Law professor’s eviction fight complicates billionaire’s plans for Brooklyn rental building

Vincent Viola paid $35M for 2 Pierrepont Street last year
November 28, 2016 10:45AM

2 Pierrepont Street (inset from top Professor Samuel Murumba and Vincent Viola)

2 Pierrepont Street (inset from top Professor Samuel Murumba and Vincent Viola)

A Brooklyn Law School professor is refusing to vacate a Brooklyn Heights rental building that a billionaire investor snapped up last year, setting in motion a flurry of lawsuits.

Professor Samuel Murumba asserted his tenants rights and would not vacate his combined apartments at 2 Pierrepont Street in time for renovations, the New York Post reported. The owner of the building, billionaire Vincent Viola, bought the 12-story rental from the Brooklyn Law School for $35 million in September last year.

According to court papers, Murumba, who has taught at the school since 1992, did not meet the deadline that was set for students and faculty to leave the building. Viola is now suing the law school for $2 million, and the school has sued Murumba in city Housing Court, the post reports.

“Brooklyn Law School . . . was to turn over the balance of the space, and they failed to do it,” Viola’s lawyer Richard Wasserman said, according to the paper.

The school listed the 39-unit building for sale last year after selling off a number of its assets in the neighborhood.

Viola is the founder and CEO of Virtu Financial, and the owner of National Hockey League franchise Florida Panthers. In April, he bought a dormitory in Brooklyn Heights from the Jehovah’s Witnesses for $105 million[NYP]Miriam Hall