Kalikow to Beninati: “You’ve f*cked with the wrong person”

Gamma Real Estate chief dishes on 3 Sutton Place and dealing with his debtor, Joseph Beninati

TRD NEW YORK /
Sep.September 27, 2017 02:38 PM

Joseph Beninati and Jonathan Kalikow

Civilized nations are expected to adhere to the “principle of proportionality” when they engage other nations in war.

But when it comes to Gamma Real Estate’s Jonathan Kalikow and his debtor Joseph Beninati, the fallen developer of 3 Sutton Place, the code of war be damned.

“I believe in disproportionate retaliation,” the Kalikow scion told Commercial Observer. “Like ‘Count of Monte Cristo,’ but to the 10th power. As in, now you’ve fucked with the wrong person.”

Beninati and the partners of Bauhouse Group owe Gamma millions following its foreclosure at 3 Sutton Place, where Gamma was the developer’s principal lender, providing $147 million in financing.

Before defaulting on its loans and later losing control of the development, Beninati fought hard against the eventual foreclosure sale in which Gamma took control of the site in December. He attempted to declare bankruptcy and brought a 26-count lawsuit against Gamma, claiming its lending practices were atypical and breached contract. All but one of the counts were later dropped.

In the interview with CO, Kalikow claimed to have known was something off about Beninati early on. But he said he saw enough value in the project to keep up the relationship (though he denied that it was a “loan to own” situation).

“Some of the ridiculous things he was asking for led us to believe that he would never find a partner,” Kalikow said, mentioning Beninati’s request that the cash basis in the partnership be reworked so as to win him a $50 million windfall, a request that could only be realized if Beninati agreed to sell the site to Gamma, Kalikow said. Beninati, set on being the developer, refused.

“It was very clear that the money was not nearly as important to him as his name in lights,” Kalikow said. Beninati did not respond to CO’s requests for comment.

The saga is a long and tortured one, and despite significant community opposition to the East Side skyscraper—and dragging litigation with former partners—Kalikow is moving forward. “We’re prepared to build it,” he said. [CO] — Will Parker


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Kuwaiti Permanent Representative to the United Nations Mansour al-Otaibi and 50 United Nations Plaza (Credit: Sony Ramany/NurPhoto via Getty Images, Google Maps)

Kuwait’s consulate general buys 50 UN Plaza pad for $16M

Web searches for terms including “homes for sale” are way down up north. (Credit: Pixabay)

Fewer Canadians are searching for homes online amid pandemic

Massive stimulus package has limited upside for real estate

Massive stimulus package has limited upside for real estate

About 450 sellers pulled their listings last week (Credit: iStock)

As New York shut down, so did its resi market

Is REBNY and StreetEasy’s decision a much-needed reprieve or data manipulation? (Credit: Pixabay)

Decision by StreetEasy, REBNY to stop market clock triggers debate

The Atelier at 635 W. 42nd Street and 70 Charles Street (Credit: Google Maps)

One of NYC’s priciest listings to appear on the market last week is already in contract

Jacqueline Friedman Brogadir and 993 Fifth Avenue, 10th Floor (Credit: Brown Harris Stevens, Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Daughter of Goldman exec nabs Fifth Avenue co-op for $25M

Clockwise from top left: Halstead’s Diane Ramirez, Douglas Elliman’s Howard Lorber, Corcoran Group’s Pam Liebman and Brown Harris Stevens’ Bess Freedman (Credit: Getty Images; iStock)

Tension lingers over showings as brokerage chiefs navigate pandemic

arrow_forward_ios
Loading...