Meyer Equities may have Harry Macklowe out of the way for now, but buying the Children’s Aid Society’s headquarters in Midtown is proving to be a difficult deal to close.
The Garment District-based firm notched a big win earlier this year when a judge ruled that Macklowe didn’t have a right of first refusal to buy the nonprofit’s property at 150 East 45th Street, which Meyer Equities had offered to buy for $28 million.
But after the dust had settled on that aspect of the deal, the Children’s Aid Society claimed that Meyer used “bullying tactics” and tried to renegotiate terms of the sale-leaseback agreement, such as extending the lease from two years with a starting rent of $800,000 to 15 years with rent starting at $2 million.
A representative for the Children’s Aid Society declined to comment.
Meyer, the nonprofit claimed, had never been ready to finalize the transaction and “had been unable to obtain the necessary financing to purchase the property,” attorneys with the Children’s Aid Society wrote in court documents earlier last month.
Meyer Equities shot back in late August, asking the court to force the nonprofit back to the negotiating table in good faith.
The company claimed that the Children’s Aid Society tried to negotiate additional fees into the deal and brought Macklowe into the negotiations in order to “force Meyer to ‘give up’ on the deal, which CAS might have done either because it was not as valuable to CAS in light of Macklowe’s claims, or possibly because they found a higher bidder.”
“Their position is that the financing fell apart. Our position is that they re-traded on the price,” Eric Meyer – who runs the firm with his father, Marty – told The Real Deal. “They just want more money.”
The Children’s Aid Society, one of the oldest and biggest nonprofits dedicated to disadvantaged children, decided late last year to sell its headquarters in order to consolidate operations and finance its mission.
Sources told TRD that Macklowe, meanwhile, has been working on an assemblage on the block and could still be interested in the site. He’s in the midst of a messy divorce with his estranged wife Linda.