The Chetrit Group and its development partners for a luxury Noho co-op claim in a lawsuit the owner of the building’s land is blocking a $8.5 million retail deal by refusing to sign documents — and also tried to wring $2 million out them to get the papers inked.
In a lawsuit filed in New York State Supreme Court Tuesday, the developers of the 11-unit, seven-story 10 Bond Street — SK Development, Ironstate Development and Chetrit — allege Miriam Azadalli, the property’s fee owner, is “acting out of greed, in accordance with a long-time pattern and practice, for the purpose of extorting a payment.”
SK, Ironstate and Chetrit want to sell retail space, through a sublease, at the building, and last November entered an agreement for $8.5 million to sell to I.S. Chapman Holding LLC, according to court documents. The 5,130-square-foot retail space is located in the cellar and partly on the first floor.
For the deal to go through, Azadalli needs to sign certain documents, but when she was asked in February, she questioned through her lawyer the validity of the retail sublease, according to the complaint.
She said there was a “potential default in the co-op’s ground lease,” the lawsuit states. Azadalli also says the sublease was far below market value at $23,762 per month and could command a market rate of $62,600, according to the court documents.
In March, Azadalli’s lawyer, Melvin Berfond, allegedly demanded $2 million from the developers for the execution of the documents, which “constitutes attempted larceny by extortion,” according to the complaint.
Azadalli declined to comment. Berfond and the developers’ lawyer, Edward Rudosky, were not immediately available for comment.