Macklowe Properties has fired back at a prominent plastic surgeon who sued to limit construction at its 737 Park Avenue condominium conversion with a $1.9 million lawsuit to evict him.
The 737 Park developers, led by billionaire Harry Macklowe and Los Angeles private equity firm CIM Group, filed suit Wednesday, alleging that Robert Jetter prevented construction crews from accessing his office and failed to pay more than $373,000 in rent, dating back to March 2012.
Jetter’s lawyers said they plan to seek a dismissal of the claims, as there is an existing suit against the plastic surgeon in Housing Court, and Jetter is in discovery on his own suit alleging that the renovations harmed his business.
“He has no intention of moving,” said attorney Joseph Heppt, who represents Jetter. “He believes the landlord is intent on harassing him to vacate the space so they can turn around and sell it.”
Jetter sued the developers this past December, claiming that the construction had flooded his ground floor practice, blocked patient access to the office and led to noise complaints from patients. He said he spent more than $500,000 to build out the space and, according to his lawyer, has 11 years remaining on his lease.
Heppt said he was waiting for a court ruling this week on the Housing Court suit, and asserted that the eviction suit is a duplicate action that should be tossed.
Macklowe declined to comment.
Macklowe and CIM bought the building, at East 71st Street, in August 2011 for $360 million, making it one of the most expensive residential buys in New York City.
But the developers have been involved in several high-profile lawsuits at the property, which has 103 apartments and six commercial spaces. Harry Macklowe filed suit earlier this year against a tenant named Elizabeth Murray, claiming she ran an illegal bed and breakfast out of her apartment, but quickly withdrew the suit before the defense had time to answer.
He also filed suit in 2012 seeking the tax records of Brown Harris Stevens broker Carol Cohen, claiming that she did not qualify for her rent-stabilized unit. In December, a state appeals court upheld the ruling on her behalf.
In March, he sued the former owners of the building, the Katz family, alleging that they failed to disclose problems with existing tenants, which he said had delayed construction.