James Oddo, borough president of Staten Island, has carried the day in his campaign to name city streets in a controversial condo development after the three sins of deception, greed, and lust for wealth.
An appeals court ruled last week that Oddo was within his rights to name three streets Fourberie Lane, Avidity Place, and Cupidity Drive in the Savo Brothers’ new condo project at Mount Manresa, DNAinfo reports. The Savo Brothers bought the 103-year-old Jesuit retreat house for $15 million in 2014 to tear down the site and build 203 townhouses in its place. Residents and elected officials protested the sale and argued in court that the 15-acre site should be landmarked, but a judge denied the decision and work began. The project has been dogged controversy – over the felling of 400-year-old trees; over construction crews who lied about not finding asbestos during the demolition; and over a payment by the developer of $65,000 to former borough president James Molinaro’s lobbying firm.
"I will not take a victory lap because doing so won’t bring back the trees so haphazardly destroyed by the developers, or return the site to its former glory," Oddo said in a statement. "I wish we didn't have to get to this point, and we would not have if the previous owners of the site had done what other responsible large landowners, like the Children’s Aid Society, did, which was work with local government to preserve their site for future generations of Staten Islanders."
In 2015, the Savo Brothers sued Oddo to block use of the derogatory street names in the development. A court ruled in Oddo’s favor, and last week’s appeals court decision upheld the earlier ruling.
The developers offered a list of potential street names that included Timber Lane, presumably in honor of the 400-year-old trees they chopped down on the site.
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