The Real Deal New York

Developer unable to move into Dakota pad for 16 years: suit

Robert Siegel sues building's co-op board for $55 million
July 07, 2015 10:00AM

Developer Robert Siegel claims that he has been waiting to move into the former ballroom at the Dakota Building since 1999.

Siegel bought the apartment for $2 million 16 years ago, the New York Post reported. The iconic building’s co-op board, however, is using the space as storage.

Now, Siegel is suing the building’s co-op board for fraud, breach of contract, constructive eviction and other related causes of action for $55 million, claiming he was promised he could turn the former ballroom into a four-bedroom apartment when he bought it.

One year later, the co-op board allegedly asked him to pay $1.8 million in co-op shares as well as $1.1 million in maintenance fees, according to the lawsuit. Siegel paid the money, but charges that the board then turned around and changed the certificate of occupancy on the space into a “non-habitable storage space.”

Broker Dolly Lenz told the New York Post that the space would be worth $40 million if someone were to buy it today. [NYP] — Claire Moses