Chaim Miller sues partner, then claims it was all a ploy

Dispute allegedly revolves around air rights for 205 N. 7th St.

New York /
Jun.June 24, 2015 03:19 PM

UPDATED, 4:35 p.m., June 24 (Correction appended): All’s fair in love, war and New York City real estate. Even, it seems, a sham lawsuit to try to get some more air rights out of your neighbor.

On Friday, real estate investor Chaim Miller — fresh off a legal battle with Silverstein Properties — filed suit against his partner Howard Wasserman to try and take full control of the Modern, a condominium development at 205 North 7th Street in Williamsburg. On Tuesday, however, Miller — through his associate Sam Sprei — told The Real Deal that the suit was nothing but a technicality to cajole a neighbor into selling extra air rights.  

Sprei also said that Miller has sent a letter to a judge requesting to drop the suit. (TRD has not seen this letter and Lee Jacobs, listed in court documents as attorney for the plaintiff, didn’t return multiple requests for comment.)

Sprei declined to identify which neighbor’s air rights they were looking to buy.

The properties adjacent to 205 North 7th Street have roughly 2,350 square feet of available air rights each, according to PropertyShark.

The condos at the 10-unit Williamsburg project — which has been through at least two prior lawsuits, multiple stop-work orders and was stalled for years during the recession — are now beginning to sell, Sprei said. He declined to say how many units were sold and for how much, though.

Jonathan Wachtel’s Lucky Boy Development owned the site previously. Wachtel bought the property for $1.3 million in 2005. Wachtel sold the Robert Scarano-designed property, known as the Modern,” to Wasserman for $3.3 million, TRD previously reported.

Miller and Wasserman are partners and co-owners of the building, Sprei said Tuesday. Peter Muscato, who owns a frame store next door at 207 North 7th Street, said this was the first he had heard of the air rights dispute.

Miller is no stranger to legal action. Silverstein Properties sued him in April, claiming that he botched a deal to buy the Beekman Tower for $137.5 million. The parties later settled and Miller is slated to close on the Midtown East property early next month.

In February, Chun Peter Dong, who co-owns 45 John Street with Miller, accused Miller of embezzling a down payment of almost $14 million on the property.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly quoted Howard Wasserman. 


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
NH Investment & Securities CEO Jeong Young-Chae in front of 275 South 5th Street in Williamsburg (Douglas Elliman, Wikimedia Commons/United States Mint, Getty Images, iStock)
Pile of dimes: Korean investor poised to purchase Williamsburg rental
Pile of dimes: Korean investor poised to purchase Williamsburg rental
Google to open second retail space in Williamsburg at 134 North 6th Street (Google Maps)
Google to open retail store in Williamsburg
Google to open retail store in Williamsburg
The William Vale Hotel in Williamsburg (The William Vale, iStock/Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)
Zelig Weiss returns with bid to buy William Vale in Williamsburg
Zelig Weiss returns with bid to buy William Vale in Williamsburg
(Slate Lending, Google Maps)
Shuttered Williamsburg Key Food readies for multifamily dev
Shuttered Williamsburg Key Food readies for multifamily dev
Clockwise from top left: 277 Fifth Avenue, 60 North 6th Street in Brooklyn, 127 Kent Avenue in Brooklyn and 515 West 38th Street (The LX Collection, L3 Capital, Google Maps)
Tile maker’s deal in NoMad leads mid-market sales
Tile maker’s deal in NoMad leads mid-market sales
David Rubenstein with 25 Kent Avenue (Rubenstein, Google Maps)
Rubenstein reels in $178M refi at 25 Kent
Rubenstein reels in $178M refi at 25 Kent
From left: Fabrice Penot and Edouard Roschi, co-founders of Le Labo, in front of 71 North 7th Street in Williamsburg (Le Labo Fragrances, Largo)
Fragrance brand sniffs 15k sf in Williamsburg
Fragrance brand sniffs 15k sf in Williamsburg
7 Bushwick Place with GFP Real Estate' Jeffrey and Eric Gural (GFPRE)
Gural family puts up East Williamsburg warehouse up for $30M
Gural family puts up East Williamsburg warehouse up for $30M
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...