The Real Deal New York

Lori Shabtai sues Town over $274K commission on major deal

Heiberger says she "will be paid in full"
By E.B. Solomont | May 04, 2018 03:30PM

Andrew Heiberger and Lori Shabtai (Credit: Studio Scrivo and Getty Images)

Lori Shabtai — a commercial broker at Town — has sued the firm and CEO Andrew Heiberger, claiming she’s owed $273,500 in unpaid commission.

The suit, which names Town Commercial and Heiberger, is dated April 23 — just days after the firm shuttered its sales and leasing operation.

In the affidavit, Shabtai — a former executive at Winick Realty Group — claimed she earned $487,000 for brokering a “major real estate transaction” while she was affiliated with Town. (The deal was not identified in court documents.) According to the filing, after Town failed to pay her fee in full, Shabtai agreed to be paid in five installments between March 9 and April 11.

In court documents, Shabtai claimed Town made the first two payments, totaling $184,000, but missed a $100,000 payment on March 27. On April 4, Shabtai’s lawyers wrote to Heiberger demanding Town pay the remaining balance of $318,500 (including late fees).

Town wired $75,000 on April 9, but the company still owes Shabtai $273,500, the affadavit claims.

In a statement, Heiberger called Shabtai a “terrific broker” and said, “She is owed a portion of one commission from a large deal and will be paid in full.”

Since closing Town’s core brokerage on April 19, Heiberger has said “high commission costs and a fierce recruiting climate” made the business unsustainable.

Shabtai — whose father Mel Weitz was head of the Melmarkets supermarket chain on Long Island — was an executive at Winick from 2005 to 2014.

On LinkedIn, Shabtai said she considers real estate an art form. “I dont base success on how much commission I earn,” she wrote. “I base it on how happy or successful my customers are.”