MEATPACKING DISTRICT — Opponents of a plan to redevelop a block of Gansevoort Street won a temporary restraining order against the developers in court on Friday.
The opponents, who have organized under the name "Save Gansevoort," sued the developers, Aurora Capital Associates and William Gottlieb Real Estate, as well as the Landmarks Preservation Commission, in New York State Supreme Court in October.
The first hearing on the suit was Friday, and Judge Joan Lobis agreed to a restraining order that halts the project until Tuesday, when the next court date is scheduled.
At that hearing, both sides will present their case and Lobis will decide whether to continue the restraining order or allow the project to proceed while the lawsuit is pending.
The LPC approved the project, which seeks to redevelop all of the buildings on the south side of Gansevoort Street from Ninth Avenue to Washington Street, in June.
“We are dumbfounded that the LPC, which actually landmarked the Gansevoort Market District, is now trying to essentially undo its own work,” Elaine Young, a local resident and one of the organizers of Save Gansevoort, said in a statement. “The outcome of our suit will have ramifications beyond just the Gansevoort Market, since it will potentially impact every community that is attempting to keep historic buildings from being bulldozed by the onslaught of inappropriate and outsized development throughout the city."
Save Gansevoort's attorney, Michael Hiller, specializes in landmarks preservation cases and has said that his caseload more than tripled under Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration.
"The city’s grant of permission to the Gansevoort developers is part of a larger trend, as revealed by the unprecedented line of decisions by City agencies under the current mayoral administration to authorize the privatization of landmark properties and other public assets," Hiller said in a statement.
Lobis is the same judge who heard the case attempting to block the Barry Diller-funded Pier55 park project, and dismissed it as being "without merit."
An executive at Aurora Capital Associates did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit, and a spokeswoman for the Landmarks Preservation Commission said they cannot comment on pending litigation.