Multi-million dollar heir wins out in $1B Manhattan real estate squabble

May 19, 2010 03:00PM

The Keller Hotel

Multi-million dollar heir Neil Bender won a major coup yesterday when an appellate court ruled that he was fit to manage the 150-property Manhattan real estate portfolio that once belonged to his late uncle William Gottlieb, which his mother left to Bender in her will. His relatives have tried to wrest the collection of properties, including the Keller Hotel, the Northern Dispensary and the New Holland Hotel, located mostly in the West Village and Meatpacking District, from his control since July 2007, in a public family feud, according to the Wall Street Journal. A group of Bender’s relatives, including his sister Cheryl Dier and his nephew Michael Corbett, had alleged that he swindled them out of their share of the real estate portfolio, which has an estimated value of $1 billion. Among Dier’s claims were that Bender’s alcohol consumption was out of control, deeming him an “habitual drunkard.” But a judge decided that there was little proof that his purportedly boozy habits would “affect his ability to handle estate affairs sufficiently.” [WSJ]