Approved for the development of a six-story building back in 2013, with 24 residential units over ground floor retail and a 14-car garage to rise, the prominent gas station site on the northwest corner of Castro and Market has been locked in a legal battle ever since. And after two years of litigation, a Superior Court judge is expected to rule on the fate of the parcel within the next 90 days.
Builder Joe Tierney had agreed to buy the 376 Castro Street site for $3.434 million in August 2004, with the final sale dependent upon the site being approved for the development of at least 22 residential units.
And having made a $340,000 first payment in exchange for a 10 percent interest in the property, with the balance due and full sale to be finalized upon the terms of the purchase agreement being satisfied and executed, Mr. Tierney set about getting the project entitled/approved.
After years of back and forth with the city and neighborhood groups; a number of delays to allow for the development and subsequent refinement of a neighborhood plan; and an overhaul of the project’s proposed design, 376 Castro was approved for development.
Soon thereafter, the gas station site appeared on Craigslist listed for $12 million, much to the surprise and chagrin of Mr. Tierney.
The majority owners of the site argue that Tierney missed a contractual one-year deadline to secure entitlements for the project, and that despite Tierney’s ongoing effort and investment, and failure to exercise his right to terminate the agreement, the purchase agreement expired in 2005, leaving him with a 10 percent interest in the property and nothing more.
The case went to trial last month with Mr. Tierney represented by Gregory Wood of Wood Robbins, LLP. And with the jury deadlocked after two weeks of testimony, and final arguments presented on April 8, the fate of the development is now in the hands of Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bolanos.