UPDATED, March 28, 2:43 p.m.: Nest Seekers International is going after a prominent Compass broker on the East End, alleging that he refused to cough up an agreed-upon commission for a Montauk hotel deal. For his part, the Compass agent, Matthew Breitenbach, said he has no involvement whatsoever in the deal and was blindsided by the lawsuit.
In a complaint filed with New York Supreme Court Tuesday, Nest Seekers claims that one of its agents, Dylan Eckardt, was approached about an off-market sale of the 21 Oceanview Terrace, a 96-room hotel in Montauk also known as Atlantic Terrace. When the seller agreed upon a price of $32 million, the complaint claims that Eckardt discussed the property with Breitenbach, who said he had a potential buyer.
The lawsuit was discontinued in March. Breitenbach told The Real Deal that he was not involved in the sale of 21 Oceanview Terrace — and signed an affidavit that said so.
In February 2017, Eckardt and Breitenbach allegedly entered into a referral agreement that said Nest Seekers would receive 50 percent of any commission Breitenbach got from the sale. The hotel, which sits on a parcel of more than 100,000 square feet, sold in August 2018 to Bridgeton Holdings, which paid a commission to Breitenbach. But Nest Seekers alleges that he never handed over Nest Seekers’ share of the deal.
Breitenbach “has repudiated the referral fee agreement and refused to pay Plaintiff the referral fee equal to fifty percent (50%) of the real estate commission paid to Breitenbach in connection with the sale of the Premises,” the complaint said. Nest Seekers, which declined to comment for this story, is seeking damages in the amount of the unpaid commission “with interest and costs.”
In a statement, Breitenbach said he was “beyond surprised to be erroneously named in a supposed commission-dispute lawsuit involving a property in which I represented neither the buyer nor the seller.”
A spokesperson for Compass said that “the claim is unsubstantiated by facts,” but that the firm could not comment further on pending litigation.
Breitenbach — a top East End agent and son of the Corcoran Group’s Susan Breitenbach — joined Compass from Elliman in January 2018. His clients include basketball legend Jason Kidd, actor Jeremy Piven and music mogul Russell Simmons. In TRD‘s most recent East End ranking, Compass placed seventh, with $257.6 million worth of sell-side deals, compared to Nest Seekers’ $72 million.
In 2016, Vanity Fair dubbed Eckardt “the man who ate Montauk,” citing his role in transforming the once-sleepy area into a posh real estate destination.
“I dress like a fashion kid from the city, I talk like an asshole, and I surf like a local,” he said at the time. “I’m the fucking rock star of real estate. I’m the fucking prince of Montauk.”
Update: This story has been updated to note that the lawsuit was discontinued in March.