The Real Deal New York

NYC developer sues lawyers for $10M in NC hotel deal

Dayan claims he sold share to sham company that Podolskys own
By David Jones | October 30, 2013 10:22AM

New York City developer Charles Dayan has slapped a $10 million lawsuit against the lawyers of two former business partners for allegedly cheating him out of his stake in a North Carolina hotel that hosted the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

Dayan, of Bonjour Capital, is accusing three attorneys for Jay and Stuart Podolsky of conspiring to defraud him by creating a sham company for the brothers and then threatening him with legal action if he didn’t sell his third of the former Blake Hotel in Charlotte, N.C. Also investors in the landmark property were brothers Joseph and Jacob Chetrit, according to a lawsuit filed Oct. 20 in New York State Supreme Court.

The defendants are David Satnick, a partner at Loeb & Loeb; Andrew Miltenberg, a partner at Nesenoff & Miltenberg; and Warren Forman, a partner at Forman & Associates. Satnick represented the Podolsky brothers and Miltenberg and Forman represented the company, Carolina Hospitality Group.

Dayan tried unsuccessfully to sue the Chetrits, who he contends told him in 2010 that they wanted to get out of their partnership with the Podolsky brothers. In June of that year, the Chetrits agreed to sell their share of the hotel to the Podoskys; the Chetrits and the Podolskys set the value of the Blake at no less than $24 million, court documents state. Dayan, however, considered the property underpriced, arguing the market rate two years earlier would have been more than $44 million.

The Podolskys and Dayan remained partners until December 2010, when the brothers told him that they had a buyer for the Blake — Carolina Hospitality Group. The lawyers repeatedly told Dayan that the company had no ties to the Podolskys and promised that they would sue him if he didn’t sign off on the deal, court documents state.

Satnick and Miltenberg vehemently denied Dayan’s allegations; Forman did not respond to a request for comment.

The lawsuit is simply Dayan’s retaliation against the Podolskys, Satnick told The Real Deal.

“They are lashing out and trying to bring my client to the table by bringing meritless and scandalous charges against the lawyers,” he said.

Said Miltenberg: “The claims are false, plain and simple, and designed to damage my credibility and professional reputation.”

Dayan’s attorney, Lori Marks Esterman of Olshan Frome and Wolosky, did not respond to a request for comment.

Carolina Hospitality Group still owns the hotel, which is undergoing a $20 million renovation. The property will operate under the Le Meridien and Sheraton brands in each of two towers, which have a combined total of 611 rooms. About 600 California delegates stayed at the hotel during the 2012 Democratic National Conventions; they panned their accommodations.