DCP blocks Michael Stern’s 1,000-foot LES tower – for now

No approval of 247 Cherry project until related lawsuit is resolved: agency

Rendering of 247 Cherry Street
Rendering of 247 Cherry Street

UPDATED, July 7, 10:18 a.m.: It’ll be a while before there’s a cherry on this cake.

The Department of City Planning said it will not approve JDS Development’s [TRData] proposed 1,000-foot tall tower on the Lower East Side until a related lawsuit is resolved.

The lawsuit centers on an air rights deal for the 80-story rental development, which Michael Stern’s firm plans to build at 247 Cherry Street, also known as 80 Rutgers Slip, near the Manhattan Bridge.

To reach its height, JDS bought air rights tied to a neighboring lot at 235 Cherry Street from the nonprofits Settlement Housing Fund and Two Bridges Neighborhood Council. Developers Gary Spindler and Roy Schoenberg are currently suing the nonprofits, alleging that they backed out of an earlier deal to sell them 235 Cherry Street along with its air rights.

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“It has come to our attention that rights to use the floor area required for this project is in dispute,” Edith Hsu-Chen, who heads the planning department’s Manhattan office, wrote in a letter to Stern last month.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Settlement Housing Fund said “we are working to clear up any questions and are confident both that the application will move forward consistent with DCP procedures and that the pending litigation will be resolved in our favor.”

Under current plans, JDS’ tower would rise on stilts above an existing 10-story building and cantilever over the neighboring building at 235 Cherry Street. The company, one of New York’s most active developers, is currently building a 1,438-foot-tall condominium tower at 111 West 57th Street and plans to build Brooklyn’s tallest tower, at 9 Dekalb Avenue. [Crain’s]Konrad Putzier 

CORRECTION: an earlier version of this post erroneously claimed that the DOB blocked the tower. It is, in fact, the DCP.