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Failed JFK office deal ends up in civil court – QNS.com

Failed JFK office deal ends up in civil court

By Ivan Pereira

Quick International Courier filed a lawsuit against Manhattan-based developer Vista Maro in November for allegedly backing out of a deal which would have given the courier a new office and warehouse located in the northeast section of the airport.The suit, which seeks to void the deed of the proposed warehouse, claims that Vista Maro fraudulently represented the courier, which has a staff of 105 employees, and “wrongfully, unlawfully and surreptitiously entered into secret lease negotiations” with other companies. No monetary damages are mentioned.”They were supposed to give 40,000 to 60,000 square feet to Quick. Instead, Vista got the property and pushed my client out,” said Robert M. Calica, the attorney representing Quick in the suit.Calica said due to the failed development, Quick, which specializes in transporting medical instruments, organs and court papers, plans to move from its current offices at 182-25 150th Ave. to a new space in Jericho, L.I.Marc Esrig, a principal of Vista, scoffed at Quick's claims and said his company plans to file a countersuit. Esrig said his company always wanted the courier to be the primary tenant of the 100,000-square-foot space that is slated to begin construction in June.Esrig said he and Quick's executives negotiated for a year on how they could build the facility to meet their needs, but nothing was worked out and the company decided to move.”We acquired land…to build space for Quick. We bent over backwards to try to deal with them,” he said.In 2006, the City Council and city's Economic Development Corporation approved the $2.4 million sale of the land, which unlike the rest of the airport is not under the jurisdiction of the Port Authority, with the sole purpose of moving Quick into a new facility, the suit claims. Quick also filed a suit against the EDC for failing to hold up its end of the deal.”What's really offensive is that the city is dismissing it instead of defending it,” Calica said.A representative from the EDC would not comment on the litigation.Calica said his clients worked with Vista to have an appropriate leasing agreement, but the developer sought to lease Quick's share of the property to a Tennessee-based company.”It went completely against the original deal,” Calica said Esrig denied negotiating with other companies to lease the majority of the site, as Vista wanted the courier to have a stronger presence within the airport so that it could do business more efficiently.”It was exactly what JFK needed at the building,” he said.He added that Quick constantly changed its preferences for use of the warehouse and asked for different space requirements for its operations.”We always worked with them to fit their needs,” Esrig said.Calica refuted Esrig's claims, saying they constituted a “cock and bull story” that would not hold up in court.Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

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