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Tribeca Film Festival Sues for $100 Million

MANHATTAN (CN) - The Tribeca Film Festival sued a real estate developer for $100 million, claiming it changed the deal to redevelop Pier 57 in New York, and changed the pier's name in violation of their agreement.

Tribeca Enterprises and the Tribeca Film Festival sued Young Woo & Associates, in New York County Supreme Court.

Tribeca claims that since 2008 it worked with Young Woo in a long drawn out proposal, which had to pass City Council scrutiny, redevelop Pier 57 and lease it from the Hudson River Park Trust, which "wanted to ensure that the Project was awarded to a developer that would utilize a significant portion of the property for public use."

"Given its strong ties to the community, its existing commitment to making cultural programming available to the public, and its track record of operating large-scale cultural events in New York, participation by Tribeca in the Project was key to YWA being awarded the Project by HRPT," the film festival says in the complaint.

It adds: "The Project contemplated that the rooftop space of the newly designed Pier 57 would be reserved for public use and be made available to the public mostly free of charge, and that Tribeca would be the exclusive tenant and the programmer for that space during the entire term that HRPT agreed to lease the property to YWA, and all of the economic terms of the business arrangement between YWA and Tribeca were agreed."

But after Young Woo won the contract, and won approval from the City Council, the developer "apparently decided that the economic arrangement that it agreed to with Tribeca was not lucrative enough for it and/or would not enable it to obtain attractive financing, and it began attempting to re-trade all of the economic aspects of the deal," the complaint states. "Only a month ago, without any notice or consent from Tribeca, YWA unilaterally renamed Pier 57 as 'SuperPier,' in violation of its contractual obligation granting Tribeca full naming rights to the Pier and to the rooftop space. YWA then claimed that it had no obligation to honor its agreement with Tribeca. It refused to negotiate any of the remaining open 'customary' terms and instead insisted on rewriting the framework of the entire agreement. Tribeca brings this action for specific performance of its agreement with YWA and for breach of contract."

Tribeca demands at least $100 million.

It is represented by Jodi Kleinick, with Paul Hastings LLP.

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