Today Brownstoner received this update from Steven Guterman of Save the View Now concerning the status of the court case it is pursuing against the controversial Pierhouse development in Brooklyn Bridge Park. We have reached out to the developers and Brooklyn Bridge Park for comment, and will update this post if we hear from them.
“We are sure you are eagerly awaiting for Judge Knipel’s decision following our court hearing on August 6, 2015. At that conclusion of the hearing, Judge Knipel stated he came in with the intention to rule from the bench (presumably consistent with his decision denying our motion for a preliminary injunction) but following the hearing, he would need 1-3 weeks before coming to a decision. We left encouraged.
It has now been over five weeks.
While it is impossible to read anything into the extended period of time, we are hopeful that this is a good sign. At the hearing, our attorney, Jeffrey Baker did an excellent job in showing the defendants’ conflicting record, including affidavits submitted from Jonathan Marvel (the architect) stating that the building bulkheads conform to NYC Zoning regulation, while the lawyers for the defendants stated in their closing arguments that NYC zoning regulations are merely “guidelines” and are not followed literally. Mr. Baker also highlighted the defendants continual statements to the Court (and public) that the bulkheads meet the definition of “mechanical equipment” pursuant to NYC Zoning Regulation, yet the plans for the bulkheads show many improper uses and an oversized bulkhead inconsistent with the definition of bulkhead.
Litigators often advise of how difficult it is to convince a Judge to reverse their prior position, but we believe Mr. Baker gave Judge Knipel a lot good information to serve as grounds to rule in our favor. At the very least, the record has proven to show, time and time again, that the defendants lack credibility in their statements not just to the public, but to the Court as well.
Finally, you may have noticed that the bulkhead and penthouse construction on Building B has been underway. We hired a surveyor to examine the bulkhead and penthouse construction for conformity with the scenic View Plane (SV-1) regulation. We expect their full report next week and will take appropriate action based on their findings.”
Photo by Field Condition
Update: We received this response from joint venture partners Toll Brothers and Starwood Capital Group after this post was published: “While we await Judge Knipel’s ruling on our Motion to dismiss this case, we do not believe that it would be appropriate to comment further on the pending litigation.”