Former Bayrock Consultant Files $5M Suit Over Development Deal

Trump Soho at 246 Spring Street

An ex-con has filed a lawsuit claiming that Jody Kriss, his ex-business partner at Bayrock Group, “used mob tactics” to try to get his half of a $2.5 million payout in a land deal, according to a new lawsuit reported by the New York Post.

The suit stems from Salvatore Lauria, a Mafia-associate-turned-informant, allegedly brokering an $85 million real estate deal with the FL Group of Iceland in 2007.
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Legal Wrangling Over Worldwide Plaza Deal Set to Continue

One Worldwide Plaza

RXR Realty’s legal representation plans to pursue its lawsuit against American Realty Capital and George Comfort & Sons over the sale of Worldwide Plaza, Stephen Meister, attorney for RXR, told The Commercial Observer.

The lawsuit, filed last month, alleges RXR had reached an agreement to buy the 48.9 percent stake in the 59-story, 1.8-million-square-foot tower with American Realty Capital as an investment partner, which included the right to purchase the entire property for a combined $1.35 billion. Read More


Broker Accused of Sending Masturbation Video to Teenage Intern


Eastern Consolidated is suing former associate broker Robert Khodadadian, claiming he violated company policy when he allegedly messaged a cellphone video of himself masturbating “to conclusion” to a teenage intern.

Mr. Khodadadian allegedly sent the (faceless) video to the female intern on April 24, two days before the Manhattan-based commercial real estate firm canned him Read More


Solow Sues Banks over Manipulation of Libor


7 West 57th Street Realty Co., a real estate company controlled by Sheldon Solow, filed a lawsuit in federal court yesterday against Citibank, Bank of America, Barclays, JPMorgan and a number of other banks for allegedly conspiring to manipulate the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor).

The complaint alleges the defendant banks’ conspiracy to manipulate Libor resulted in the seizure of Mr. Solow’s $450 million bond portfolio by Citibank. The portfolio was pledged as collateral for Libor denominated loans, the complaint says, and was comprised largely of high-grade municipal bonds. Subsequently, Solow was obligated to pay a $100 million judgment. Read More

domino sugar factory, Lawsuits

Domino Suit Thrown Out, Paving The Way For Factory’s $180 Million Sale

Domino Plant

The State Appellate Court has thrown out a lawsuit seeking to block the sale of the Domino Sugar factory, paving the way for the real estate firm Two Trees to close on a $180 million acquisition of the property later this month.

The Katan Group, which owns the site in a joint venture with the Community Preservation Corporation Resources, launched the suit during the summer, alleging CPCR had ignored higher bids for the 11-acre parcel and therefore had not acted in the best interest of the partnership to try to maximize profits in a sale. Read More


Katan Group Sues To Block $180 Million Domino Sugar Factory Deal

Isaac Katan, chief executive of The Katan Group

The Katan Group has filed a lawsuit seeking to block the $180 million sale of the Domino Sugar Factory in Williamsburg to the real estate investment and development firm Two Trees.

Katan, an owner of the 11-acre site in a joint venture with CPC Resources, accuses its partner of neglecting superior bids for the $2 billion development project, including offers from the well known New York real estate investor Joe Chetrit, and of not conducting a proper sales process for the site. Read More


Mitch Konsker, Former Top Cushman Team, Sues Firm Over Commissions

Mitch Konsker

A high profile leasing team in the city is accusing its former firm of cheating it out of millions of dollars worth of commissions.

The group of leasing executives, Mitch Konsker, Paul Glickman, Matt Astrachan, Alex Chudnoff and Mitti Liebersohn, allege in a lawsuit filed yesterday in State Supreme Court that Cushman & Wakefield owes the team at least $4 million in unpaid compensation, though the complaint doesn’t specify the exact amount. Read More


Court Swats Down Lawsuit At Domino Factory, Paving Way For Shakeup


The developer of the Domino Sugar Factory failed to receive an injunction in State Supreme Court Tuesday to block its partner from recapitalizing the proposed $1.5 billion project.

The decision appeared to clear the way for the Community Preservation Corporation, a joint owner of the site, to proceed with a deal to hand the majority stake to the project’s senior lender, Pacific Coast Capital Partners, LLC.

Isaac Katan, who has been a fifty-fifty partner with CPC in the 11-acre former factory, had launched the suit in March seeking an injunction on the restructuring deal because it would significantly dilute both his and CPC’s interest in the project, which sits along the Brooklyn waterfront in Williamsburg. Read More


Supreme Court Tosses Harmon Case


The Supreme Court rejected a case brought by former federal prosecutor Jim Harmon that could have challenged the city’s rent control laws.

Mr. Harmon, who owns a five-story townhouse on West 76th Street with three rent controlled tenants, had brought a complaint to the court that rent control violates his Constitutional rights because it gives tenants a hold on his property without proper compensation. Mr. Harmon’s three tenants pay about $1000-per-month, far below the market rent for the apartments. Read More


BGC Completes Grubb & Ellis Acquisition


BGC is closing on its acquisition of Grubb & Ellis today according to sources.

The deal completes the company’s months-long efforts to buy Grubb & Ellis out of bankruptcy.

In late February, Grubb & Ellis filed for Chapter 11 and stated that it intended to sell its assets to BGC, which days before had purchased Grubb & Read More


Domino Sugar Partnership Had Flaws From Start

Isaac Katan

Isaac Katan stood on the edge of the cement pier and gazed across the choppy waters of the East River at Manhattan.

The city’s skyline unfolded in a panorama in front of him. On one side was the Empire State Building prominent among the cluster of buildings in Midtown, then Lower Manhattan just across the water and finally downtown Brooklyn to the south. Periodically, the rattling of a passing subway echoed over the Williamsburg Bridge, whose sweeping span arched across the sky only a few hundred yards away. Read More


Grubb & Ellis Brokers To Appeal Company’s Sale To BGC

Stephen Meister

A team of Grubb & Ellis brokers who had fought to make the sale of the bankrupt company contigent on their ability to recoup millions of dollars of commissions they are owed is appealing today’s sale in bankruptcy court of the company to BGC Partners.

Stephen Meister, an attorney and principal of the firm Meister Seelig & Fein, said that he would act as co-council for eight Grubb & Ellis brokers in their appeal, a group that includes his son Jason Meister. Read More


Brokers Wait Nervously For Grubb & Ellis Sale


Grubb & Ellis brokers were still waiting on Monday for a decision in U.S. Bankruptcy Court whether they will be allowed to sue the company’s senior creditor BGC Partners, which is trying acquire the firm, for commission payments they are owed.

Judge Melvin Glenn skipped approving Grubb & Ellis’s sale in a hearing last Thursday after the company’s brokers argued that allowing BGC to buy the firm free and clear of any obligations would deny them their earnings. Read More