MONMOUTH COUNTY, N.J., Dec. 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Long Branch Partners, LLC, (LBP) filed a lawsuit in Monmouth County court seeking more than $75 million in damages from the City of Long Branch, citing years of delays by the City in the company's efforts to redevelop the Lower Broadway area.
LBP is the current owner of the blighted 10-acre site located on Lower Broadway within the City's designated Arts and Entertainment District. The site was originally designated as a blighted area 19 years ago by Mayor Schneider and the City Council. Unfortunately, the Mayor and the City have failed for 19 years to spur the redevelopment of this area. Despite the tortured history of the site and the City's failed efforts, LBP spent millions of dollars over a three-year period in an effort to gain the support of the City and ignite the redevelopment. To that end, LBP retained design consultants required by the City and crafted a concept plan that was endorsed by the City in writing.
"After more than three years of working with the City to develop a plan that everyone could support – a plan that was ultimately endorsed by the City – our cooperation was rewarded with three consecutive frivolous lawsuits filed against us by the City," commented Jonathan Stein of Long Branch Partners.
"We have been transparent and cooperative with the City of Long Branch for three years. Now that we have a great plan that the City has endorsed, we should be moving forward with the designation and redevelopment. Instead, the Mayor and Council have abandoned our redevelopment process and opted for litigation in what I can only surmise is an apparent attempt to harass us and force us to sell the property at a diminished value," added Stein.
Long Branch Partners has been seeking to redevelop the blighted area since 2012, however the City of Long Branch has refused to name LBP as the redeveloper for the area.
"What is unfortunate is that the residents of Long Branch and the commercial property owners on Broadway are the ultimate losers here," added Stein. "Our concept plan would revitalize an area of the city that has been blighted for more than 20 years. The actions of city officials simply have halted any forward movement and made it impossible for us to succeed. Since the City has blocked our efforts to redevelop the area and we have no beneficial use or enjoyment of our properties, the City has effectively taken our properties. At this point, they should designate us as the redeveloper or pay us for the properties."
Although the principals of Long Branch Partners have more than 50 years of combined experience in real estate development, the City, its Officials and Agencies have acted in an arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable manner by refusing to name Long Branch Partners as a redeveloper. The principals of LBP are currently developing several master-planned, mixed-use communities throughout the Northeast that will be worth billions of dollars and they are eminently qualified to redevelop their properties on Lower Broadway.
Long Branch Partners purchased the property in order to build a high-end mixed use development that would include 750 luxury apartments and more than 115,000 square feet of retail space. Unfortunately, 19 years after the City designated this a blighted area in need of redevelopment, this area of Lower Broadway continues to be a hotbed of local crime, subject to fires and other casualties.
Long Branch Partners is seeking more than $75 million dollars in damages.
SOURCE Long Branch Partners, LLC