The Daily Dirt: The deal is off? Realogy thinks not

An analysis of New York's top real estate news

TRD New York /
Apr.April 27, 2020 07:00 PM
Realogy CEO Ryan Schneider and SIRVA CEO Thomas Oberdorf

Realogy CEO Ryan Schneider and SIRVA CEO Thomas Oberdorf

Realogy claims the company that agreed to buy its relocation business is using the coronavirus crisis as an excuse to back out of the deal.

In November, the brokerage giant announced the sale of Cartus to Madison Dearborn Partners and its portfolio company, SIRVA Worldwide Inc.. But in a lawsuit filed Monday, Realogy alleges that days before the $400 million deal was to close, SIRVA and MDP made “false claims in an attempt to avoid their obligations under the purchase agreement in light of broad-based economic uncertainties due to the global COVID-19 pandemic,” E.B. Solomont reports.

SIRVA argued that closing conditions hadn’t been met and likely wouldn’t be before the deal expired April 30. Realogy disagreed.

“Realogy strongly believes that all conditions to closing of the transaction have been and continue to be satisfied,” the brokerage conglomerate said in its complaint.

The sale of Cartus was part of Realogy’s broader efforts to shed non-core business and reduce debt.

Last week saw a slight uptick in luxury deals.

Five contracts for Manhattan residential units listed at $4 million or more were inked, marking the first time in over a month that more than two luxury contracts were signed in any week, according to Olshan Realty’s latest report.

The priciest was a duplex at 595 West End Avenue, which was seeking $9.5 million. The 5,859-square-foot unit has been on and off the market since 2012 and was initially listed for $11.975 million.

One of the five deals last week was for a condo unit seized by the U.S. government in its case against Malaysian fugitive Jho Low, Sylvia Varnham O’Regan reports. The unit at 102 Prince Street had an asking price of $8.5 million. It was one of several properties that authorities grabbed to recover funds from the multibillion-dollar 1MDB scandal.

Brooklyn also saw a modest increase in luxury contracts last week, according to a report by Compass. Four contracts for homes asking $2 million or more were signed.

What we’re thinking about: What local store/business are you most grateful for now that you’re home all the time? Send a note to kathryn@therealdeal.com.

CLOSING TIME

Residential: The priciest residential closing recorded Monday was for a condo unit at One Waterline Square on the West Side, at $5.5 million.

Commercial: The most expensive commercial closing of the day was for an apartment building at 19-23 St. Marks Place in the East Village, at $35 million.

BREAKING GROUND

The largest new building filing of the day was for a 251,869-square-foot residential building at 72 East 120th Street in Harlem. BFC Partners filed the permit application.

NEW TO THE MARKET

The priciest residential listing to hit the market was for a townhouse at 451 West 21st Street in West Chelsea, at $7.8 million. Sotheby’s International Realty’s Chris Poore has the listing. — Research by Mary Diduch

A thing we’ve learned…

The Ninth Circuit ruled Friday that a property buyer can’t sue a deceased former homeowner, Bloomberg Law reports. The court found that as an issue of first impression, a dead person is not a “proper person to be sued.” One of the judges even cited “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” “You Can’t Take it With You” and a lawsuit against “Satan and his staff” to make his point. Thank you to Mary Diduch for digging up those details.

Elsewhere in New York

— After several weeks of resisting, Mayor Bill de Blasio will open 40 miles of city streets to pedestrians, Politico New York reports. His course reversal follows City Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s introduction of a bill last week to open up 75 miles of asphalt.

— New York’s Democratic presidential primary, set for June 23, is canceled, the New York Post reports. Primaries for congressional and state offices will go forward.

Gothamist has a video tour of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Check out the cherry blossoms.


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