Muss cleared of wrongdoing on botched Staten Island deal

NJ investor sued Queens developer over $4M deposit on a $38M parcel

Prince's Point Staten Island
The Prince's Point site on Staten Island

The New York State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division upheld a ruling last week that absolves Muss Development of wrongdoing in relation to the Queens-based firm’s botched $38 million sale of a Staten Island development site.

The court ruled in 2014 that Muss is not responsible for problems with a seawall at the 23-acre site, which New Jersey investor Lawrence Bresnick agreed to acquire through his entity, Prince’s Point LLC, for nearly $38 million in 2006.

An appellate division panel recently upheld that decision, meaning that Muss gets to keep the $4 million deposit that Prince’s Point put down on the property, plus another $1 million in fees, according to the New York Observer.

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Bresnick sued Muss several months before the deal was set to close in 2008, claiming he was “defrauded into entering contract” on the site because Muss hadn’t disclosed issues with a seawall built to protect the land.

In last week’s decision upholding the ruling, Judge Rolando Acosta wrote that Prince’s Point’s allegations were invalid because the LLC breached its contract with Muss by suing before the deal had been finalized.

The Jason Muss-led firm has owned the long-vacant Staten Island parcel since the 1970s and has since put the property, which contains roughly 450,000 buildable square feet, back on the market, as The Real Deal reported in January 2015. [NYO] — Rey Mashayekhi and Kyna Doles