Shvo sues Moinian for $3.7M at W Downtown

By David Jones | July 01, 2010 06:00PM

Michael Shvo and the W Downtown

Broker Michael Shvo filed a $3.7 million lawsuit against real estate
mogul Joseph Moinian’s W Downtown Hotel & Residences, alleging the
developer owes the brokerage millions in unpaid commissions and fees.

Lawyers for Shvo say that prior to filing the suit Tuesday in New York
State Supreme Court, the broker tried to find an out of court
resolution to the dispute, and Moinian failed to work out a settlement.

“Unfortunately, Moinian didn’t’ live up to the agreement and didn’t pay
him,” Shvo’s attorney Laurie McPherson of Blank Rome told The Real Deal. “Michael tried to work it out, but Moinian refused. We think it’s an open and shut case.”

Moinian declined to comment through a spokesperson. Shvo was not immediately available for comment.

Shvo claims, in the lawsuit, that Moinian failed to pay a $250,000
invoice presented in June 2008; failed to pay thousands of dollars in
marketing and sales expenses incurred between August 2008 and January 2010;
failed to pay $30,000 in commissions in November 2008 for a cooperating
broker in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and failed to pay tens of
thousands of dollars in monthly sales agent invoices.

The suit claims that Moinian breached the agreement by not completing
the project, at 123 Washington Street in Lower Manhattan, within 36
months of the original Dec. 1,
2006 agreement and that the developer failed to provide telephone
systems, e-mail, heat and running water at the sales office. The suit
alleges that Shvo continued to try selling the project after a regional
sales director named Mark Palermo was blocked from using the on-site
sales office at the project.

In March, Moinian tapped Jacqueline Bayer, a senior managing director, to oversee sales at the W New York. Bayer previously worked as president of JSF Development.

Moinian officials said they held their first closing last Friday.