Judge ordered Long Beach to pay $ 131 million for a building dispute


A judge in the Nassau County Supreme Court ordered the city of Long Beach to pay developers $ 131.2 million for blocking the construction of three oceanfront condo buildings in the last three decades.

Judge Jack Libert said on Monday that when the proceedings began in 1989 and the city revoked the building permit in 2003, interest to be paid to Long Beach and Manhattan developer Sinclair Harborman based on fair market value. I made a decision on the payment amount.

The city was liable for a real estate contract breach in 2015, with two 10-story buildings and a third building planned next to the Seapoint Towers apartment facing the promenade between Monroe and Lincoln Boulevard. It did not respond to Harborman’s 2003 proceedings to build it. Parking and condos to replace the Lincoln Shore apartments on Shore Road are planned across the street.

“The incident that caused this incident happened in 1989, when the Berlin Wall collapsed. The wall lasted for 28 years,” Libert wrote in his decision. “The proceedings related to this issue have been proceeding for 31 years.”

Long Beach City authorities are considering appealing the ruling.

“We respect the court’s decision and will appeal to the court’s decision after discussing it with outside lawyers and city authorities,” said Richard Berríos, a lawyer for Long Beach City, in a statement. is there.

The developers were seeking $ 150 million in revenue losses after the city’s Zoning Appeals Commission revoked the building permit in 2003. Harborman claimed to have begun construction in 1989 without complying with a settlement with the city.

Harborman initially completed one of four buildings on the premises, but residents and Xander opposed further construction in 2003 after being transferred to the owner of the new building, Xander Corp. I asked the city to revoke the building permit.

In 2018, Libert reinstated building permits to a contractor that is now abolished under Harborman.

The city has appealed many times before the November trial and Monday’s decision on Liberty.

Christopher McGrath, a lawyer based in Harborman’s Garden City, said the city had stopped development “for non-political motives.”

“It’s not a good government. It’s not a government at all. You have to do your best for the city and admit that you’re wrong,” McGrath said. “If they continue to make such decisions, they will be defeated.”

City officials haven’t said how to cover the costs, but mayor Donna Gayden said it wouldn’t affect taxes or city services.

“Long Beach taxpayers know that we are studying all aspects of this issue and will do everything we can to minimize the economic impact on the city and its inhabitants. I want you to do it, “Gayden said.

Officials said the city could cut costs by paying large annual payments or rebuilding the city’s budget.

“This is a very old issue, much older than the involvement of current council members, city leaders, and almost every other party that has been involved in the proceedings for more than 30 years,” said John of the city council.・ President Bend said.

Rob Weber, vice president of bond rating agency Moody’s Investors Services, said the city could issue bonds to cover large-scale legal decisions if it were held liable.

Harborman reached a $ 23 million settlement with Xander Corp. last year. This aims to be included in the reduction of damages incurred by the city.

“The city will have to do what it can to solve this in different ways. The last thing Sinclair Harborman wants is to bankrupt his beloved city. He is a taxpayer. By trying to settle without paying $ 1, the city has shown that it has chosen not to do so. “

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