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Old Posted Aug 26, 2016, 2:10 AM
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City Planning moves forward with application for 1,000-foot-tall residential tower

by Daniel Geiger
August 25, 2016

The Department of City Planning is moving forward with an application to build a new 1,000-foot tall residential tower in the fast-growing neighborhood just north of the area between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges.

JDS Development Group is arranging a deal to build the spire, which will rise on top of a pair of stilts that will elevate it above an existing 10-story apartment building at 80 Rutgers Slip. The ambitious development has been embroiled in litigation that has held up the developer's application with City Planning.

Developers Gary Spindler and Roy Schoenberg are suing the nonprofits Settlement Housing Fund and the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, which own the Rutgers Slip site and an adjacent parcel at 235 Cherry St. Spindler and Schoenberg allege that the nonprofits reneged on an agreement to sell them 235 Cherry St. so they could instead strike a more lucrative $50 million deal to sell the air rights from the site to JDS Development. The additional air rights would allow JDS to build its 80-story residential tower, while Spindler and Schoenberg need the same air rights for their proposed roughly 300,000-square-foot mixed-use project.

City Planning initially declined to review JDS Development's application for what is called a minor modification, citing the two competing projects and the ongoing litigation.

In a letter sent to JDS Development on Tuesday, City Planning reversed course and said it will now take a look at JDS' request because an application for Spindler and Schoenberg's development had been withdrawn.
While that project appears to be stalled, Spindler and Schoenberg's lawsuit against the nonprofits continues in State Supreme Court. The pair are suing to enforce their contract with the nonprofits to buy 235 Cherry St. so they can move forward and build their project. Separately, they are suing JDS Development for interfering in their efforts to strike a deal with the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council and Settlement Housing Fund.

Both JDS and Spindler and Schoenberg declined to comment.
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