Peebles Corporation Counters in NY Supreme Court That Jilted Partner Fibbed on Resume
Terence Cullen Feb. 26, 2016, 6:43 p.m.
Be careful the next time you lie on your resume. It might just come up in court.
Peebles Corporation is hitting back at the one-time consultant it hired to arrange its purchase of 346 Broadway between Catherine Lane and Leonard Street in the Civic Center, according to counterclaims filed in New York State Supreme Court earlier this month, which argued the adviser lied about his credentials and failed to generate business.
Daniel Hoeg and The Hoeg Corporation sued Peebles Corporation last year, alleging that the developer originally agreed to partner with the plaintiff to redevelop the city-owned property. Mr. Hoeg argued that the company then stiffed him once the New York City Economic Development Corporation sold the building to Peebles Corporation, headed by developer and potential mayoral candidate Don Peebles, which then partnered with Elad Group to refurbish the property, as Commercial Observer previously reported.
Peebles Corporation eventually bought the building in late-2013 in a deal with the EDC for $160 million, and is currently developing it with Elad. The developer secured a $334 million construction loan in January from Bank of America for the building, which has an alternate address of 108 Leonard Street, as CO previously reported.
In a Feb. 12 counterclaim, Peebles Corporation attorney Barry Friedberg, who declined to comment further today, wrote that Mr. Hoeg in fact had lied about his credentials in 2012 when he reached out to Peebles Corporation about finding development opportunities in New York City. Mr. Hoeg sent in resume information that was “substantially falsified and/or inaccurate” when he entered a retainer agreement with the company to serve as a consultant, according to the 17-page document.
Once the Miami- and New York-based Peebles Corporation hired Mr. Hoeg as a consultant for $5,000 per month, he was tasked with finding development opportunities for the company in the Big Apple. Among those were the Civic Center project, as well as properties in Harlem, according to the filing. But nothing came north of Central Park for Peebles Corporation, and Mr. Hoeg made “certain critical mistakes” when negotiating the deal to buy 346 Broadway, for which he’s now being accused of breach of contract.
And on top of it all, Mr. Hoeg’s suit is being countered for breach of confidentiality when he filed the suit against Peebles Corporation last year, in which the complaint contained private materials regarding deals—including a 2012 letter to then-EDC President Seth Pinsky from Messrs. Peebles and Hoeg stating they were in a joint venture. (Mr. Pinsky wasn’t named in the initial suit or the counter suit.)
Mr. Hoeg claimed in the complaint that his company had formed a joint venture with Peebles Corporation in 2012 to redevelop properties in New York City, as CO reported last year. The deal called for Peebles Corporation taking 75 percent of any profits from the redevelopment of 346 Broadway, and The Hoeg Corporation assuming the remaining 25 percent.
Mr. Friedberg, who did not return Commercial Observer’s requests for comment today, emailed CO in September 2015 that it was ludicrous that Peebles Corporation would give that big of a cut to someone he said served as a consultant.
Howard J. Smith, an attorney for Mr. Hoeg and The Hoeg Corporation, did not immediately return a request for comment. Mr. Peebles was not immediately available for comment.