The Real Deal New York

Thor set to close on 180 Bedford after MNS withdraws lawsuit

Brooklyn brokerage sued developer, Salvation Army over commission on $36M deal

May 31, 2016 07:00AM
By Rey Mashayekhi

180 Bedford Avenue

180 Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg (inset: Joe Sitt)

Thor Equities looks set to finally close on its year-old $36 million purchase of a Williamsburg development site in the heart of the Bedford Avenue retail corridor, after brokerage MNS withdrew a lawsuit it had filed over commission on the deal.

Last week, MNS filed an order to dismiss with prejudice a case it brought last August against Thor, the Salvation Army and Midtown-based brokerage Sanchez Bodden Lerner in relation to Thor’s acquisition of 180 Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg.

Thor entered contract last April to buy the property — located on the corner of North 7th Street, steps away from the Bedford Avenue L stop – from the Salvation Army for $36 million.

But more than a year since going into contract, Thor has yet to close on the now-vacant site, and sources told The Real Deal that MNS and former MNS agent Israel Segal’s lawsuit against the parties was a key reason for the delay in closing.

MNS’ complaint alleged that MNS and Segal had reached out to Sanchez Bodden Lerner, which was marketing 180 Bedford on behalf of the Salvation Army, about “the possibility of [MNS] offering the property to Thor.”

Yet despite procuring Thor as the eventual buyer and Thor allegedly agreeing to pay MNS a 2 percent commission on the $36 million deal, MNS claims in the suit the defendants “negotiated and entered into a contract of sale secretly, without informing [MNS], so as to avoid paying commissions to the plaintiff.”

MNS claimed that Thor, its vice president Sam Sabin, the Salvation Army and Sanchez Bodden Lerner subsequently refused to cough up the agreed-upon commission, despite MNS “being the catalyst that brought the defendants together.” The brokerage sued for its $720,000 commission on the deal, plus damages.

But with MNS’ move earlier this week to discontinue the complaint with prejudice, it appears the parties have settled the dispute and Thor is now able to proceed with the closing.

While the order noted that Thor had yet to sign off on the legal action’s dismissal, a representative for Thor and Sabin said the company is glad to resolve the matter, and attributed the litigation to an issue between MNS and Sanchez Bodden Lerner.

“Thor was happy to assist MNS and Sanchez Bodden in working out their issues,” said Joseph Lee Matalon, Thor’s attorney in the case.

“Now that their dispute has been resolved, we look forward to acquiring this excellent property in the heart of Williamsburg,” Matalon added.

Representatives for MNS declined to comment, while an attorney for the Salvation Army could not be reached. Sanchez Bodden Lerner president Steve Bodden declined to comment.

Thor has already drawn up plans for a new 14,500-square-foot retail building on the parcel boasting 60 feet of frontage on both Bedford Avenue and North 7th Street and 2,500 square feet of rooftop space, according to its website.

The landlord has vetted asking retail rents approaching $450 per square foot for 180 Bedford, sources told TRD earlier this year – pricey even for what has become Brooklyn’s premier retail corridor.

Kyna Doles contributed reporting.

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