Aby Rosen’s new landlords move to take control of Lever House

Landlords ask judge to appoint appraiser to break impasse on rent reset

Jan.January 24, 2020 04:31 PM
RFR Realty's Aby Rosen, Brookfield's Ric Clark and the Lever House at 390 Park Avenue (Credit: Getty Images and Google Maps)

RFR Realty’s Aby Rosen, Brookfield’s Ric Clark and the Lever House at 390 Park Avenue (Credit: Getty Images and Google Maps)

Aby Rosen’s new landlords at Lever House are trying to wrest control of the Park Avenue landmark.

Brookfield Office Properties and Waterman Interests filed a petition in court asking a judge to appoint an appraiser to help settle a dispute over the rent reset on the property, Crain’s reported.

Rosen and the Brookfield-Waterman partnership each commissioned their own appraisals of the property last year. But when the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement, Rosen refused to agree to have a third appraiser break the impasse, according to Crain’s

Brookfield declined comment to Crain’s and a representative for Rosen’s RFR Realty did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Rosen, who has controlled the famed mid-century office building at 390 Park Avenue for two decades, has struggled to refinance the property due to reset that could see the rent skyrocket.

The lease was scheduled to reset Jan. 1 to a figure that equals 7.5 percent of the property’s fair market value. That could push the rent up from about $6 million a year to $20 million.

Rosen had butted heads with the property’s landlord, the Korein family, over the rent reset. So in 2018 the Koreins struck a deal to create a “sandwich lease” with Brookfield and Waterman that inserted them into the deal between the Koreins and Rosen, effectively making Brookfield and Waterman Rosen’s new landlords.

RFR last year sued Waterman, claiming company principal Philip M. “Tod” Waterman III used information he gleaned from discussing a possible partnership on the Lever House with RFR partner Michael Fuchs to go behind the company’s back and cut a deal with the Koreins. [Crain’s] — Rich Bockmann

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