A consultant on an ambitious urban renewal project in Mount Vernon claims that the developer fired the firm to save money.
Ferrandino & Associates Inc. of Elmsford sued MVP Realty Associates of East Harlem on Feb. 14 in Westchester Supreme Court in White Plains.
“MVP terminated the contract to save money on The Pointe redevelopment,” Ferrandino & Associates said in the complaint, and the developer has hired another firm “for a sum significantly less than MVP is obligated to pay F&A.”
“The only thing I can say,” said Daniel Amicucci, MVP Realty’s managing member, “it’s totally untrue.”
Ferrandino & Associates says it was hired in 2012 to work on plans for The Pointe, an affordable housing project in a blighted neighborhood at South Fourth Avenue and East Third Street. MVP Realty expects to spend $138 million on four buildings, 350 apartments, 46,000 square feet of retail space and offices, 585 parking spaces and a public garden.
MVP Realty contracted with Ferrandino & Associates again in 2015 to work on environmental review documents for zoning and site plan approvals.
Ferrandino & Associates said it completed several tasks and received no complaints about its work. By last September, the environmental review had been going on for more than two years, “through no fault of F&A,” the complaint states.
MVP Realty then terminated the contract with several tasks yet to be done.
The consultant said that The Pointe is MVP’s first joint venture, large-scale urban development project. As a result of the developer’s “inexperience,” the complaint states, MVP did not anticipate the time and expense of the review process.
MVP Realty is a joint venture of Design Builders Group of White Plains and Urban Builders Collaborative, an affiliate of Lettire Construction Corp. of East Harlem.
Vince Ferrandino is president of Ferrandino & Associates.
Ferrandino & Associates says it complied with the terms of the contract, but was given no reason for the termination.
Ferrandino & Associates accuses MVP of breach of contract and unjust enrichment. It is demanding $38,500 for work it would have done under the contract and for work it did but for which it allegedly was not paid.