The Real Deal New York

Battle of the billionaires: Doronin sues Hakim over Crown Building lease

Russian mogul claims Hakim is delaying 7th floor conversion
By Konrad Putzier | July 19, 2018 03:30PM

From left: Vladislav Doronin, Kamran Hakim, and the Crown Building at 730 Fifth Avenue (Credit: Vladislav Doronin, SlideShare, and CityRealty)

UPDATED, Jul. 19, 4:32 p.m.: Russian billionaire Vladislav Doronin accused Iranian-born billionaire Kamran Hakim of derailing his Crown Building condo conversion.

Doronin is converting the Midtown property’s office portion into luxury apartments, and has been buying out current tenants. But one of the tenants, Adelson Galleries, is holding out for a bigger offer, and Doronin blames Hakim.

In a lawsuit filed in New York Supreme Court Wednesday, Doronin’s OKO Group (through the entity 730 Fifth Upper LLC) claims Adelson cut a deal with Hakim: the investor would represent the gallery in buyout negotiations, and in return he would get half of any payment beyond a certain threshold. Doronin claims Adelson breached its lease by giving “effective control” to Hakim and delayed the conversion of the 7th-floor unit into an apartment. He wants $10 million in damages.

Adelson Galleries declined to comment. An attorney representing Hakim said there “seems to be a series of misunderstandings” and that “the situation will be resolved shortly.”

Doronin and Michael Shvo, who is no longer a co-developer on the project, bought the fourth through 24th floors of the historic building at 730 Fifth Avenue for $475 million in 2015. Shvo retains an equity stake in the property, though the size of that stake is unclear. Earlier this year an unknown buyer signed a contract to buy the penthouse apartment for $180 million.

Hakim and his partner Shahal Khan recently went into contract to buy the Plaza Hotel for $600 million, but ended up losing out to a Qatari investment group.

Update: This story has been updated to include a comment from Hakim’s attorney and to clarify that Shvo remains an equity partner in the project.