The Real Deal New York

Turkey sues Cresa for allegedly stopping work on new consulate tower

Government claims project manager has left project with "uncertain future"
By Kathryn Brenzel | November 04, 2016 06:31PM

Renderings of the Republic of Turkey’s consulate building (Credit: Perkins Eastman)

Renderings of the Republic of Turkey’s consulate building (Credit: Perkins Eastman)

The Republic of Turkey’s long-delayed plans for a new consulate in Midtown East hit another speed bump — and the governmental arm is blaming its project manager.

The Consulate General of Turkey on Friday filed a lawsuit against Cresa Partners TRData LogoTINY, alleging that the Boston-based tenant-centric brokerage and advisory firm is violating its contract by abandoning 821 United Nations Plaza. The consulate plans to demolish two buildings on the site to make way for a new 35-story office tower, which will serve as its new headquarters, dubbed the Turkevi Center. Cresa was hired in 2012 to oversee the demolition and the construction of the new building. Fast forward four years, and the project is nowhere near complete. In fact, the consulate only just filed plans with the city for the tower in September — the same month that Cresa announced that it would stop working on the project.

The lawsuit alleges that Cresa is leaving the project because it’s maxed out on the contract’s cost and can’t dedicate another three years to the project — the estimated time needed to complete it. The consulate claims Cresa’s contract doesn’t have term limits and requires the company to complete the project for no more than $2.3 million. With Cresa’s departure, the consulate is left with an “unfinished construction site and an uncertain future,” and faces delays that are likely to further drive up costs, the lawsuit states.

A representative for Cresa could not immediately be reached for comment.

The consulate acquired the property in 2011 for $5.1 million and announced the project the following year. At the time, the owner and Cresa estimated that the work would take 36 months to complete. It’s unclear what has caused the project’s delays. The consulate is seeking at least $500,000 in damages.