“You in danger, girl” is not just the famous line uttered by “Ghost” film star Whoopi Goldberg. “The View” co-host better prepare for subsequent “danger” she might be in.
It was recently revealed her development company could be sued for $50 million in a New Jersey lawsuit.
The dispute is from Prism Capital Partners. The developer purchased land with the intent to build commercial and residential properties. The plan was to revitalize the downtown portion of West Orange is a part of a 2006 plan. But 15 years later, the property still sits vacant.
Initially, the plans were to “revamp the historic Thomas Edison Battery Building and surrounding grounds with thousands of square feet of retail space and hundreds of units of housing,” according to a report in New Jersey Patch. This includes 21 acres of land.
Whoopi Inc. Accused of Plot to Oust Developer
However, Goldberg’s company, Whoopi Inc. is accused of plotting to rid the longtime developer of the land. This was in order to secure the acreage for other use, the developers claim.
Prism Capital’s contract with the township ended in June after they were accused of defaulting on their agreement.
But the developer believes other factors were at play. They believe rising costs of property values during the COVID-19 prompted officials to try and re-zone and re-sell the land. Goldberg’s company would benefit from this redistribution.
But officials with Prism Capital are fighting back. They claim that the move is an “opportunistic and nefarious scheme to acquire the property for below market value so they can use the land for a sound studio.”
Along with Whoopi Inc., the claim names other real estate developers.
Developers Blame Goldberg and Other Town Officials for Plot
According to Fox News, Prism principal partner Eugene Diaz said in a statement to The Post on Saturday afternoon: “West Orange Township changed its mind from creating a residential neighborhood around our Edison Lofts property. They asked us to speak to Ms. Goldberg concerning her company’s interest in a small studio.”
Furthermore, Diaz said town officials were attempting to negotiate directly with Goldberg’s company.
“Those conversations grew into something larger, and once we presented that deal to the Town they decided to cut Prism out of the deal and take the property for less money than we paid for it in 2007 – so they could negotiate a deal directly with Ms. Goldberg’s company,” Diaz said in the statement. “They are not only trying to avoid paying the $20 million owed but they are trying to profit by being a middleman that flips the property to Ms. Goldberg.”
Despite these claims, town officials are denying the suit. They claim the longtime development company had years to complete the project and made little progress.
Goldberg did not comment on the lawsuit.