The Real Deal New York

BKR’s Kanarek sues Alchemy, Savills Studley over lost commissions

Broker seeking commissions and millions in damages over two UES properties
By Ariel Stulberg | January 13, 2016 04:56PM

From left: Brian Kanarek Temple David Carlos Kenneth Horn

From left: Brian Kanarek, Temple Shaaray Tefila at 250 East 79th Street on the Upper East Side, David Carlos and Kenneth Horn

Commercial broker Brian Kanarek is suing Alchemy Properties, Savills Studley and Studley broker David Carlos, accusing them of cutting him out of a commission on two potential Alchemy deals on the Upper East Side.

Kanarek, principal at BKR Partners, claims he approached Alchemy in Fall 2013 and offered to arrange for the firm to buy the Temple Shaaray Tefila synagogue building at 250 East 79th Street on the Upper East Side as well as the air rights associated with the property, according to the complaint.

Alchemy retained his services as the broker on the deal, Kanarek’s suit, filed in New York State Supreme Court on Tuesday, alleges. He made a series of offers to the synagogue on Alchemy’s behalf — including one on Dec. 11, 2013 for $35 million, the suit claims.

Kanarek then offered to represent Alchemy on another potential deal in the area, the acquisition of a rental building at 242-244 East 79th Street, owned by the Emmes Group of Companies. Through Kanarek, Alchemy submitted a $35 million offer in March 2014 to buy the property, the suit states.

Temple Shaaray Tefila then hired its own broker, the suit claims: David Carlos of Savills Studley. Kanarek and Carlos then struck an agreement to split any possible commission from the synagogue deal.

But Carlos went to Alchemy and poisoned the relationship between Kanarek and the developer, the complaint alleges.

“Mr. Carlos spoke directly with [Kenneth] Horn at Alchemy and willfully, maliciously, and falsely accused Mr. Kanarek of trying to put an alternate deal together involving [250 East 79th Street] with a different buyer that was at cross purposes with any purchase of the [the property] by Alchemy,” the complaint states. This, Kanarek alleges, caused him to lose Alchemy’s business.

Kanerek is seeking a two percent commission on both deals, should they close, as well as several million dollars in damages.

A spokesperson for Savills Studley declined to comment on the suit. Alchemy, which is converting the top of the Woolworth Building into luxury condominiums, didn’t immediately return a request for comment.