The Real Deal New York

Developers sue JDS to block 1,000-foot LES tower

Gary Spindler, Roy Schoenberg claim Stern's firm "hijacked" its air rights
August 05, 2016 05:50PM

From left: Gary Spindler, a rendering of 80 Rutgers Slip and Michael Stern

From left: Gary Spindler, a rendering of 80 Rutgers Slip and Michael Stern

Developers Gary Spindler and Roy Schoenberg are suing Michael Stern’s JDS Development to block the firm’s planned supertall rental tower on the Lower East Side.

The pair accuses JDS TRData LogoTINY of “hijacking” air rights they were in contract to buy, and seeks unspecified damages, Crain’s reported.

According to the complaint, Spindler and Schoenberg signed a contract to buy 235 Cherry Street from two nonprofits, Settlement Housing Fund and Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, in 2012 with plans to build an affordable housing development. But the organizations later canceled the contract and sold the property’s air rights to JDS instead.

Michael Stern’s firm plans to build an 80-story condominium tower at 80 Rutgers Slip, a block from Extell Development’s proposed tower One Manhattan Square.

Spindler and Schoenberg allege that Stern “deliberately induced” the nonprofits to terminate their contract and sell to him instead.

They previously sued the nonprofits over the canceled deal, and last month the Department of City Planning said it won’t approve Stern’s development until that lawsuit is resolved.

JDS is also developing a 1,438-foot-tall condominium tower at 111 West 57th Street with Property Markets Group and plans to build a 1,066-foot-tall tower at 9 Dekalb Avenue with Chetrit Group. The Real Deal profiled JDS in its June issue. [Crain’s] — Konrad Putzier