Hedge fund operators and private equity investors — the “Wall Street pros” who snapped up homes for a steal following the market meltdown — are now making their exit, real estate attorney Stephen Meister told Fox Business Friday. Click here to see the video.
Posts Tagged ‘stephen meister’
New York City’s archaic rent-stabilization and rent-control laws — along with aggressive creation of historic districts and property-taxes that favor ownership — are to blame for the city’s housing shortage and exorbitant rents, according to noted real estate attorney Stephen Meister. [more]
Shareholders in the Empire State Building have filed yet another lawsuit against the fledgling Empire State Realty Trust, alleging that the Malkin family and executives of the real estate investment trust had their self-interest paramount when opting to take the tower public, resulting in a $500 million loss for shareholders. [more]
New York City’s commercial property insiders are digesting the news that Midtown-based finance and property brokerage firm BGC Partners has agreed to buy the assets of the battered national services firm Grubb & Ellis.
They say the acquisition, which Federal Bankruptcy Court documents value at about $34.8 million plus additional, undefined amounts, would bring stability to the California-based Grubb. [more]
From left: Stephen Meister and 315 West 35th StreetThe judge who presided over a fraud case involving Isaac Chetrit has recused himself and referred the case to Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, the New York Observer reported.
Isaac Chetrit’s attorney, Meister Seelig & Fein principal Stephen Meister, had sent a letter to Justice Bernard Fried alleging Chetrit was defrauded by Benjamin Herbst. Meister accuses Herbst of counterfeiting the mortgage deed Chetrit owns for the 60,000-square-foot building at 315 West 35th Street in order to halt the foreclosure procedure against owner Aaron Chitrik.
As previously reported, Herbst is believed to have a long track record of forging deeds, which first came to light with this case…. [more]
Chetrit Group’s Isaac Chetrit was defrauded out of ownership of a mortgage he bought on a Garment District office building, his attorney alleges.
Real Estate Weekly reported that when Isaac Chetrit purchased the distressed mortgage on a 60,000-square-foot office building at 315 West 35th Street for $10.75 million last year, he meant to file the transaction under an LLC called Mazel West 35. Instead, it was incorrectly recorded as Mazal 315 W35 LLC…. [more]
Developer Joseph Chetrit just won a round in his court battle with Bonjour Capital’s Charles Dayan over the future redevelopment of the Temple Court at 5 Beekman Street, the Post reported. Chetrit had to lay out both his and Dayan’s share of additional funds to extend and reduce their mortgage commitment to just over $20 million from about $53 million. Now, a judge has ordered Dayan to pay, and Stephen Meister, Chetrit’s lawyer, said he will start enforcing the judgment, which is worth about $2.55 million. Dayan said he disagrees with the court ruling and intends to appeal. [Post, 6th item] … [more]
From left: Joe Moinian, SL Green CEO Marc Holliday, Deutsche Bank CFO Stefan Krause, Related CEO Stephen Ross and 3 Columbus Circle
SL Green and the Moinian Group last Wednesday said they deposited $258.6 million to settle the 3 Columbus Circle foreclosure case with Deutsche Bank and Related Cos., and warned that if the lender refuses the payoff it will trigger a protracted court battle. Deutsche filed suit earlier this year to foreclose on the project, alleging Moinian defaulted on $250 million in mortgage loans at the 26-story tower. Moinian later filed a $200 million counter suit, alleging Deutshe engaged in a predatory scheme to let Related — which acquired the debt in a joint venture with Deutsche — foreclose on the building, demolish the existing site and redevelop the property in a hotel and office complex anchored by a Nordstrom’s department store…. [more]
Developer Joseph Moinian reached an impasse in a high-profile battle to block Deutsche Bank and Related Cos. from foreclosing on his 3 Columbus Circle office tower and demolishing the property in favor of a new tower anchored by Nordstrom’s department store. Related Chairman Steve Ross and lawyers for Moinian squared off this morning in New York State Supreme Court, while the two executives sat impassively in the front row, watching what amounted to a legal sparring match with Judge Charles Ramos repeatedly injecting a wry sense of humor to keep the showdown from turning into a three-ring circus. … [more]
Billionaire developer Tamir Sapir is facing a $130 million lawsuit from a fund controlled by the Blackstone Group, alleging he defaulted on a multi-million-dollar loan used to develop the William Beaver House condominium in the Financial District.
GSO Re Onshore, the fund managed by Blackstone subsidiary GSO Capital Partners, filed suit Monday against Sapir individually in New York State Supreme Court, seeking a judgment on the $66 million loan that he guaranteed and then failed to repay by the November 2009 maturity date.
“GSO RE would not have made the loan to SDS William Street absent Sapir’s personal and unconditional promise to repay the loan set forth in the guarantee,” wrote Kobre & Kim attorney Elizabeth Wolstein, who is representing the fund.
The lawsuit alleges that as of November 2009 Sapir owed $48.7 million in interest, on top of the $66 million in principal. Another $15.7 million in new interest is now due, resulting in the $130 million claim for summary judgment. … [more]
Lawyers for iStar Financial claim that the lender never received millions
of dollars from apartment sales prior to the foreclosure filing at One
Madison Park condominium, according to court documents obtained by The
Real Deal. Lawyers for iStar faced off against counsel for the developer in a March 23
hearing before state Supreme Court Judge Eileen Rakower, who heard
arguments about the lender’s request for a court-appointed receiver. Meister Seelig partner Stephen Meister, an attorney representing the developer, said he was not aware of any allegations of missing funds. “So many of them are completely baseless and untrue that it’s really not
a good idea to rely on these unsupported allegations,” Meister told The
Real Deal…. [more]
From left, Charles Kushner, chairman of Kushner Companies, company principal and son Jared Kushner and 666 Fifth Avenue
The $1.215 billion securitized loan secured by the Kushner Companies
iconic Midtown office building at 666 Fifth Avenue was transferred to
special servicing yesterday as part of an effort to restructure the
loan, a company spokesperson told The Real Deal in a statement. Kushner
bought the building, located between 52nd and 53rd streets, for $1.8
billion from Tishman Speyer Properties in January 2007, at the time the
highest price ever paid for an office building. “The transfer of
the 666 Fifth Avenue loan was done at the request of Kushner Companies,
so that it could more easily engage in productive discussions with the
lender. The loan is not currently in default,” the statement said. Peter
Slatin, editorial director of commercial data tracking firm Real
Capital Analytics said the move was part of a trend in owners seeking
to reduce their debt. “They are clearly hoping to take advantage
of the increasing willingness of lenders to restructure to avoid what
could be a challenging situation since they not only bought at the top
of the market, they defined the top of the market,” Slatin said…. [more]
Developer Joe Moinian filed a lawsuit on Monday to block the scheduled auction of Dwell95, his luxury rental building at 95 Wall Street, however a last minute bankruptcy filing by the mezzanine lender has postponed the proceeding. Monian’s Moinian Group, one of the city’s biggest real estate development companies, filed suit in New York State Supreme Court against Rubicon Finance America, which held a $42 million mezzanine loan on the 507-unit property in the Financial District. Moinian had a $227 million construction loan on the building from Credit Suisse-unit Column Financial, but the value of the property fell below the loan balance due to the 2008 economic downturn, which put the mezzanine loan into default, according to the complaint. Moinian alleges he reached an agreement with Rubicon and Credit Suisse to buy the $42 million mezzanine loan for $1 million, but he says on Dec. 10 that Rubicon agreed to sell $1.4 billion in loans, including the Dwell95 loan , to a joint venture firm that included FBE Limited and Lane Capital Management. Right after the sale, Moinian alleges that FBE and Lane Capital scheduled a Dec. 30 auction to foreclose on 95 Wall Street and basically deprive him of the chance to buy back the defaulted mezzanine loan…. [more]
The recent ruling in favor of tenants at Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village initially put the city’s landlords on the defensive, but now property owners are asking if the city might owe them money because of the decision. Frank Ricci, director of governmental affairs at the landlord trade group Rent Stabilization Association, said he has fielded calls from “dozens” of landlords asking if the city might owe them for overpayment in taxes. And in recent weeks the law firm Belkin Burden Wenig & Goldman raised more questions in a bulletin, including whether the city must pay landlords for lost tax abatements. Adding to the potential chaos, Stephen Meister, a partner who specializes in real estate law at the firm Meister Seelig & Fein, said he had spoken with building owners who might want to leave the city-run J-51 tax abatement program altogether…. [more]
Fitch Ratings downgraded another series of commercial real estate loans, driven in part by concerns that the troubled Riverton Houses apartment complex in Harlem would incur a “significant loss upon liquidation” based on a recent appraisal report. Wells Fargo, the trustee of the Riverton loan, filed a motion last month in New York State Supreme Court for a summary judgment against developer Laurence Gluck of Stellar Management, who defaulted on a $225 million loan and was thus far unable to arrange a workout with his lenders. Sources close to the case said a hearing is scheduled for tomorrow to determine whether to order a judgment against the developer. If such an order is issued, a referee would be appointed to determine the total amount due and what steps would be taken to place the property up for sale and collect on any personal guarantees…. [more]
Bank of America filed to foreclose on two loans totaling more than $30
million provided for the development of a rental project dubbed the
Oliver to be constructed by the luxury developer Alexico Group on the
East Side. The lawsuit describes one mortgage from 2007 as the fee acquisition
loan, valued at $28.32 million, and the second as a development rights
acquisition loan from 2008, valued at $2.3 million. Both loans were originally due November 2008, but the maturity date was
extended to May 1, 2009. The loans were not repaid by that time, and
the bank notified the borrowers that the loans were in default, the
suit filed in New York State Supreme Court August 13, says. The loans cover five mid-block lots from 951 to 961 First Avenue,
between 52nd and 53rd streets, although the planned 30-story
development is only on the three northernmost lots totaling 75 feet by
100 feet, court papers and property records show. The other two lots
are occupied by five-story apartment buildings…. [more]