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SANSOM COMM. v. LYNN

September 6, 1974

THE SANSOM COMMITTEE, AN UNINCORPORATED ASSOCIATION, APPEARING BY ELLIOT C. R. COOK, TRUSTEE AD LITEM, WILLIAM B. BOLTON, MICHAEL KARP, ROBINSON FREDENTHAL, NICOLES, INC. t/a LA TERRASSE, NICHOLAS MUHLENBERG, CAMPUS PHARMACY, INC., JOHN W. McCOUBREY
v.
JAMES LYNN, individually and as Secretary, HUD, JOSEPH LA SALA, AND THE REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA



The opinion of the court was delivered by: NEWCOMER

 Newcomer, J.

 FINDINGS OF FACT

 1. The plaintiffs are residents of the 3400 block of Sansom Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the owner of La Terrasse Restaurant, located at 3442-3446 Sansom Street. Several of the plaintiffs are prime tenants of defendant Redevelopment Authority, which means that they may sublet to others. Other plaintiffs who lease properties from the Authority are not prime tenants in that their leases do not permit them to sublet without consent of the Authority. Nevertheless, some of these plaintiffs have sublet to others with the Authority's knowledge, if not its formal consent.

 2. Defendants are the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Philadelphia (hereinafter "RA") and various officers of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. Defendant RA is the landlord of all the properties on the 3400 block of Sansom Street.

 3. A draft statement of the impact on the environment of the 3400 block of Sansom Street of certain proposed redevelopment projects is currently being prepared by HUD with the participation of the RA.

 4. The plaintiffs whose prime leases defendant Redevelopment Authority (RA) seeks to terminate, or whose subtenants the RA seeks to enter into bi-lateral leases with, have made extensive improvements on the leased properties from the rents received from their subtenants.

 5. The plaintiffs whose prime leases the RA seeks to terminate have provided valuable managerial services for the apartments and the subtenants dwelling therein.

 7. Given the RA's record of performance with the now vacant properties on the 3400 block of Sansom and Walnut Streets, the RA would not maintain or manage the Sansom Street properties with the same degree of care as would the present prime tenants (or tenants who have subleased to others in violation of their leases).

 8. The transfer of property maintenance and property management functions from the plaintiffs to the RA would have a significant and irreparable effect on the present character of the Sansom properties before the environmental impact statement could be completed.

 9. The La Terrasse Restaurant, an establishment of notable local reputation, was transformed from a one-building restaurant into its present three-building size by breaking party walls between two adjacent buildings. (3436-3432 Sansom Street). The breach in both walls was made in 1969 or 1970 and was known to RA officials at the time. Defendant RA claims that this breach of the party walls violates the lease between Nicoles, Inc., the lessee of the three buildings, and the RA. Nicoles, Inc. (La Terrasse) denies that its acts violated its lease. This Court does not and need not decide whether or not these actions constitute a violation of the lease terms.

 10. In the summer months of 1974 defendant RA informed Nicoles, Inc. the landlord of La Terrasse, that their leases for 3432-36 Sansom Street would be terminated on September 3, 1974, unless the breaches were filled in.

 11. The filling in of these breaches would make impossible the operation of La Terrasse at its present size, and would at best force a return to a smaller concern of less size, character, and renown, or ...


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