Judge tosses lawsuit holding up Gansevoort Street development

Barring other legal action, Aurora, William Gottlieb will likely get to move forward with project

70-74 Gansevoort Street (Credit: Aurora Capital Associates)
70-74 Gansevoort Street (Credit: Aurora Capital Associates)

It seems Aurora Capital Associates and William Gottlieb Real Estate’s embattled Gansevoort Street development will soon be able to move forward.

A State Supreme Court judge on Monday threw out a lawsuit against the developers and the Landmarks Preservation Commission, finding that the agency didn’t approve the project “irrationally.” Judge Joan Lobis noted that, despite the arguments of Save Gansevoort, the advocacy group that filed the lawsuit, Landmarks adequately considered the commercial project before granting it approval last year. The agency held “extensive hearings,” heard opposition and “proposed modifications to the plan designed to make the proposed changes consistent with the district’s history and design.”

“[Save Gansevoort did] not satisfy the high standard of showing [Landmarks] decided the matter irrationally or abused its discretion,” Lobis wrote. “It would be an abuse of this court’s discretion to do anything but dismiss the application.”

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Lobis had issued a temporary injunction in February barring the developers from working on 60-74 Gansevoort Street while the lawsuit was ongoing. With the latest ruling, Lobis extended the stay for five business days to allow Save Gansevoort time to file for an extension of the stay with the appellate division.

A representative for Save Gansevoort wasn’t immediately available to comment. Aurora declined to comment.

Save Gansevoort filed its lawsuit in October, claiming that approval of the commercial development imperiled other landmarked districts. The group argued that Landmarks erroneously relied on an historic period that predated the area’s identity as a meat market district when it approved 60-74 Gansevoort Street. Landmarks approved the entire project — 46-74 Gansevoort Street — in June.

The developers are turning five buildings on the strip into 111,000 square feet of commercial space. Earlier this year, retailer Hermès inked a 10,000-square-foot lease at 46-48 Gansevoort Street.