Chetrit Group head Joseph Chetrit is suing the former owners of the Hotel Chelsea, Chelsea 23rd Street Corporation, for $4.15 million in total damages, Curbed reported.
According to filings with the State Supreme Court, Chetrit alleges that both the sellers and former hotel manager Stanley Bard misrepresented the property — specifically the pricey artwork included in the sale and the state of some of the apartments.
Chetrit purchased the famous bohemian hideaway for $78.5 million in 2011 and is revamping the building; controversial Gene Kaufman is overseeing the design. He is seeking $2.15 million for “non-existent assets” he claims he paid for in the selling price, plus $2 million for punitive damages.
In the lawsuit Chetrit claims that he was “defrauded” and “deliberately lied” to, and that Bard and Chelsea 23rd’s “illicit effort” was “outrageous, fraudulent, shocking to the consequence and deliberate,” according to Curbed.
Over the years, the Hotel Chelsea had received several works of art by its residents. After the sale, some artists returned to reclaim their gifts. For instance, Arthur Alan Weinstein’s widow reclaimed 22 pieces of her late husband’s collection, valued at about $500,000. Others that reclaimed their art included the Larry Rivers Foundation on behalf of the late Larry Rivers and artist Philip Taaffe.
However, Bard had admitted in writing that Chelsea 23rd never formerly owned the works. [Curbed] —Christopher Cameron