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Crane-Eatery Reprieve

By: Alex Ginsburg

May 5th, 2008

A Midtown restaurant damaged in the deadly March 15 crane collapse has a new lease on life after a Manhattan judge ordered its landlord not to demolish the five-story building.

The owner of Crave Ceviche had signed a 10-year lease with Ascot Properties for the space at 946 Second Ave. that allows Ascot to knock down the building in case of irreparable damage.

But Justice Milton Tingling last month issued an order requiring Ascot “to preserve the premises and not allow further damage [and] not take any step to demolish the building.”

Crave’s lawyers say Ascot is dragging its feet on repairs in hope of cashing in by putting up a massive office tower.

And Crave owner Brian Owens says he’s closed just as the seasonal business is heating up. “We were looking forward to the spring,” he said. “. . . Everyone’s capitalizing off the weather . . . except for us.”

But Ascot lawyer Gerry Feinberg said Crave had no reason to take the landlord to court since “he still hasn’t determined what he’s going to do, [though] the initial evidence suggests there’s substantial damage.”


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