Halstead sues Levy over unpaid fees at Park Columbus

By Candace Taylor | February 26, 2009 04:31PM

Halstead Property has filed a lawsuit against the developer of troubled condo conversion
Park Columbus for more than $75,000 in unpaid
advertising fees.

Halstead Property Development Marketing, the development arm of Halstead and the exclusive sales agent at the building, filed suit February 19 in New York State Supreme Court against Yair Levy’s 101 West 87th Street LLC, asking for payment for outstanding expenses plus interest and legal fees connected with sales at the building.

Those expenses include “advertising, supplies, printing and the like for the condominium project,” the suit says.

Located at 101 West 87th Street at Columbus Avenue, the former rental building was built in the 1980s by the Related Companies and purchased by Levy’s YL Real Estate Developers in 2005 for $42.5 million, according to city data. Levy did not respond to calls for comment.

Several weeks ago, The Real Deal reported that construction on the building, formerly known as Columbus Green, was halted and the on-site sales office closed. Some $3.15 million in mechanic’s liens from 20 subcontractors or suppliers have been filed there in the past three months.

Roughly 20 percent of the building’s 80 units have sold since the units went on sale a year ago, according to Stephen Kliegerman, the executive director of development marketing at Halstead.

Levy is also facing legal challenges at Rector Square, a Battery Park condo conversion he purchased from Related at the same time as Columbus Green. Earlier this month, Anglo Irish Bank filed suit to foreclose on Rector Square after Levy defaulted on a $165 million loan to the lender and payments to the Battery Park City Authority in addition to failing to meet construction deadlines.

Halstead has been the exclusive marketing and sales agent at Park Columbus since June 2006, the suit says, incurring advertising expenses of $150,654.50 in that time. In March of 2008, Halstead received a partial payment of $75,290.89, leaving an unpaid balance of $75,363.61, according to Halstead’s attorney, Neal Schwarzfeld, a partner at Penn, Proefriedt, Schwarzfeld and Schwarz.

Schwarzfeld said Halstead wrote a demand letter requesting payment several weeks ago, but received no response from the developer.

“We want to get paid,” Schwarzfeld said. “It’s as simple as that.”

Kliegerman said the company is still scheduling appointments with interested buyers at the site. “We’re not running any more ads, but we’re still actively showing the property,” he said. He declined to comment further.