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New York State Court Of Appeals Won’t Hear Opposition To Two Bridges Development Project

Two Bridges in Manhattan

A group of developers is one step closer to building four new towers on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. 

A tumultuous, years-long legal saga over a proposed development project in the Two Bridges neighborhood reached a turning point this week as the New York State Court of Appeals refused to hear a case aiming to halt the project, Crain’s New York reported

In 2018, JDS Development Group, Starrett Development, L&M Development Partners and CIM Group received approval from the city to build a total of 2,775 apartments, including around 700 affordable units, across four skyscrapers at 259 Clinton St., 260 South St. and 247 Cherry St.

But community groups, such as Tenants United Fighting for the Lower East Side and Lower East Side Organized Neighbors, soon after filed lawsuits against the developers, asking a judge to pause the project and require the proposal to go through the city’s official land use process, ULURP,  to examine more closely the impact that the development would have on the neighborhood, Curbed reported at the time

Supreme Court of New York Justice Arthur Engoron stopped the project, saying that the city council should be allowed to weigh in

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court of the State of New York Appellate Division overruled the judge’s decision. The Court of Appeals' choice to not hear the community group’s case serves as an endpoint for these suits, Crain’s reported

This is the latest in a series of legal battles over land use and development this year. The Industry City rezoning was killed in the fall after City Council Member Carlos Menchaca, the local member for Sunset Park, said he would vote against it. 

The court ruled in favor of the Inwood rezoning last year as well, ending a legal challenge by community members against the land use decision. In each of these cases, opponents of developments argued that the projects would make the area unaffordable for those who live there and lead to displacement.