The Real Deal New York

Developer unable to move into Dakota pad for 16 years: suit

Robert Siegel sues building's co-op board for $55 million

July 07, 2015 10:00AM

From left: Robert Siegel and the Dakota

From left: Robert Siegel and the Dakota Building on the Upper West Side

Developer Robert Siegel claims that he has been waiting to move into the former ballroom at the Dakota Building since 1999.

Siegel bought the apartment for $2 million 16 years ago, the New York Post reported. The iconic building’s co-op board, however, is using the space as storage.

Now, Siegel is suing the building’s co-op board for fraud, breach of contract, constructive eviction and other related causes of action for $55 million, claiming he was promised he could turn the former ballroom into a four-bedroom apartment when he bought it.

One year later, the co-op board allegedly asked him to pay $1.8 million in co-op shares as well as $1.1 million in maintenance fees, according to the lawsuit. Siegel paid the money, but charges that the board then turned around and changed the certificate of occupancy on the space into a “non-habitable storage space.”

Broker Dolly Lenz told the New York Post that the space would be worth $40 million if someone were to buy it today. [NYP] — Claire Moses