Whoopi, Inc. is being sued by a local development company after a deal to revitalize a West Orange, New Jersey neighborhood fell through.
This story is rather convoluted, so get your pen and paper ready.
Prism Capital Partners was chosen in 2006 to develop and revitalize downtown West Orange, reported the New York Post.
Prism said their mission was to “revamp” the area. However, it sounds like another word for gentrification because the target design was retail space integrated with hundreds of residential units.
Prism’s deal was terminated in June. Prism did not have a deal with Whoopi, Inc. nor Goldberg. Its deal was with West Orange Township, and the township decided in May that Prism was in default.
Where do Whoopi and $50 million come in?
At some point, the township reversed course on the residential lofts that Prism was going to build because Whoopi expressed interest in building a studio on some of the land reserved for the development project.
The township directed Prism to speak directly with Whoopi about her intentions, and after a deal was drafted and the company submitted it to the township, the township decided to cut Prism out of it. That allowed them to buy back the land from Prism at a discount and negotiate directly with Whoopi for a sweeter deal.
Prism has sued the township and Whoopi, Inc. for what they call a nefarious scheme to snatch the land away and build the sound studio.
The mayor of West Orange has denied the allegations and took the time to throw a little factual shade.
Mayor Robert D. Parisi said that Prism has had “almost 15 years to complete Phase II of this project and despite approvals, have failed to live up to their commitments.”
Fifteen years is a long time. They can’t even blame the pandemic for that.
Prism is not just suing the township and Whoopi but other real estate developers as well. They want the deal to be reinstated.
Goldberg has not responded publicly to the lawsuit.