Rubin Schron’s Cammeby’s International is destroying a discount store at Trump Village Shopping Center to make way for a rental tower in Coney Island, a new lawsuit claims.
Clothing chain DII, operated by Dee & Dee, alleges that Cammeby’s has violated the terms of its lease by trying to kick it out of the Neptune Avenue location. The store’s lease doesn’t expire for another seven years, but the developer has already started construction around the store, the lawsuit states. A 40-plus-story tower is planned for the store’s location, at 543 Neptune Avenue, though demolition permits have not yet been filed.
Construction has already “disrupted the day-to-day operations of plaintiff’s retail store and damaged plaintiff’s irreplaceable customer goodwill,” the lawsuit claims. The store contends that matters will only get worse, that the developer will gradually ramp of construction and the current disruptions are “merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg, a small indications of epic and massive disruptions that inevitably must follow.”
A spokesperson for Cammeby’s, Christa Segalini, said that the company is also developing an office building nearby where the shopping center’s existing tenants will be able to continue business.
“We have gone above and beyond standard development practice,” she said.”As the result of a carefully aligned construction schedule, we are able to ensure that no tenant will need to relocate from its current space until the new site is ready. But unfortunately, DII has decided that it would rather litigate than continue working together with the mutual goal of meeting the community’s needs.”
DII is seeking $75 million in damages.
The shopping center is located near the housing complex by the same name, which was built by Donald Trump’s father, Fred Trump. Cammeby’s bought the shopping complex in 2013 for $25 million, property records show. The tower planned for the site is expected to have 544 apartments and 162,000 square feet of new retail space.
The project has faced some opposition from residents as well as City Comptroller Scott Stringer, who have argued that the tower — which will be the tallest in its neighborhood — will be out of step with the character of the neighborhood. The developer is also planning a four-story commercial building nearby with community space.
In October, The Real Deal delved into the state of Schron’s business. His two sons, Avi and Eli, are shaping the company by embarking on increasingly ambitious ground-up construction projects.