Tuesday, May 18, 2010

3LD Eviction

As I mentioned in my last My Mind post, 3LD is being evicted by the MTA. I also mentioned that Isaac has the pro-MTA opinion, but based on this comment alleging money owed to 3LD by the MTA (of a very large sum), it seems like he's in the same boat as I am: if it's true that the MTA owes $1.6 million, then the situation is wholly different.

Meanwhile, the League of Independent Theaters sent out this statement from Kevin Cunningham, AD of 3LD (who I assume is the same Kevin who commented on Matt Freeman's post):

"1)3LD is open for business and actively fighting the eviction. We are booked into 2012.

2) The MTA owes 3LD $1.6 million in re-imbursement and compensation for work 3LD was forced to do for them during construction and for unreasonable delays and obstruction of our build out effort which ended up going more than 2 years beyond our original schedule because of MTA's refusal to work with us or to do preparatory work they promised to do in the lease. From our point of view they have been in default on the lease since late 2002.

3)We have offered several different solutions to the arrears problem all of which have been summarily dismissed by the MTA including offering to repurpose a work letter payment of $250,000 to prepay rent for 2010. They have not negotiated in good faith.

We have very strong pro bono counsel in Andy Lance the Senior Real Estate Partner at Gibson Dunne & Crutcher who told us when we made our first demands for payment in 2005 that the MTA is virtually immune from law suits in these matters because they have been able to establish through stare decisis that they are slow and incompetent. Nontheless it looks like Andy has found a pro bono litigator for us.

We need people to write letters to their elected officials immediately urging them to force the MTA to do the right thing. We need balanced press coverage that represents our point of view. We need people to write letters to the editor. We need the community and cultural value to be a part of the argument not just the money.

State Senator Squadron and Congressman Nadler are trying to help us with MTA. CB 1 is drafting a resolution condemning MTA's action on the basis of community and cultural benefits we bring to a distressed neighborhood and insisting that the MTA negotiate with us on these matters in good faith."

I reached out to Daniel Squadron's office and received the following response:

The Three-Legged Dog is renowned for experimental theater and for its

central role in helping to rebuild Lower Manhattan's cultural life

after September 11th. By working out a new repayment schedule with

this thriving theater, the MTA has an opportunity to collect hundreds

of thousands of dollars in rent and keep a cultural gem alive in the

heart of Lower Manhattan. I don't know why a cash-strapped public

agency would pass up that chance.