The White Plains-based Heron Real Estate filed a lawsuit yesterday in New York State Supreme Court claiming a move in February to seize the properties was tardy, and should be voided.
There is a three-year statute of limitations for condemnation proceedings, and the city says it expired last February 17, while the owners say it expired on October 13, 2013, four months earlier.
The complaint names the City of New York and the city’s Economic Development Corporation as defendants. This suit follows legal filings in May by the owners of the other four parcels protesting the condemnations, all located within a block bounded by 125th and 126th streets, and Second and Third avenues.
If Heron and the other owners are victorious, it could put a kink in a plan launched during the Bloomberg administration to build as many as 1,000 units of affordable housing and retail on three blocks in the neighborhood as part of the $700 million East Harlem Media, Entertainment and Cultural Center. If the city wins the right to condemn the other four parcels, it leaves open the opportunity to acquire Heron’s parcel, with about 62,724 square feet of development rights.