The Real Deal New York

Big Momma’s House: Landlord files to cut business ties with 96-year-old mom

Cites "disruptive and abusive behavior," writing checks she couldn't cash

December 15, 2015 04:00PM
By Rey Mashayekhi

35 Christopher Street

35 Christopher Street in the West Village

They say money and blood don’t mix particularly well, and New York landlord Kenneth Rosenblum has found out the hard way – having filed a legal petition Tuesday to dissolve a business partnership with his 96-year-old mother, Bernice Rosenblum.

Rosenblum and his mother co-own no less than 13 properties across the city through their company, Greenwich Village-based Standard Realty Associates, and several affiliated entities, according to the petition filed in New York State Supreme Court.

While the family duo have been in business together for more than 40 years, Kenneth claims disagreements and business disputes with his mother have become “so severe that all confidence and cooperation between them have been destroyed,” according to the complaint.

It’s gotten so bad that “almost all significant communications” between the Rosenblums go through their respective attorneys, the complaint goes on, while Bernice’s “disruptive and abusive behavior” in the company’s office is alleged to have “caused at least two key employees to resign.”

The filing also describes how Bernice Rosemblum’s behavior has affected the company’s finances – with Kenneth Rosenblum alleging his mother once ordered the business’ bookkeeper to issue her a $5 million check, despite Standard Realty not having such funds available.

Bernice is also alleged to have withdrawn $2.4 million more in funds from the company’s accounts than Kenneth has over the years even though they’re both entitled to a 50 percent cut of the business.

Kenneth and Bernice mostly own residential buildings throughout Soho and the West Village, including 47 units at 35-37 Christopher Street and several buildings along Thompson Street.

Legal representatives for Kenneth Rosenblum did not return requests for comment. Bernice Rosenblum declined to comment on the matter.