Bankruptcy judge tosses DeWitt Clinton owner’s case

A bankruptcy court judge has thrown out a reorganization case involving the owner of the former DeWi
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A bankruptcy court judge has thrown out a reorganization case involving the owner of the former DeWitt Clinton hotel, who had tried to strong-arm the State Room Banquet Hall out of a long-term lease.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Littlefield dismissed See Why Gerard LLC’s five-month-old Chapter 11 case because the owner of the State Street building failed to file any operating reports required by the court.

Thursday’s dismissal could throw a wrench into See Why Gerard’s plans to restore the building as an upscale hotel. Between 1976 and last year, the former 400-room hotel had served as low-income housing.

The dismissal will also provide a reprieve to State Room owner Tom Nicchi, who has spent months fighting his landlord’s attempts to breach his lease, which extends to 2018.

“We’re not going anywhere. … I’m going to stay. I have 11 years on my lease,” said Nicchi.

See Why Gerard, whose sole investor is Chaim Ausch of Brooklyn, bought the circa-1929 building at the corner of State and Eagle streets in April 2006. Except for the State Room, all of the buildings residential and commercial tenants have relocated.

See Why Gerard attorney Richard Weiskopf and Ausch attorney Joann Sternheimer did not immediately return calls today.

Check back with DailyGazette.com for more on this story or read Saturday’s edition of The Daily Gazette.

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