Appellate Court favors Gluck in Independence Plaza case

Tenants at Independence Plaza received bad news on Tuesday when a state Appellate Court ruled in favor of the Tribeca apartment building’s developer, Laurence Gluck. The ruling upheld a decision by a federal court judge almost year ago, that said Gluck did not break the law when he deregulated the building and removed it from the Mitchell- Llama, rent stabilized housing program in 2004 while simultaneously receiving J-51 tax credits.

The tenants association thought they had won the battle against Stellar Management, the company where Gluck serves as CEO, when in August 2010 a state Supreme Court judge ruled that the 1,328 units had been illegally deregulated.

However Gluck appealed that ruling on the basis that the city Department of Finance was responsible for the mistake that led to the J-51 tax credits being issued after the building had been removed from the Mitchell-Llama program. Gluck repaid the amount resulting from the J-51 tax credits, including interest, dating back to June 2004.

Seth Miller, the attorney representing I.P.N.’s tenant association said on Tuesday that he would file an appeal.

“It’s a setback,” said Miller, “but we’re hoping it’s only a temporary setback. We’re disappointed with the ruling, but we will make a request for permission to do a further appeal.”

Miller has 30 days to file the paperwork and begin the appeal process.