Financial District-based investor Trevor Atwell is suing Wall Street Capital Fund, claiming the investment firm is attempting to derail his $65 million acquisition of the landmarked Mansfield Hotel near Bryant Park.
Atwell filed the suit Feb. 19 against NoMad-based Wall Street Capital and three of the company’s members – managing director Albert Montano, managing member Mary Peter and attorney John DeMaio.
After Wall Street Capital informed Atwell of an opportunity to acquire the Mansfield, the two sides entered an agreement last month to form an LLC with the goal of purchasing the 12-story, 126-key hotel at 12 West 44th Street, according to the New York State Supreme Court complaint.
Atwell would hold a 99 percent interest and full management control of the partnership, the lawsuit claims, while Wall Street Capital would retain a 1 percent interest to “compensate it for finding the property.” The firm would also receive a 3 percent commission of the purchase price for the hotel.
But despite the agreement granting Atwell “absolute and sole authority to negotiate the acquisition,” the complaint alleges that Wall Street Capital “has attempted to derail the process.”
Atwell’s lawsuit says the firm is “apparently unhappy with the economic terms to which they have agreed,” and has “deliberately” tried to sidetrack negotiations for the Mansfield so that they can renegotiate the terms of their partnership or “take the deal elsewhere.”
The complaint details how Wall Street Capital has allegedly tried to interfere with negotiations for the hotel in a manner “directly contrary” to its agreement with Atwell – claiming that DeMaio and Peter had exclusive rights to negotiate the purchase price for the property and attempting to place a time frame on the deal’s closing.
Atwell is seeking a declaratory judgment that he has “sole authority” to conduct negotiations for the Mansfield, as well as an injunction “barring [Wall Street Capital] from from taking any actions to impede or impair” Atwell’s control of the partnership and negotiations for the Mansfield.
The historic hotel is currently owned by Midtown-based Ark Partners, led by Brad Reiss and John Yoon, who acquired the ground lease on the property in 2004. The property itself is owned by a partnership that includes landlord Hyman Jacobs, according to property records.
A representative for Atwell declined to comment on the matter, while Wall Street Capital could not be reached.