Building Trades sues Alma Realty for allegedly backing out of agreement to use union labor

Developer promised to negotiate a project labor agreement

New York /
Jun.June 13, 2017 05:00 PM

The Building and Construction Trades Council is going after Alma Realty TRData LogoTINY for allegedly sidestepping its promise to hire union labor on its Astoria Cove megaproject.

The union group filed a lawsuit against the developer in New York Federal Court on Monday, alleging that Alma has failed to negotiate a project labor agreement for the planned 2.2 million-square-foot, mixed-use development. According to the lawsuit, Alma agreed in November 2015 — as part of the negotiations leading up to the City Council’s approval of the project — to hire members of the BCTC for Astoria Cove. In exchange, the group agreed to support the development.

The lawsuit cites permits issued for demolition and plumbing work, as well as the installation of a sidewalk shed as evidence that the developer has embarked on construction work without inking a deal with union laborers. According to the lawsuit, Alma explained to the BCTC that the city’s Department of Buildings ordered the emergency demolition of a one-story building on the site. The union group maintains that construction continued at the site even after Alma assured BCTC that the company still planned to negotiate a project labor agreement.

A spokesperson for Alma referred to the lawsuit as frivolous and “without merit.”

“No physical work has been done for the Astoria Cove project,” the spokesperson said in an email. “The only activity at the site was an emergency demolition order mandated by the city. The emergency work that was ordered is in full compliance and has all relevant approvals.”

The project has been stalled for some time. Most recently, Alma blamed the lapse of the 421a tax break for its inability to move forward on the project, but Politico reported in July that shaky financials were likely the real reason for the delays. Alma started marketing the property in April for $350 million, citing the pending return of 421a.

It’s unclear how a sale of the waterfront property would impact the lawsuit or the agreement to use union labor. But if the project receives the tax exemption, the developer — whoever that ultimately may be — will need to either ink a project labor agreement or pay construction workers an average of $45 per hour, as required under 421a’s successor, Affordable New York.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Developer abandons troubled Hamilton Heights rezoning proposal
Developer abandons troubled Hamilton Heights rezoning proposal
Developer abandons troubled Hamilton Heights rezoning proposal
Damac Properties founder Hussain Sajwani and the Surfside collapse site (Damac, Getty)
Dubai developer revealed as $120M bidder for Surfside collapse site
Dubai developer revealed as $120M bidder for Surfside collapse site
Vorea, Domain and L+M close on $88M LIC development site
Vorea, Domain and L+M close on $88M LIC development site
Vorea, Domain and L+M close on $88M LIC development site
15 Hanover Place in Brooklyn (Google Maps)
Lonicera Partners developing 314-unit building in Brooklyn
Lonicera Partners developing 314-unit building in Brooklyn
Surfside site’s stalking horse bidder signed contract, auction slated for February as claims could reach $1B
Surfside site’s stalking horse bidder signed contract, auction slated for February as claims could reach $1B
Surfside site’s stalking horse bidder signed contract, auction slated for February as claims could reach $1B
Longfellow Real Estate Partners CEO Adam Sichol with renderings of 310 East 67th Street (Friends UES, Rendering by DBOX, Longfellow)
Blood Center rezoning on Upper East Side approved
Blood Center rezoning on Upper East Side approved
Bronx development files late, and local pol claims credit
Bronx development files late, and local pol claims credit
Bronx development files late, and local pol claims credit
Alex Rodriguez and Constantine Scurtis of Lynd (Getty)
A-Rod gets 13 lawsuits dismissed that were filed by ex-brother-in-law over real estate empire
A-Rod gets 13 lawsuits dismissed that were filed by ex-brother-in-law over real estate empire
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...