Bruce Eichner may have done too good of a job of selling shares in his Manhattan Club timeshare condominium. Crain’s reported that owners in the timeshare complain that Eichner’s Continuum Company sold too many shares in the 286-unit project since it launched in 1997, and that as a result it is impossible to land a room. Now, many are looking to unload their share — for as little as $1 — just to ensure they won’t have to pay the rising annual maintenance fee, which currently ranges from $1,800 to $2,500.
“This has been going on for a long time, and people are getting ripped off,” said Steven Blau of law firm Blau Brown & Leonard, which represents share owners in a suit against the Manhattan Club. “I can get a room faster by using an online travel site, while owners are paying taxes and maintenance fees during the year.”
Current owners can’t find buyers for their shares and are resorting to selling them back to Eichner for a single dollar to wash their hands of the condo. But even Eichner, who declined to comment, is only compiling a waiting list of sellers and not buying back from all of them.
When the Manhattan Club, a formerly bankrupt hotel at 200 West 56th Street, opened, Eichner said he would sell 18,000 seven-day shares. As of 2010, 14,872 had been sold, according to Crain’s. Since then, resales have become increasingly common, Crain’s said. [Crain’s]