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Second Lawsuit Filed In Greenburgh Sports- Bubble Fight

Game On 365, the company behind the Westchester Field House shown above, has filed a lawsuit against Elm Street Sports Group, its competitor in the bidding for the Dobbs Ferry Road property.
Game On 365, the company behind the Westchester Field House shown above, has filed a lawsuit against Elm Street Sports Group, its competitor in the bidding for the Dobbs Ferry Road property. Photo Credit: File

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — In answer to a lawsuit filed against the company in October, Game On 365 has responded with its own lawsuit against Elm Street Sports Group and Simon Cohen, a Greenburgh resident who founded Burst the Bubble, a local group opposed to the Westchester Field House's construction.

Cohen and the Elm Street Sports Group, which runs the House of Sports complex in Ardsley, are being accused of raising arguments "for no other purpose than to drag the town and Game On through unnecessary litigation" to force Greenburgh and Game On to deal with substantial costs and years of construction delay, according to the Feb. 12 filing.

Cohen's Burst the Bubble joined Elm Street and several Greenburgh residents in a lawsuit in October that stated Greenburgh's lease with Game On to build a sports bubble on Dobbs Ferry Road would violate tax codes and state and local laws.

Now, Game On's  motions not only asks that the claims be dismissed — since Greenburgh is now selling, not leasing, the property — but also seeks sanctions.

In the meantime, both Game On and Elm Street are still vying for the purchase of the old Frank's Nursery property. Elm Street is offering $3.5 million for the property; more than double Game On's $1.65 million proposal.

Game On claims that Burst the Bubble acted as a "puppet entity" that was funded by Elm Street. Cohen had been living rent-free in a $6,000-per-month house paid for by Irin Israel, who is married to Stephanie Scherer, the sister of Donald Scherer, Elm Street's chief executive officer, the lawsuit found.

The Game On filing shows a recorded statement from Cohen in Westchester County Family Court admitting that after his recent divorce, his friend — Israel — was helping him afford his rent.

"Burst the Bubble is a bogus non-profit serving as a front for the advancement of Scherer's/Elm Street's goal of shutting out the competition," the Game On's  filing states, adding that such collaboration is "tantamount to a fraud."

In response to the litigation, Israel said the motions are "purely sour grapes" and are meant to act as a screen for Greenburgh's history of lengthy litigation, including the October lawsuit.

"The House of Sports and Elm Street Sports Group does not employ Simon Cohen," Israel wrote in an email representing the group's response. "There is nothing improper about the personal relationships that some of the shareholders may have with him."

If the motions are not promptly withdrawn, Elm Street will oppose Game On "vigorously and seek additional appropriate relief," according the group's statement.

Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner said the motion hasn't affected the town's decision between the two bidders.

"We're still considering both offers and expect to have a decision within the next month," Feiner said.

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