National owner of multi-family residential and commercial projects prevails against attempt to invalidate exclusive development right
Clients Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company
Jones Day prevailed in a declaratory judgment action brought against its client, a national developer and owner of multi-family residential developments as well as commercial and office projects. The suit sought to invalidate a contract provision granting an exclusive right to build rental apartments in a particular development in Pittsburgh's historic South Side. The contract at issue was formed as part of the successful effort by Pittsburgh's Urban Redevelopment Authority, the developer, and other organizations to revitalize a former brown field site that included a steel mill and a hazardous waste site. The declaratory judgment action sought to characterize the contract provision in question as a deed restriction and argue that, as such, it was no longer valid. Jones Day filed preliminary objections arguing that the entire contract, including the provision in question, remained valid. Further, Jones Day argued that the plaintiff had failed to negotiate in good faith to amend the provision as required by the contract. Despite the plaintiff's attempt to avoid the contract issue, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Senior Judge R. Stanton Wettick held that the contract was valid and ruled in favor of the preliminary objections, dismissing the entire complaint.
Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh and The Soffer Organization, Inc., v. South Pittsburgh, LLC, G.D. No. 11-023060 (Allegheny County (Pa.) Common Pleas Court)