Cease-fire for now in battle over Greenburgh sports bubble
One of the two companies vying to buy Greenburgh's old Frank's Nursery site and turn it into a sports and recreation complex is dropping a lawsuit against its rival -- but stay tuned for more legal action ahead.
The lawsuit was filed in October in Westchester Supreme Court by Elm Street Sports Group, a family-run business that owns House of Sports in Ardsley, a facility similar to the one envisioned for Greenburgh. The suit stopped Greenburgh officials from leasing the coveted site at 715 Dobbs Ferry Rd. to Game On 365, a company that had been in talks with the town since 2011.
The 6.89-acre property is now up for sale instead, with two offers on the table: $1.65 million from Game On 265 and $3.5 million from Elm Street Sports. Both offers are under review by the Town Board.
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Although Elm Street Sports attorney Stephen Kass said the lawsuit he had filed against both Game On 365 and the town is being dropped because leasing is no longer an issue, Kass threatened future action, depending on how the sale progresses.
"If the process is a fair and open one, there may not be [litigation] ... but the omens are not good," Kass said.
Called for comment, Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner said the town hoped to choose one of the two proposals by late March.
"We are doing our due diligence to do what's best for the town," Feiner said. "We want to make sure that from a financial standpoint, we get a good deal for the town, and we also want to make sure we get a sports facility."
Game On 365's lawyer could not be reached for comment.
Kass blasted the town for "connivance with Game On" that reflected a "bias" against his clients at Elm Street Sports. He blasted Game On 365 for filing a motion that he said was a "baseless and frivolous" publicity stunt in the soon-to-be-dropped lawsuit.
Game On 365's motion ripped the competition for manufacturing community opposition to its project, which was approved by voters in a November referendum. The motion described Greenburgh resident Simon Cohen, a vocal opponent of Game On 365's project, as a "front man" for its rival.
The Feb. 23 filing included excerpts from Cohen's ongoing divorce proceeding. In the excerpts, Cohen tells a family court judge that he recently moved into a $6,000-a-month rental house, where he lives two doors down from Frank's Nursery.
He then explains to the family court judge that the rent is paid by Irin Israel, one of the principals in Elm Street Sports.
Cohen is president of Burst the Bubble, a nonprofit organization he created to oppose Game On 365's plans to build a sports bubble at the Greenburgh site.