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Judge sides with Long Beach decision to revoke building permit 

The ruling upholds the city zoning board's revocation of a permit to build oceanfront apartment towers on property known as the Superblock. 

Developers had proposed building apartment towers on Shore

Developers had proposed building apartment towers on Shore Road between Riverside and Long Beach boulevards. Photo Credit: Danielle Silverman

A Nassau County Supreme Court judge has rejected a Manhattan developer’s appeal to reverse the Long Beach Board of Zoning Appeal’s revocation of a building permit.

Justice Stephen Bucaria upheld the zoning board's May 24 decision that revoked iStar’s permit to build two oceanfront 15-story luxury apartment towers.

Bucaria ruled Dec. 13 that developers, also known as Shore Road LLC, did not obtain all the necessary building permits for the beachside parcel known as the Superblock between Long Beach and Riverside boulevards. The $350 million proposal had called for adding 522 apartments and 11,000 square feet of retail space on the boardwalk.

A group of Long Beach residents filed a lawsuit last year, arguing that developers failed to fulfill a requirement of collecting all building permits within 15 months of the initial one granted in 2014. Bucaria agreed with the zoning board that the previously approved variance for height and density and the building permit should be revoked.

“Shore Road does not have a clear legal right to a public hearing on its appeal from the zoning board’s determination not to extend the building permit,” Bucaria wrote.

Officials with iStar, which owns the property, did not respond to requests for comment. The developer could still file an appeal with the New York State Appellate Division.

A Long Beach resident, James Kirklin, filed a lawsuit last year challenging iStar’s initial permit in 2014. Kirklin argued that iStar failed to obtain all building permits and did not start construction within the first year it was granted.

Officials with iStar claimed “an indefeasible right” to a building permit after the property was excavated in 2015 and finished with a 4-inch concrete slab foundation.

Bucaria granted Kirklin’s motion in January, ordering a new zoning board hearing in April to review the permits. The judge found that iStar had only obtained a foundation permit granted in May 2015.

The city extended the building permit twice through May 2018, before it was revoked by the zoning board in May and all construction on the property was ordered to be halted. 

Long Beach still faces a separate $100 million lawsuit filed by iStar, arguing the city violated a settlement agreement by not supporting its application for tax breaks from Nassau County. Developers are seeking damages and lost revenue after the project was twice rejected for tax breaks by the county Industrial Development Agency for up to $129 million.

"The city and zoning board are grateful for the court's decision," Long Beach Corporation Counsel Rob Agostisi said. "We expect it will have a major impact on iStar's separate breach-of-contract case, where they're seeking lost profits — on a project they're no longer permitted to build." 

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