A lawsuit was filed this week by 51-53 Fourteenth Street Condominium Association over alleged plans to open a dispensary in the condo building’s retail space. Image via Story Dispensary’s Historic Preservation Committee application.
A condo association claims that a company co-owned by the wife of Jersey City’s mayor purchased their storefront to “facilitate the installation of a cannabis dispensary under the false pretense of relocating a physical therapy practice.”
The 51-53 Fourteenth Street Condominium Association filed a lawsuit in Hudson County Superior Court. Named as defendants is 51-53 14th Retail LLC who, after purchasing it earlier this summer, currently own the Hudson Tavern storefront.
Exchange Physical Therapy Group, co-owners Drew Nussbaum, Jaclyn Fulop (the wife of Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop) are additional defendants. The defendants also include Story Dispensary of Hoboken LLC, Samantha Silva, and Howard Hintz who are co-owners of the cannabis company.
The lawsuit’s timeline begins in July 2007, when Nussbaum, Ms. Fulop and non-party Steve Fulop attended a display of the storefront that was being listed for sale.
According to the case, Mr. Fulop asked the seller quickly if he was okay. “was willing to take the property off the market at that time”Those are the claims “Nussbaum verbally confirmed on numerous occasions…that he intended to move his physical therapy/chiropractic practice to the commercial space.”
This intention was allegedly detailed in the eventual purchase contract according to the complaint. The contract included a line reading “The Buyer intends to use the Property as a Commercial CONDO for use as a medical office.”
Although the storefront was eventually sold for $2.4million last November, the case claims that there were disputes earlier in the year. “[51-53 14th Retail LLC] entered into a letter of intent to lease this commercial space to Story [Dispensary]– a newly formed entity.”
“Despite the representations made by [51-53 14th Retail], the property is not intended to be used as a ‘medical office,’ but rather by Story as a recreational cannabis dispensary.”Story Dispensary submitted a January application to the city. However, they have not applied in any way for a medicinal marijuana component.
The lawsuit claims that ownership behind Story Dispensary never provided the condo board with proper notice before they appeared before both Hoboken’s Cannabis Review Board and the Historic Preservation Committee.
“These deceptive and fraudulent actions on the part of Defendants were effectuated to deprive the Association the opportunity to be heard…and prevent the Association from enforcing the requirements of the New Jersey Condominium Act and its Governing Documents,”The case reads.
The complaint additionally claims that the owners of the commercial space have violated the building’s master deed by “failing to seek approval of alterations to the Common Elements”This would be included in their dispensary plan.
The condo board’s lawsuit says their trustees took action in April over the proposed dispensary, adopting a resolution that prohibits “the sale, use, display, transfer, distribution and/or smoking vaping, or aerosolizing of cannabis”at the storefront. According to the board, all the residents unit owners oppose the “improper and unapproved use of this space as a cannabis dispensary.”
The case alleges that the property has a cannabis dispensary. “incongruent with the character of the building, [the] residential zone, and is undermined by the express representations made to the seller of the commercial unit to induce sale.”
Jersey Digs reached out to the Exchange Physical Therapy Group to discuss the allegations and sent an email to an address associated to the newly created Story Dispensary. As of press time, we have not received a response.
The condo board’s lawsuit is seeking an injunction to block the dispensary along with damages for nuisance, common law fraud, and civil conspiracy. The Chancery division received the case on May 9, 2009.
While the Story Dispensary application was an allowable use under Hoboken’s zoning laws when submitted, officials passed LegislationLast month, new restrictions were placed on the location of cannabis dispensaries. Per TapIntoFour councilmembers called Story Dispensary. “voluntarily withdraw”They can be applied.