UES condo board moves to foreclose on Midtown Equities’ Steven Cayre

Lawsuit claims real estate figure owes $147K in legal fees
By Kathryn Brenzel | July 02, 2019 08:30AM

206 East 73rd Street (Credit: Google Maps)

206 East 73rd Street (Credit: Google Maps)

A battle between the board of an Upper East Side condo building and its sponsor is flaring up yet again — this time because the board is moving to foreclose on Midtown Equities’ Steven Cayre.

The condo board of the Blanca Lofts at 206 East 73rd Street filed a lawsuit against Cayre, whose family founded Midtown Equities (the building’s co-developer), alleging that he owes the board $147,000, plus 24 percent in interest, in legal fees. The unpaid fees actually stem from a 2014 lawsuit Cayre filed — as a resident of the building — against the board’s president, seeking to force the board to remedy leaks in the building and repair its elevators.

After the parties reached a settlement agreement, Cayre sought to revive the complaint, alleging that the board hadn’t abided by the settlement. Because an appellate court ultimately ruled against Cayre, the board now claims he’s on the hook for its legal fees. According to the lawsuit, the board is entitled to “adverse determination attorneys’ fees” under the condo board’s by-laws.

Cayre could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday. Property records indicate that Cayre purchased a penthouse unit in 2007 for nearly $1.6 million. Due to the alleged unpaid legal fees, the board is moving to foreclose on that apartment.

This isn’t the first legal scrap involving Midtown Equities and the Blanca’s board. In 2009, the board filed a $10 million lawsuit against the developer alleging widespread fraud, negligence and breach of contract in the building’s construction. Other lawsuits at the time alleged widespread mold and leaks in the building, along with defective elevators.

Cayre’s apartment is on the market for $5.75 million, according to StreetEasy. It was originally listed by Compass in June 2018 for $6.75 million, but CORE (which is co-owned by the Cayre family) is now handling the listing.