Despite being hit by a lawsuit by seller Silverstein Properties alleging breach of the $138 million contract, Chaim Miller is still keen on buying the landmarked Beekman Tower.
Miller — together with partners Sam Sprei and Steven Wu — responded yesterday to a March lawsuit from Silverstein that claims that the Brooklyn-based investor defaulted and failed to present the necessary money to buy the 26-story, 170-unit Art Deco property at 3 Mitchell Place.
After Miller allegedly failed to close on the property on the planned February closing date, Silverstein asked for an additional $7 million deposit to extend the date, which Miller didn’t pay, according to court documents.
Miller and Sprei, in documents filed Thursday in New York Supreme Court, claim that Silverstein “wrongfully declared a default and wrongfully purported to terminate the contract of the sale.”
In Thursday’s response, Miller claims also that he is entitled to get his $8 million deposit back, after the contract was terminated. Silverstein says it’s entitled to keep the deposit.
Silverstein bought the roughly 153,000-square-foot Midtown East tower, located between 49th and 50th streets, together with partners Fisher Brothers and Capstone Equities in 2013 for $82 million.
Both Miller and Silverstein declined to comment. Miller’s attorney wasn’t immediately available to comment on Friday morning.
Eastdil Secured’s Doug Harmon, Adam Spies and Adam Doneger represented the sellers, as previously reported by The Real Deal. Ben Reifer, an independent consultant, reportedly advised the buyers. Reifer, who is not a licensed real estate agent in New York, couldn’t immediately be reached on Friday morning.
In February, Miller was sued by an investment partner with whom he planned to buy 45 John Street. The partner alleged that Miller embezzled a $14 million down payment. The partners are yet to close on that property.