The Real Deal New York

Ex-developer on hotel threatened to shoot owners: Court filing

January 23, 2014 03:32PM

A foreclosure lawsuit against DAB Group, the former developer behind a stalled hotel project on the Lower East Side, took a nasty turn when the firm’s owner allegedly threatened to physically harm his legal adversaries.

DAB owner Ben Zhavian, who was developing the Allen Street Hotel at 139 Orchard Street before builders Richter + Ratner took the reins in 2012, threatened to rape and kill the property’s new owners amid foreclosure proceedings, according to court papers cited by the New York Post.

In a phone call on Sept. 13, Zhavian also allegedly threatened to rape an attorney for the property’s unspecified new owners, according to court papers. The documents claim Zhavian followed the nasty words with death threats, saying “I’ll kill you” and “all of you are going to be shot.”

On top of that, Zhavian allegedly said that he knows “how to hurt people” thanks to two years spent in the Israeli Defense Forces.

But Zhavian told The Post, “I never threatened anyone,” adding that the court was supposed to seal the case. Zhavian noted that his adversaries never reported his alleged threats to the police.

The unfinished hotel hit the sales block for $28 million in May of 2012. It is not clear who the current owner is, though Maverick Real Estate Partners took over as developer in early 2013. [NYP] and [Curbed] — Julie Strickland