Commercial brokerage giant JLL says Joseph Beninati refused to pay a $1.9 million commission after it helped the developer obtain financing for his 3 Sutton Place luxury residential tower.
“We will do what we want— and if you don’t like it, sue us,” the developer allegedly told the broker, according to the complaint JLL filed in New York State Supreme Court.
The lawsuit comes a day after a judge rejected Bauhouse’s request for an injunction against lender Gamma Real Estate, who is now planning a foreclosure auction for the property, located at 426-432 East 58th Street. The auction is planned for Feb 29.
Bauhouse retained JLL in 2014 as the sole broker arranging the financing for the project, according to the complaint. In early 2015, Bauhouse accepted a $63 million loan from Gamma, for which JLL claimed it was owed $567,000.
Bauhouse allegedly failed to pay, promising to pay the entire commission after a second loan was secured.
In June, Bauhouse obtained a second loan from Gamma, totaling $147 million.
Bauhouse refused to pay both fees, according to the complaint. In August, Bauhouse sent a letter to JLL terminating the brokerage agreement, which JLL claims has no impact on the amount due.
The Chicago-based brokerage is seeking damages equal to the total commission – $1.9 million – plus damages.
Bauhouse’s attorney, Stephen Meister, wasn’t immediately available for comment.