Judge puts a stop to Two Bridges developments — for now

There are three lawsuits trying to block the four buildings

New York /
Jun.June 06, 2019 12:15 PM
From left: Judge Arthur Engoron, JDS Development's Michael Stern, L&M's Ron Moelis, Josh Siegel of Starrett with a rendering of Two Bridges (Credit: Twitter and Curbed NY)

From left: Judge Arthur Engoron, JDS Development’s Michael Stern, L&M’s Ron Moelis, Josh Siegel of Starrett with a rendering of Two Bridges (Credit: Twitter and Curbed NY)

The controversial Two Bridges developments have been hit with another delay.

New York County Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron on Wednesday continued a temporary halt against the projects planned by JDS Development Group, L+M Development Partners, CIM Group and Starrett Development, to construct the four residential towers in the Lower East Side, Gothamist reported.

The City Council and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, as well as various community groups, filed three lawsuits in the past several months to prevent the projects from going forward. A group of protestors in opposition of the huge skyscrapers were at the courthouse on Wednesday, as the judge held a hearing on the three cases.

“These are huge towers. I’ve lived in the city my whole life. You can’t just do this because the zoning allows it. I just can’t believe this is the case,” Engoron said, according to Gothamist.

The judge said his final word on the matter would come in August.

Two Bridges resident Grace Mak heralded the judge’s words, according to the New York Post.

“We were totally absolutely relieved because the developers didn’t think we had a winning chance,” Mak told the outlet.

A spokesperson for the developers told The Real Deal in an emailed statement that they were confident the lawsuits will be dismissed.

“The judge’s decision to extend the TRO for two months does not impact the projects because construction was not planned to start imminently,” the spokesperson wrote. “Contrary to the plaintiffs’ arguments, the right to build is based on zoning laws — not personal policy preferences about building size.”

The developers’ spokesperson also noted that amid a housing crisis in the city, the projects will deliver about 700 units of permanently affordable housing and $40 million in upgrades to the East Broadway subway station, among other benefits.

A representative for the city’s Law Department told Gothamist that they were disappointed with the ruling.

“We respectfully disagree with the court’s preliminary findings,” the spokesperson said. “The approvals made by the City were appropriate and we will continue to defend against the claims challenging these important projects.”

The city gave the OK to the four developers to construct the rental buildings — which would bring 2,775 apartments to the area — at 247 Cherry Street, 260 South Street and 259 Clinton Street. The City Council followed up with a complaint against the Department of City Planning, the City Planning Commission and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration, claiming that the executive branch circumvented the council’s authority on land-use decisions.

A petition filed in March by several neighborhood groups and individual residents called on a judge to rule the approval as illegal because the proposed modifications to the project go against the zoning resolution for large-scale residential projects. The agencies that approved Two Bridges also did not take other matters into account when rendering their decision, such as the impact of gentrification, the petition states. [Gothamist, New York Post] — Mary Diduch  


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Photo composite of Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Getty Images/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
Cuomo to ease Covid restrictions, but not on indoor dining
Cuomo to ease Covid restrictions, but not on indoor dining
Gotham's Joel Picket and David Picket with 538 10th Ave. (Google Maps)
Gotham plans massive mixed-use building on Far West Side
Gotham plans massive mixed-use building on Far West Side
Lewis Road Residential Planned Development (Pine Barrens, iStock)
Big golf, resi project in East Quogue approved
Big golf, resi project in East Quogue approved
From left: BSA chairwoman Margery Perlmutter, DRAW Brooklyn founder Alexandros Washburn, New York City Council Member Carlos Menchaca with renderings of the project (Photos via the City of New York, LinkedIn and Arquitectonica)
How a Red Hook developer circumvented the City Council
How a Red Hook developer circumvented the City Council
15 Park Row (Google Maps)
J&R Music founders sell Park Row apartment tower for $140M
J&R Music founders sell Park Row apartment tower for $140M
Claudio Del Vecchio has owned Brooks Brothers since 2001. (Getty)
Brooks Brothers’ Madison Ave store could give way to Midtown East tower
Brooks Brothers’ Madison Ave store could give way to Midtown East tower
(Photo illustration by The Real Deal)
This office redeveloper is going all in
This office redeveloper is going all in
Clare Newman with Governors Island (Credit: Governors Island, Getty Images)
Governors Island redevelopment opposed as excessive
Governors Island redevelopment opposed as excessive
arrow_forward_ios

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

Loading...