Wednesday, July 15, 2009

News Transcript story on Colts Neck lawsuit vs. Navy

Although this media story does an ample job highlighting much of what we've addressed here on the Colts Neck lawsuit, NOPE takes issue with the assertion that the U.S. Navy is entirely off the hook for any rental payments after September 2010.

Our reading of the original 52-year housing contract between the Navy and Laurelwood's predecessor Dick Fischer Developments #3 and dozens of subsequent supplements uncovered evidence to the contrary (all were obtained by NOPE under the Freedom of Information Act.)

In particular, Supplemental Lease No. 43 (follow this link), which suggests that the Navy may be obligated to rental payments thru 2017, depending on the civilian occupancy rate of the Laurelwood townhomes. (To clarify, these units are not "apartments" as the Colts Neck suit suggests, but single-family homes of 2- to 4-bedrooms; and Laurelwood's owner, Mrs. Fischer, according to testimony in the Environmental Impact Statement, expects to rent them for $1,600-$2,200 per month.)

Anyway, we invite you to read and comment on this particular supplemental lease. Laurelwood's attorney, in this piece printed in the May 13, 2009 Asbury Park Press, refutes NOPE's interpretation, saying the supplement was mandated by Laurelwood's lenders upon Mrs. Fischer's refinancing of the Laurelwood mortgage in 2002, but in our view the Navy entirely dropped the ball in agreeing to SA 43, which seems to obligate them to additional rental payments upwards of $20 million and might have compromised their ability to exercise their contractual right to revoke the contract (though hopefully not) without a buyout.

Let us know what you think.

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