The Real Deal New York

Broker claims meat purveyors cut her out of prime $31M West Village sale

Lawsuit alleges Gia Wang found buyer but didn't get commission

April 27, 2016 12:55PM
By Kathryn Brenzel

From left: 601 Washington Street in the West Village and a pile of money (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

From left: 601 Washington Street in the West Village and a pile of money being butchered (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

New York City brokers often must fight tooth and nail for a sale, but one agent claims her meat purveying clients quietly cut her out of the $31 million of their West Village warehouse.

Broker Gia Wang filed a lawsuit against Patrick LaFrieda and his son, Patrick LaFrieda Jr., for allegedly cheating her out of a $602,000 commission for the sale of 601 Washington Street, a warehouse used for their North Bergen, N.J.-based business, Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors. Wang, who is licensed under her own brokerage company Gia Wang LLC, alleges that she found a buyer — developer Charles Dunne — for the property in 2006, but Dunne told her at the time that the $25 million price tag was too steep, according to a lawsuit filed in State Supreme Court.

Without her knowing, however, Dunne and the LaFriedas secretly entered into an agreement for the property for $31 million, according to the lawsuit. Wang later discovered the deal when Dunne filed permit applications with the Department of Buildings for a new 44,504-square-foot residential building on the site. The DOB approved those plans in January and issued Dunne demolition permits for the two-story warehouse in September.

The younger LaFrieda told The Real Deal on Wednesday that he’s never met Wang. He said that the sale didn’t have a broker; they found Dunne through a family friend.

“I never heard of the woman. I’m not really sure where she’s coming from,” he said.

Wang’s attorney, Lawrence Hirsh, said that his client and the elder LaFrieda had a written agreement in 2006 — that is attached to the lawsuit.

In 2005, Wang made a few headlines when she reportedly got into an altercation with a Soho man at an open house. At the time, Wang was a broker with Prudential Douglas Elliman and attended an open house where the owner didn’t have a hired broker, the New York Times reported. According to the article, Wang refused to leave the apartment and “[clawed] at his face, scratching him and drawing blood.”

Hirsh wouldn’t comment on the incident, aside from saying that he felt that the incident had been incorrectly reported. Wang agreed.

“It was a long time ago, and it’s not part of this complaint,” she said.

She is seeking $602,000 in damages, roughly 2 percent of the warehouse sale price.

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