Court decision throws JDS’ controversial Two Bridges development into jeopardy

The owner of the site’s ground lease has refused to give consent to the development
July 18, 2019 09:30AM

JDS Development's Michael Stern and a rendering of Two Bridges (Credit: Rendering by Handel Architects via Curbed NY)

JDS Development’s Michael Stern and a rendering of Two Bridges (Credit: Rendering by Handel Architects via Curbed NY)

An appellate court has ruled that the owner of a long-term ground lease at the site of a controversial Two Bridges development should have a say in how the land is used.

The owner, Little Cherry LLC, has 25 years left on a ground lease at the 235 Cherry Street site, according to The City. They have so far refused to give consent to the development, which calls for constructing a 1,000-foot tower above the one-story building on their site, as well as a senior residence next door.

In 2018, the city granted approval to JDS Development, L+M Development, CIM Group and Starrett Corporation to build rental towers at 247 Cherry Street, 260 South Street and 259 Clinton Street.

However the ruling may cause problems for JDS’s development, which has faced a string of earlier challenges. In May, residents filed a petition against the city, the City Planning Commission, the Department of Buildings and the Department of City Planning, alleging the approval of the project was illegal. The City Council also filed a petition objecting to the approval.

A JDS spokesperson told The City that the company would “continue to defend the case vigorously,” and that “the case nor the ruling will impact the development in any meaningful way.”

However Little Cherry’s attorney, Raymond Hannigan, saw the ruling differently, describing it as “a serious decision putting a roadblock in the way of Mr. Stern’s development.”

“He can’t build his megaproject without getting our client’s consent,” Hannigan said. “And we’re refusing to give our consent.” [The City] — Sylvia Varnham O’Regan