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May 20, 2009

The Weinstein case, a deceptive land ownership map, and some questions for the oversight hearing

Atlantic Yards Report

We're quite used to getting something less than the truth from the Empire State Development Corporation and Forest City, but as Norman Oder explains, even their maps can't be trusted.

It's plain to see, not in black and white but in bright color.

The Empire State Development Corporation, which has regularly taken Forest City Ratner's cue in presenting facts to the public (as in the Construction Updates provided by the developer), in the December 2006 Modified General Project Plan provided this map of property ownership in the AY footprint.
(Click to enlage)

The asterixes in the three properties owned by Henry Weinstein (see oval) indicate: FCRC has closed on an option to take by assignment the lessee's interests under the ground leases for these properties. However, the property owner has objected to such assignments.

More than an objection

It wasn't merely an objection; it was a bitter legal dispute. Weinstein had leased the properties to Shaya Boymelgreen, who operated his office in the building at 752 Pacific Street.

At about the same time that Boymelgreen sold the Ward Bakery to Forest City Ratner, he also transferred the lease to Weinstein's properties to FCR--without getting approval from Weinstein. Both parties went to court, as I wrote in August 2006.

Weinstein won a fundamental victory in March 2007; the Boymelgreen leases were terminated. This month Weinstein saw that upheld--and more--in appeals court.

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Posted by eric at May 20, 2009 10:21 AM