The Real Deal New York

Nonprofit says Abyssinian never paid them following Pathmark sale

Church-affiliated developer, in a joint ventureship with East Harlem Triangle, sold the site to Extell for $39M

October 07, 2015 10:37AM

Calvin Butts Pathmark

From left: Rev. Calvin Butts and the Pathmark supermarket at 142-96 East 125th Street in Harlem

Signs of trouble at Harlem’s largest affordable housing manager, Abyssinian Development, continue to pile up.

The developer, the real estate arm of the Abyssinian Baptist Church, allegedly failed to pay out $2 million to the nonprofit East Harlem Triangle after organizing the sale of a Pathmark supermarket they co-owned at 142-96 East 125th Street to Extell Development for $39 million last year.

“We want to know where our money went,” Derrick Taitt, board chairman of East Harlem Triangle, told the New York Daily News.

Abyssinian arranged the sale of the property, which the organizations owned as a 50-50 partnership, against East Harlem Triangle’s initial objections, according to documents obtained by the tabloid. And now, 18 months later, the nonprofit says its share of the proceeds have not materialized.

“We had an agreement (with Abyssinian) to be a joint venture,” said Taitt, “but they kept cheating us and charging us for costs we never agreed to.”

Pathmark paid roughly $110,000 per month in rent, but the nonprofit only received $1,800 of that, the Daily News reported.

Just last week, the city pulled $3 million in contracts from Abyssinian after the developer failed submit three years of fax filings and audits.

At the time of the deal, news outlets reported Extell planned to build luxury condos on the 69,000-square-foot site. No plans have yet been filed. [NYDN]Ariel Stulberg