Steel Firm Sues City After Scrapping Deal to Build Ironworker Hub in Bronx

By James Fanelli on November 27, 2013 6:47am 

 Ideal Steel Supply Corp. claims in a lawsuit that the city Economic Development Corp. backtracked on a deal for it to start a welding school and artisan hub in the Bronx.
Ideal Steel Supply Corp. claims in a lawsuit that the city Economic Development Corp. backtracked on a deal for it to start a welding school and artisan hub in the Bronx.
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PARKCHESTER — Sparks are flying in the Bronx after the city scrapped a steel company's plan to build a welding school and artisan hub.

Ideal Steel Supply Corp. is suing the city Economic Development Corporation, accusing the agency of backtracking on a deal that would have brought nearly 100 jobs to the Bronx.

The firm claims in a lawsuit that in 2004 it had reached an agreement with the EDC to build an ironworkers' center on a 90,000-square-foot, city-owned property in Parkchester. The EDC had put out a request for proposals on the land at 1050-1150 Commerce Ave., and Ideal Steel was the winning bidder.

Ideal Steel envisioned building a welding school, a steel distribution and processing center, and incubator shops for artistans and startup ironworkers.

"The proposal would have created close to 100 jobs, as well as enable entrepreneurs and artists to practice their craft more efficiently in NYC," the lawsuit says.

Under the agreement, Ideal Steel would have bought the land. But in August 2008, EDC delayed closing the deal, according to the lawsuit filed Nov. 18 in Queens Civil Supreme Court.

Then last year, without providing notice to Ideal Steel, the EDC issued a new request for proposals for the property, the lawsuit says.

The EDC eventually chose not to pick any of the proposals under the new RFP — and to scrap Ideal Steel's plan too. In July, it officially notified the firm that the deal was off.

The lawsuit is seeking an unspecified sum of money from EDC, claiming Ideal Steel expended "significant resources" while the plan was in the works.

The EDC declined to comment on the reason for the deal's collapse, citing the pending litigation. The agency said that it currently doesn't currently plan on releasing a new RFP for the land, but would not say what will become of the property.

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