The Real Deal New York

Sotheby’s sues Zeckendorfs over commission at 520 Park Avenue

Brokerage says it was stiffed on compensation over $32M unit sold to Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno
March 12, 2019 08:42AM

From left: 520 Park developer Arthur Zeckendorf, 520 Park, and Sotheby’s Nikki Field (Credit: Getty Images and Nikki Field)

Sotheby’s International Realty is suing the owners of 520 Park Avenue for withholding a commission on the sale of a $31.5 million unit at the condominium tower, according to a Manhattan Supreme Court suit.

Sotheby’s alleges that the defendant, 41-45 Property Owner LLC, owes a commission of 3 to 6 percent, or $945,000 and $1.8 million, for helping facilitate the sale of the unit to Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno, the New York Post reported.

520 Park developers Arthur and William Lie Zeckendorf are members of 41-45 Property Owner LLC, according to city property records.

According to court documents, Sotheby’s agent Nikki Field introduced Moreno to the development in January 2017, and showed the unit to him a number of times, thus “securing Plaintiff’s right to a commission if Buyer purchased a unit at the Development.”

The LLC’s attorney, Scott Mollen, says Sotheby’s has it all wrong. “Clearly, this lawsuit is baseless because the complaint refers to a unit that has not closed, the complaint refers to the wrong unit, the complaint refers to the wrong purchase price, . . . and the buyer advised that it had stopped working with the broker many months before contract was signed,” he said.

Moreno himself is not a defendant in the suit. Closings began at 520 Park in September, and other buyers include vacuum mogul James Dyson, who paid $74 million for an apartment, investment banker Ken Moelis, who bought a $62 million pad, and former Ultimate Fighting Championship billionaire Frank Fertitta, who is said to have paid $70 million for a penthouse. [NYP] — Kevin Sun