Jerry Wolkoff sues Suffolk County over sewer connection to his Heartland Town Square development

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Developer Jerry Wolkoff has filed a $15 million lawsuit that he hopes will force Suffolk County to connect his Heartland Town Square mega-project to the Southwest Sewer District, according to Newsday. Wolkoff, who is behind the controversial 5Pointz development in Queens, has previously expressed frustration about opposition to Heartland Town Square, which has yet to build anything in 15 years. The litigation comes after the Suffolk legislature’s public works committee in September failed to discharge without recommendation a bill to permit connecting the Brentwood mega-project to the sewers. Wolkoff believes the committee acted illegally, improperly and “in excess of the committee’s jurisdiction and authority,” according to his complaint. In Wolkoff’s view, the public works commissioner has the power to negotiate a deal and should do so, regardless of the committee’s ruling. The developer is also asking for $15 million in damages due to the delays and his now-diminished commercial reputation. The project, when complete in about 30 years, is expected to stretch across 452 acres with roughly 9,000 residential units, 3.4 million square feet of office space and 1 million square feet of retail space. Wolkoff hopes Heartland will attract “empty nesters and millennials.” Some believe Wolkoff should simply build his own sewer plant, but the developer said he can’t do so because it would be too close to a sensitive oak brush plain. Suffolk has until March 5 to respond to the lawsuit. [Newsday]