Developer Sues Landlord For $3.5M for Allegedly Stalling Rooftop Bar

reprints


A planned rooftop bar and restaurant in the Garment District might never get off the ground thanks to a dispute between the operator and his landlord.

Foremost Real Estate’s Dan Shavolian, who’s trying to open the eatery atop 469 Seventh Avenue, is suing 469 Holdings for $3.5 million, alleging that building owners Meyer EquitiesMartin and Eric Meyer stalled his eatery project by refusing to sign the permits he needed to start construction, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in New York County Supreme Court.

SEE ALSO: South Florida Self-Storage Performance Signals Continued Robust Growth 

The Meyers and Spencer Schneider, Shavolin’s lawyer, declined to comment. Shavolian could not be reached for comment.

Shavolian leased the rooftop of the 17-story building under the firm 1516 Roof in 2015 in a 17-year deal that required him to redevelop the space into a restaurant, according to the lawsuit. Shavolian claimed that he was an investor in the building at the time before he exited ownership in 2019.

To build the bar, Shavolian claimed he needed to first install new elevators before he could start replacing the roof’s mechanicals and remodeling the property’s 36th Street lobby, but the Meyers allegedly refused to sign off on demolition permits for the elevators. 

“As I repeatedly explained to the Meyers, their failure to approve the demolition permit halted all work on the project,” Shavolian said in his affidavit. 

The dispute came to a head in September when the landlords tried to evict Shavolian because he had failed to build the bar, the lawsuit alleges. 

Shavolian claimed he has spent at least $1.5 million on early construction costs for the rooftop bar and wants a judge to force the Meyers to cover his expenses and prevent them from throwing him out, according to the filing.

“The Meyers have acted in bad faith and have deliberately impeded the project,” the filing said. “Without an injunction and maintenance of the status quo, [the] plaintiff will suffer irreparable harm, including the loss of a valuable leasehold interest.”

Celia Young can be reached at cyoung@commercialobserver.com.