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Town, developer reach agreement on prized Hudson River land

November 14, 2019 GMT
FILE - In this Jan. 11, 2018 file photo, cars pass an empty lot along the Hudson River in Edgewater, N.J. A settlement has been reached in a dispute between a developer and the town over the coveted piece of real estate. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 11, 2018 file photo, cars pass an empty lot along the Hudson River in Edgewater, N.J. A settlement has been reached in a dispute between a developer and the town over the coveted piece of real estate. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

A Hudson River town and a developer have reached a settlement in a dispute over a coveted piece of land facing New York City.

The agreement ends a lawsuit, filed in 2017 by 615 River Road Partners, that contained explosive allegations: that the town of Edgewater and developer Fred Daibes conspired to block River Road from building 1,800 units on the site of a former Hess petroleum storage terminal.

The 19-acre site sits along the Hudson River with an unobstructed view of the Manhattan skyline and is considered one of the last large, undeveloped pieces of land along the river.

Daibes, who wasn’t named in the lawsuit, has denied he exerted any influence on the town. The town also denied the allegations.

Under a deal approved by the Edgewater council this week, 615 River Road Partners will build 1,200 units — with between 180 and 240 designated as affordable housing — and also transfer some of the land to the town for free, for construction of a school and open space.

The value of the land to be transferred is approximately $12 million, the town said in a news release.

“After years of contention, we came together to reach an amicable solution for all involved that protects Edgewater,” Edgewater Mayor Michael McPartland said in a statement.

Justin Walder, an attorney for 615 River Road Partners, called the agreement “a win-win for all of the parties.”

The deal still must be approved by a judge.

615 River Road Partners had claimed in the lawsuit that the town’s relationship with Daibes, who has built extensively in the area, was marked by “corrupt transactions, self-dealing, and conflicts of interest.”

Daibes is facing a 2018 federal indictment charging him and an associate with lying on loan applications and misapplying bank funds to benefit Daibes’ business interests. He has denied the charges.