Struggling Manhattan Apartments faces lawsuit by accounting firm

By David Jones | May 09, 2009 12:14AM

Residential brokerage Manhattan Apartments is facing litigation from a local accounting firm for allegedly racking up $82,640 in services dating back to the summer of 2008.

Resnick Druckman Group filed suit in New York State Supreme Court April 2, demanding a judgment after claiming it has not been paid despite sending an invoice to Manhattan Apartments in July 2008.

The lawsuit comes at a difficult time for Manhattan Apartments, which sources say has lost dozens of agents to rival brokerages in recent months, including Bond New York and Century 21 NY Metro.

As previously reported by The Real Deal this week, Evan Schwarz and Normund Shakner moved their residential rental teams to Century 21 from Manhattan Apartments. Last month, Denise Salizzoni moved to Century 21 from Manhattan Apartments, where she was luxury rentals manager.

John Harhay, vice president and associate broker at Manhattan Apartments, denied industry speculation that his brokerage was planning to close its doors, but added that cost cuts could not be ruled out after Labor Day.

Manhattan Apartments, which had about 150 brokers and agents at the beginning of 2008, previously occupied four floors at 225 West 57th Street. In 2008, the firm relocated to an 11,000-square-foot space at 729 Seventh Avenue at 49th Street, its current home.

“I can’t tell you what may happen in the future,” Harhay said. “I don’t have a crystal ball. I don’t think there’s any downsizing planned.”

Harhay said he was unaware of the Resnick Druckman matter and said Jerry Weinstein, president of Manhattan Apartments, would have to respond to such an issue.

Weinstein was not immediately available for comment and nor were attorneys for Resnick Druckman.