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Judge Dismisses Another Part of City’s Lawsuit Against Inner Harbor Developer

By Staff

 

Syracuse Inner Harbor

Syracuse Inner Harbor

State Supreme Court Judge James Murphy dismissed another part of the city’s lawsuit against COR Development Co. Jan. 21, which asked for a $3.24 million development fee the city would have received if COR had not gotten a tax deal from the county.

According to Murphy, the fee would have gone to the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency, not the city of Syracuse.

Last month, he also dismissed a city lien against land Syracuse sold to COR, as part of the city’s attempt to stop the developer from proceeding with the Syracuse Inner Harbor Development project.

Initially, Mayor Stephanie Miner filed a lawsuit against COR Dec. 15, for seeking a tax deal with a county agency, after the company allegedly promised the city it would not seek the exemptions.

Miner said COR had deliberately sought a tax relief deal, or “payment in lieu of taxes” (PILOT) deal, from Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency, in order to allow the company to avoid an agreement with the city, which would have bound the company to provide project-related jobs to city residents, and minorities, for the $324 million project.

However, according to COR’s attorney’s, the company never told the city it did not intend to seek a PILOT from the county for the project.

“Mr. Aiello [COR President] stated that COR would not rule it out,” Christopher Buckley, one of COR’s attorneys stated during his argument.”The city’s on notice at that point.”

In response, attorneys for the city said COR representatives had given the city its verbal agreement the company would not seek a tax deal with the county, and, as a result, the city had entered into its agreement with the company under false pretenses.

“There clearly are damages,” John Sickinger, corporate council for the city, stated.

According to Murphy, he will make a decision on the lawsuit within the next two to three weeks.

In addition, COR officials released the following statement regarding the matter:

“In addition to the claims previously dismissed in this suit, COR Development is pleased Justice Murphy today dismissed the city’s damages claim of $3,235,600. We appreciate the court’s diligence throughout this matter, and await its decision on the remainder of our summary judgment motion.”