location, which sits on a city-owned site at 124 East 14th Street. The retailer subsequently signed a lease for a new 20,000-square-foot Harlem location, at 309 West 125th Street, later that month.

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