Loeb & Loeb attorneys David Satnick and Helen Gavaris, on behalf of their client Hudson Companies, successfully defeated an effort by local civic groups, political clubs and neighbors to prevent the construction of a 26-story dormitory for NYU to be built at the former St. Ann's Church, utilizing airs rights transferred to Hudson Companies by the U.S. Postal Service. The plaintiffs' based their challenge on the fact that since the USPS is itself exempt from New York City's zoning resolutions, and therefore could expand their building at any time, even after transferring air rights to Hudson Companies, the air rights transfer was illusory and unenforceable. Upon our motion, the case was dismissed and the plaintiffs' preliminary injunction request was denied based on their failure to exhaust administrative remedies and to establish a likelihood of success on the merits.
This victory follows in the heels of another land use case in which we successfully defeated an effort to enjoin our client's demolition of St. Savior's Church in Maspeth, Queens in order to construct moderately-priced housing. The challenge was based upon a restriction contained in the 1878 deed to the property to the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island, whereby the property was conveyed "in trust" for the use of the Episcopal Church only. Loeb & Loeb attorneys David Satnick and Helen Gavaris were successful in getting the case dismissed on the grounds that the plaintiffs - former congregants of St. Savior's, neighbors and a local civic group, all lacked standing to seek enforcement of the restrictive covenant and based on the fact that the Episcopal Church had sold the property out of the trust to a Korean Methodist Church who in turn, conveyed the property to our client.