The Real Deal New York

City Council and planning department kick can down the road on controversial Two Bridges development

The two sides agreed in court to revisit the issue in February
By Rich Bockmann and Erin Hudson | December 08, 2018 06:05PM

Corey Johnson, Marisa Lago and a rendering of Two Bridges

UPDATED, Dec. 9, 12:50 p.m.: City Council’s temporary restraining order to stop four developers from starting work on a set of resi towers in Two Bridges was not granted.

The order was filed on Friday — the same day as a lawsuit by the City Council and Borough President Gale Brewer against the Department of City Planning, the City Planning Commission and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration — claiming the executive branch’s approval of the three-tower project in Two Bridges usurped the Council’s authority over land-use issues.

But the Council and planning department came to an agreement to put a pause on the development until another court hearing in February.

“We are happy our efforts in court on Friday were successful in ensuring that the development will not proceed until the court has an opportunity to hear our case on the merits,” Council Speaker Corey Johnson said in a statement.

The project consists of three towers being developed by four companies: JDS Development’s 1,000-unit rental tower at 247 Cherry Street; L+M Development and CIM Group’s 798-foot tower at 260 South Street; and Starrett Corporation’s 730-foot building at 259 Clinton Street. It was approved earlier in the week.

The court’s refusal to grant the temporary restraining order allows the developers “to move forward with obtaining the preliminary approvals that are necessary before development of the sites,” according to Nicholas Paolucci, a spokesperson from the New York City Law Department in a statement provided to The Real Deal on Saturday.

The Department of City Planning also issued a statement underlining that the developers promised to deliver a combined 700 units of permanent affordable units along with various transit and public infrastructure improvements: “All of that goes away if the development goes away.”

Paolucci said the parties are expected to be back in court in February.

Updated: This story has been updated to include a comment from Corey Johnson.