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Prominent Long Island City development site at the center of a legal battle

The development site behind the Clock Tower sold last year, but the saga continues

A rendering of the base of the tower once proposed for this site.
Renderings courtesy SLCE Architects

Last December, the development site behind Long Island City’s landmarked Clock Tower sold for $173.5 million to the Durst Organization. The beneficiaries of that sale were the previous owners of the site, Property Markets Group (PMG) and the Hakim Organization, who once intended for a massive skyscraper to rise at the site.

Now real estate developer Brad Zackson is suing PMG for not moving forward with a development plan on the site, alleging that he helped put the development parcels together, and would have eventually profited from its construction, The Real Deal reports.

Zackson reportedly introduced Hakim to the site in Long Island City, and Hakim in turn brought on PMG to purchase and develop the L-shaped parcel of properties around the Clock Tower into Queens’s tallest residential building.

Plans at one time called for a 77-story tower with 800 apartments, but by last summer, PMG and Hakim were looking to sell the one million square foot site. This, Zackson alleges, is because PMG did not do everything in its power to move the rental and condo project forward.

The suit alleges that PMG thwarted attempts to get a construction loan on the project. Zackson says he tried to bring developer Fisher Brothers on board to help with the financial requirements, but alleges that PMG inflated the outstanding debt on the property, which in turn prompted Fisher Brothers to walk away from any potential collaboration.

By the time they actually sold the property to Durst in December last year, PMG’s head, Kevin Maloney, finally revealed to the New York Times that the developers just didn’t have the adequate resources to move forward with their proposal. But Zackson contends otherwise.

PMG isn’t having any of it. “Zackson is a failed and disgruntled former broker who is living beyond his means and who did not invest any money in the deal,” is how a PMG spokesperson described this latest development to TRD.