Bowery Hotel co-owner stuck in legal battle with partner

State judge shot down Richard Born’s attempt to escape the suit
May 19, 2015 12:00PM

A New York State Supreme Court judge rejected Bowery Hotel co-owner Richard Born’s attempt to get out of a $50 million lawsuit with partner Jerry Rosengarten, who claims Born cut him out of a deal to sell apartments atop the hotel.

Born is the hotelier behind the Maritime, the Mercer, the Greenwich and the Pod, and claims to be the inventor of the boutique hotel. Rosengarten is an inventor himself — he is known for popularizing the “leisure suit” of the 1970s, according to Crain’s.

Rosengarten filed a lawsuit last year accusing Born of refusing to pay him for his stake in the sale of the penthouse suite and several other units atop the Bowery Hotel, and seeking $50 million in damage. He also claims that after he filed the suit, Born stopped paying him for his 12 percent equity stake in the hotel.

Born filed an interpleader action saying that if he acknowledged Rosengarten’s $1.5 million claim for unpaid compensation, it would expose him to further liability — but the judge shot this down.

“This interpleader complaint really leaves me cold,” State Supreme Court judge Charles Ramos said during a recent hearing. “Now, I am not going to start ascribing motivation, because I don’t know what’s going on between the parties, but this really doesn’t meet the definition of an interpleader action at all. It doesn’t even come close.” [Crain’s] — Tess Hofmann