The Real Deal New York

Eichner gets reprieve in power struggle over Flatiron condo project

Court grants developer preliminary injunction preventing partners from removing him as project manager
By Rich Bockmann | April 12, 2018 05:58PM

Bruce Eichner and 45 East 22nd Street

Bruce Eichner and 45 East 22nd Street

Ian Bruce Eichner scored a win in his battle with partners Fortress Investment Group and Dune Real Estate for control of their Flatiron District condominium tower.

A Manhattan Supreme Court judge granted Eichner a preliminary injunction that prevents Fortress and Dune from removing him as the project’s manager in the event they declare a default under the joint-venture agreement, court records show.

Justice Barry Ostrager ruled that Fortress and Dune had taken certain actions that would cause a default, and that “the balance of hardship tips decidedly in favor” of Eichner in the case.

Eichner, who heads the Continuum Company, had argued that he was in danger of defaulting under the JV agreement because his partners withheld construction funds necessary to complete the 83-unit, $700 million project at 45 East 22nd Street. He also claimed that his equity was in danger of being wiped out if he were removed as manager.

In court last week, Eichner’s attorney questioned the developer about his relationships with Fortress and Dune.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin (Credit: Getty Images)

Fortress, Eichner pointed out, had advanced him $300 million to purchase his Cosmopolitan casino in Las Vegas, which he lost during the Great Recession. Dune, he added, provided the mezzanine capital for the project.

“The guy who did that deal is currently a somewhat notable character,” Eichner noted. “His name is Steve Mnuchin and he is currently the Treasury secretary.”

Attorneys for Eichner, Fortress and Dune declined to comment.

Eichner was in attendance Tuesday night when Newmark Knight Frank broker Geoffrey Newman won a Real Estate Board of New York award for his work assembling the site for the Flatiron development.