DOB gives Tribeca Space go-ahead

By David Jones | June 24, 2008 01:22PM

The developer of a Tribeca loft building that has been sued over delays by developer Larry Silverstein’s daughter has received a temporary certificate of occupancy and has begun scheduling closings at its 74-unit project.

Sources familiar with the case said the lawsuit against the developer of Tribeca Space has been put on hold pending the close of the building’s units.

The Department of Buildings awarded the certificate for Tribeca Space on Friday, allowing the developers, Harold and his son Brad Thurman, to begin closing deals that have been pending for nearly two years in some cases.

“We hope to start closing within a matter of weeks,” said Jason Blasberg, attorney for the Thurmans.

Lisa Silverstein, a senior vice president at Silverstein Properties, and Charles and Jane Forman, of Brookline, Mass., filed suit in New York State Supreme Court in May. The suit alleged that Tribeca Mews engaged in a fraudulent scheme to encourage buyers to rescind their contracts so they could sell the units at a higher price. A court date had been scheduled for July 28 in Manhattan. 

The developers previously denied the allegations and insisted that the delays were related to an unresolved air rights dispute with the Department of Buildings, according to buyers. Last month the developers hired a former Department of Buildings counsel to assist with speeding up the approval process.

It remains unclear how many of the remaining buyers will end up closing on their contracts at the building. The Martin Act requires a developer to allow a buyer to back out of their contracts if closings are delayed by more than one year.

The apartments had been listed by Corcoran Group for $1.35 million for a one-bedroom to almost $2.3 million for a 2,094 square-foot three bedroom.

Court records show that in August 2006, Silverstein put down a 10 percent apartment on four ninth-floor apartments, which she planned combine into one large apartment for herself and her family for a total price of $6 million.

The plaintiffs had asked for damages and for the appointment of a temporary receiver to manage the development. In 2007, a group of frustrated buyers formed the 25 Murray Street Purchasers Rights Coalition and were offered the chance to rescind their contracts after they complained to state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

The suit alleged that “defendant Brad Thurman boasted to Plaintiff [Lisa] Silverstein that it was his goal to force every purchaser of units in the building to rescind his or her purchase agreement, so that he could take advantage of the current upswing in Tribeca property prices.”

The temporary certificate is scheduled to expire September 18. Department of Buildings officials were not immediately available for comment.

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