The Real Deal New York

Halstead takes Thor to court over disputed commission

Claims firm initially passed on Miami property Halstead recommended — but later purchased it
By David Jones | March 04, 2014 11:45AM

Halstead Property filed a $1.25 million suit against Thor Urban Investments, alleging the firm negotiated a $27 million real estate acquisition for a Miami property that was rejected in March 2013 — but was later agreed to for nearly double the price.

In the suit, which was filed Feb. 25 in Manhattan Supreme Court, Halstead claims it is entitled to a brokerage commission/finders fee equivalent to 2.5 percent of the purchase price.

Halstead alleges that in February 2013, John Goldman, managing director of its commercial division, advised Cory Elbaum, managing director at Thor Equities, that a property at 10-15 Northeast 40th Street/3995 North Miami Avenue, in the Design District of Miami, was on the market.

As The Real Deal reported, the property, an office/retail building in the Miami Design District, was previously sold in 2012 for $6.15 million, or $188 per square foot, to an entity called RD Design District.

Goldman allegedly visited the property twice, and Elbaum visited the property on at least one more occasion by March 21, 2013. Thor made an offer to buy the property for $23.5 million. The seller later made a counteroffer, and Thor said it was “passing” on the deal, the complaint alleges.

Halstead claims that by November, Thor entered an agreement to buy the property for $50 million, without using Halstead as the broker. Lawyers for Halstead claim the firm is still owed a 2.5 percent commission for bringing the parties to the table.

Attorney Neal Schwarzfeld, representing Halstead, was not available for comment. Goldman said he could not comment without consulting with his colleagues at the firm. Elbaum said he had not seen the complaint.

Thor, however, denied the allegations through a spokesman.

“As active investors and developers in Miami, we are in constant contact with numerous brokers,” said spokesman Stefan Friedman, in a statement. “We never had any agreement with Halstead, and it provides no services in connection with the transaction being pursued for this dynamic property. This lawsuit is simply baffling and we fully anticipate its dismissal.”

  • ez malakovich


  • CommercialBrokerandFriend

    John Goldman is a stand-up broker and an outstanding person. If he convinced the big wigs at Halstead to file a claim, Thor must have played this just as the article describes or close to it. Good luck John and Halstead!

    • Char4Dew

      I do not know John, and Yes Halstead should be paid at least a referral fee, unless the agent has a Florida license.
      He cant decide he should get 2.5% unless he did the right thing.


    Goldman is no g


    Goldman is no good – now that the shoe is on the other foot we will see if no good Goldman prevails.

  • Ed Gordon

    IMO, if he got porked, he never had control of the deal. Brush it under the rug and move on. This is cost of working on whisper deals.

  • Sticks&Bricks101

    Good Luck John. I know how it is. We go back over 20 years at different places and never actually did a deal. However, Head of Comm for Halstead…whatever… it happens all the time. First one that gets ” Forgotten “is the broker who sweated it forever and hoped they did not get caught in corporate “clutter” or written off as a justafiable “legal” expense. You have paid your dues…God knows. And may have screwed some people in the process as well. My hope is that you keep this one on the front burner for as long as you can still tie that stupid bowtie. Send up the flair HALSTEAD. I will be watching.

  • The Warden

    John you have broken the law and could now face a stiff a penalty and possibly Jail time in the State of Florida. The fact that you are stating “Goldman allegedly visited the property twice, and Elbaum visited the property on at least one more occasion by March 21, 2013” Is a very clear violation of Section 475.25(1)(h), Florida Statutes.
    A New York broker may not be paid a referral fee or share a real estate
    brokerage commission under the laws of a ‘foreign’ state if the ‘foreign’ broker violates the law of Florida “FREC”.

    Screw up #1 New York broker can not engaged in any real estate brokerage activity while in our state. ( you should have stayed in NYC and made the deal over email and your phone.

    Screw up #2 Admitting you came to Miami and visited the property.

    Screw up #3 Making a claim for a commission and possibly pissing off Thor to now get the Florida Real Estate Commission to prosecute you.

    Generally, this means that you could have been paid a referral fee under the laws of New York and Florida, provided you didn’t engaged in any real estate brokerage activity while in Florida. Also provided you had a commission agreement with Thor.

    Hope you look good in stripes..

  • colin

    What is HALSTEAD doing in Miami?
    That’s not their turf…stay away and up north.

  • Honest Commercial guy

    You know what you did to other fellow brokers john so you know – karma works very well !!!

    • NYC Retail Broker

      John has screwed us on several occasions but we got him on our last deal $$$$$$. Total clown with that bow tie.

      • Honest Commercial guy

        Sooner or later someone will catch up with him and he will be forced into retirement – he is an attorney too… (So he says)

  • Char4Dew

    PAY Halstead there is no other way. It is the right way.

    If you have an issue with the Halstead broker, sue him for that – 2 wrongs do not make it better.
    Bastardizing the industry if it is not paid, the market will become more of a zoo.