The Real Deal New York

Bo Jin Zhu faces suit over ownership of Bushwick hotel site

Moshe Oratz claims Chinese developer marketing property to other buyers

July 15, 2015 01:30PM
By Rey Mashayekhi

19 Bogart Street in Bushwick

19 Bogart Street in Bushwick

Brooklyn investor Moshe Oratz is suing the seller of a planned five-story, 60-key hotel in Bushwick, claiming the seller continues to market the property despite entering into contract with Oratz and taking his deposit.

The lawsuit, filed last week in Kings County Supreme Court, claims Oratz entered contract in 2013 to acquire 19 Bogart Street from with local Chinese developer Bo Jin Zhu for $13 million.

Oratz alleges that despite putting a $500,000 deposit down on the Bushwick property and being “ready, willing and able to close” on the contract, Zhu “is now actively marketing the property to other potential buyers.” Oratz seeks an injunction to prevent Zhu from doing so or entering into contract with other buyers.

Zhu acquired 19 Bogart Street for $2.5 million in 2010, filing permits with the city’s Department of Buildings that same year for a 56-key hotel featuring ground-floor retail. The hotel plans have since been revised to house 60 rooms, according to the lawsuit. Madison Realty Capital provided a total of $7.5 million in loans for the 23,719-square-foot development.

With the hotel “close to obtaining a temporary certificate of occupancy,” Oratz claims he’s been pushed out of the final decision-making process for the project, according to the suit.

Oratz originally partnered with fellow Brooklyn investor Sam Sprei to purchase the property, but the lawsuit details Sprei later backing out of the deal because he “never satisfied his financial obligations” and had “numerous disputes relating to other investments.”

Neither Oratz nor Zhu could be reached for comment. A legal representative for Oratz did not respond to a request for comment.

Zhu, along with partners Joseph Brunner and Chaim Miller, acquired a stake last year in a large development site in Greenpoint valued at $49 million, The Real Deal reported.

The planned hotel would be one of several in the works for the surrounding area in Bushwick. In May alone, filed plans include Heritage Equity Partners’s 144-key hotel at 232 Seigel Street, Riverside Developers’ 140-key development at 27 Stewart Street and Yoel Goldman’s 112-key hotel at 71 White Street.