Jasper developer sued for back rent

By David Jones | May 29, 2009 12:00PM

Developer Harry Jeremias, who is fighting a foreclosure proceeding at his Jasper condominium conversion, is facing a $500,000 lawsuit alleging he failed to pay rent at his 200 West 57th Street office.

The plaintiff, Jeffrey Management Corp., filed a breach of contract suit in State Supreme Court in Manhattan alleging that Jeremias failed to pay more than $92,700 in back rent. Jeremias’ firm, the Harch Realty Group, is named as a defendant as well.

Including the $92,700, the plaintiff is asking for more than $544,000 in commissions, legal fees, advertising costs as well as the costs to prepare the space for a new tenant. Jeremias guaranteed all payments under the lease agreement, according to the suit.

Jeremias was not immediately available for comment. Michael Premisler, attorney for Jeffrey Management, refused to comment.

As The Real Deal previously reported, Jeremias is facing a foreclosure suit from Petra Capital Management, after he defaulted on $83 million in mortgage loans in 2008 at the Jasper.

The 80-unit condo conversion plan fell apart in the fall of 2008 and a deal to convert the property to a hotel with a new team of European investors also fell apart. 

Jeremias, through a subsidiary firm called Morgan 32 Holding, borrowed more than $93 million from Petra in February 2007, to pay for the Jasper project.

Jeremias, in a May 18 court filing, alleged that Petra cut off his construction funding and forced him to use a general contractor after he asked the bank to bring in a new construction company.

“[Petra] controlled and managed Morgan’s construction project, and was itself to blame for the conditions constituting the alleged default,” attorneys for Jeremias alleged in court documents.

In April, Judge Eileen Bransten rejected a request by Petra to appoint a receiver to oversee the Jasper. However, it remains unclear whether the building will eventually be sold or converted into another type of property.