Barnett Sues Brokers Over Broken Promises
Matt Chaban Oct. 7, 2010, 10:49 a.m.
Brokers have already made Gary Barnett’s hit list, but the mega-developer has given them one more reason to hate his guts (while having no choice but to do business with the powerful builder). Crain’s is reporting that Barnett’s Extell Development has sued a handful of brokerages, including Brown Harris Stevens, over pre-paid commissions for sales that never materialized at its glassy Lucida condominium on East 86th Street. This was a common practice during the boom, but we all know how that went.
“Commissions are only earned when a unit closes,” Extell said in a statement. “Since the unit for which Brown Harris Stevens received a commission did not close, Brown Harris Stevens did not earn the commission and it must be returned.”
Barnett’s business has been booming of late, at least as much as can be expected in this post-boom era. Sure, progress is off-and-on at projects like Carnegie 57 and the International Gem Tower, but that’s more than a lot of developers can claim.
As Crain’s points out, the 110-unit Lucida is nearly 70 percent sold, at prices in the $1,700-per-square-foot range, so what does Barnett have to complain about? Then again, he certainly didn’t build his empire by being a nice guy.