Appeals Court Ruling Hands Victory to Developers of Cherry Street Mega-Tower

JDS Development Group's proposed tower is on the left. Rendering by SHoP Architects.

JDS Development Group’s proposed tower is on the left. Rendering by SHoP Architects.

There’s been a significant development in a lawsuit that’s hanging over one of the large-scale development projects in the Two Bridges area.

A state appeals court yesterday rejected an appeal in a case filed against the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council and Settlement Housing Fund, owners of the former Pathmark pharmacy building on Cherry Street.

The not-for-profit groups last year agreed to sell development rights to JDS Development Group, which is now planning a one-thousand foot residential tower at 247 Cherry St. But developer Roy Schoenberg of Little Cherry, LLC argued that the deal violated a separate 2012 contract he signed with Two Bridges and Settlement Housing Fund.

The case has been making its way through various courts. An order from the appellate division released yesterday morning stated that Schoenberg failed to provide sufficient factual evidence to show the defendants were in breach of contract. The non-profit groups and JDS believe the ruling essentially ends the legal back-and-forth over the development rights.

An attorney for Little Cherry, Robert Tils, disagreed in a statement provided to us last night. “(The) decision on the appeal,” he said, “is not the end of the legal process. We are currently reviewing the decision with our client, and we intend to do everything in our power to address this matter and to protect our client’s rights.”

Little Cherry still holds a long-term lease for part of the one-story building that now sits on the development site. The same goes for Extell Development, which is building an 80-story luxury condo tower on an adjacent site. JDS’s current plan envisions building on top of a senior building at 80 Rutgers Slip, leaving the contested site alone for the time being.

There’s still a pending lawsuit filed by Little Cherry against JDS head Michael Stern in connection with the Two Bridges development site.