Developers aren’t always the most considerate neighbors, but a new lawsuit claims they might not always be the best tenants, either.
New York developer Jason Halpern was just hit with a lawsuit from the owner of a Miami Beach office building, who alleges that the developer destroyed and then abandoned an office suite he was renting during the buildout of a condo sales center.
According to the Daily Business Review, the suit was filed in federal court by an affiliate of developer Ronald Bloomberg, who owns the upscale Palm Court office building at 309 23rd Street.
The complaint says Halpern, through his company 2901 JMH LLC, signed a two-year lease in the building for $17,815 per month starting in November 2015. He began interior demolition of the suite not long afterward, the Daily Business Review reported, while also applying for permits to build a sales center to market Halpern’s planned 15-unit condo project at 2901 Indian Creek Drive.
But those plans appeared to have changed, according to the lawsuit, as Halpern’s company gave up its pursuit of permitting and abandoned the now-demolished office suite.
The suit chalked it up to a “change of heart” for Halpern’s plans to market the project, which left Bloomberg without a tenant and damages he claims are valued at more than $75,000.
“We have been, and continue to be, in full communication and cooperation with the landlord,” a spokesperson for Halpern said in a statement to The Real Deal. “As this is a legal matter, this will be our only statement on this issue.”
Halpern is currently developing Three Hundred Collins, another boutique condo project in Miami Beach, and his company recently sold the Aloft South Beach to the Rockpoint Group for $105 million. [Daily Business Review] — Sean Stewart-Muniz