The Real Deal New York

Judge rules in favor of Trump’s 230-acre Westchester project

By Katherine Clarke | June 03, 2011 01:44PM

A Supreme Court judge has handed down a decision in favor of developer Donald Trump against the Nature Conservancy and a group of individuals, giving Trump an easement necessary for him to finalize Trump Seven Springs, a mega-development planned for three towns — New Castle, Bedford and North Castle, all in Westchester County.

The Nature Conservancy had long objected to Trump’s proposed use of a segment of Oregon Road in North Castle as an access point to the 230-acre residential development, which will contain a plethora of mansions situated on 10-acre lots, filing an injunction to halt access in 2008. The conservancy cites in the injunction potential traffic issues and damage to a surrounding Eugene and Agnes Meyer nature reserve.

Because of the ruling, dated May 27, the Trump Organization’s project team, lead by The Donald’s son Eric, has already begun moving forward with the final stages of engineering, planning and architectural work necessary to begin development.

“We already have final planning on the Bedford section of the development,” Eric told The Real Deal.

“My father has owned the estate for many years,” he said. “He has long wanted to turn it into the highest-end development anywhere in Westchester and the tri-state area.”

He was critical of the Nature Conservancy.

“The Nature Conservancy [was] taking the approach that they owned [the road],” he said.

Trump Seven Springs, bought by Trump in 1994, was formerly owned by the Washington Post’s Meyer family and the Rockefeller family.

In a statement, Donald said he was “thrilled with the court’s very strong decision.”

The Nature Conservancy and its lawyer, Leonard Benowich, were not immediately available for comment and Teri Burke, another defendant who lives on Oregon Road, declined to comment.

Rebecca Kittredge, a council member in North Castle, said she was satisfied with the decision and hadn’t shared her neighbors’ concerns. “I’m happy to have him build his houses,” she said. “We need the money for taxes.”

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