Brooklyn pastor out of money after real estate deal with developer

TRD New York /
Aug.August 08, 2011 02:25 PM

A Brooklyn pastor and his family are out of money after their real
estate deal with a developer fell apart, the New York Daily
News reported. Emmanuel Obi and his wife sold Kings Court Banquet Hall, an event space
at 816-18 Dean Street to Borough Park-based firm Dean Developers in
August 2004 for two completed condominium units in the 14-unit building, or an
additional $600,000 if they were not finished after two years. After
the sales agreement, Dean Developers paid the Obis $300,000 and
took out a $2.8 million construction loan to finance the 14-unit
building.

But Dean Developers, led by Benjamin Mutzen, did not make
mortgage payments, and Chinatrust Bank USA foreclosed on the property,
according to a 2009 suit filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court. In court
documents, Mutzen denied he hadn’t paid, and the Obis were not
included in the lawsuit even though they had signed the deal with Dean
Developers.

Without getting their payment, the bills for the Obis
began to stack up, as the couple had to take out mortgages for their
East Flatbush home, struggled to pay their $3,000 monthly payments and
cover their daughter’s college tuition. Suddenly, in September 2010,
Chinatrust and a new New Jersey-based development firm called Dean
Street Partners agreed to transfer the mortgage note for an
undisclosed price. A representative for that company offered to
settle with Obi for less than the $600,000 in the original agreement,
but said Obi insisted on getting paid in full, even though he was “in
second position.”

Obi told the Daily News that the two condos would
have been worth $500,000 each now, especially given their proximity to
the planned Atlantic Yards arena. [NYDN]


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