All Year loses stake in troubled Williamsburg property

Settles for $4.7M with Toby Moskovits, Michael Lichtenstein

New York /
Oct.October 29, 2021 09:00 AM
225-227 Grand Street in Williamsburg with Toby Moskovits and Michael Lichtenstein of Heritage Equity Partners (Google Maps, Heritage)

225-227 Grand Street in Williamsburg with Toby Moskovits and Michael Lichtenstein of Heritage Equity Partners (Google Maps, Heritage)

In a messy divorce, it looks like All Year Holdings lost the house.

The firm has agreed to a settlement with Brooklyn landlords Toby Moskovits, Michael Lichtenstein, Moshe Dov Schweid and their affiliated companies over a star-crossed, 41-unit apartment and retail building at 225-227 Grand Street in Williamsburg.

As a result, a company tied to Moskovits and the others will have sole control of the building. All Year Holdings will receive $4.7 million in exchange for giving up its equity interest in the property, according to the settlement in Westchester County bankruptcy court. The agreement ends all litigation between All Year Holdings and Moskovits, Schweid and Lichtenstein.

But the Brooklyn real estate power players are not yet in the clear.

The shell company of the apartment property is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. And Moskovits and Lichtenstein still have to refinance its mezzanine and senior debt. Meanwhile, Moskovits is fighting off creditors throughout Brooklyn.

What looks like an ordinary five-story apartment building in the heart of Williamsburg’s posh Millennial playground is anything but. The Grand Street project — designed by the late architect Karl Fisher — is the one that launched Moskovits’ development career.

She leaned on Yoel Goldman as an investor in 225-227 Grand Street. Goldman’s All Year Holdings was among the first New York development firms to tap into the Israeli bond market and was fast becoming one of Brooklyn’s largest landlords.

In 2011, Yoel Goldman invested $2.5 million for a 35.25 percent share in the 225-227 Grand Street property. Moskovits had a 5 percent stake and her business partner Lichtenstein 26.75 percent. The remaining third was held by Schweid, a rabbi and real estate investor.

But the partnership between Goldman and Moskovits soon soured.

In 2015, Moskovits and Goldman agreed to part ways at several properties, including the Williamsburg Hotel, but Goldman held its investment in 225-227 Grand Street and Goldman continued to run the property through All Year Management.

A year later, a lengthy legal battle began.

All Year sued Moskovits and Lichtenstein, alleging that they were attempting to oust it from management. Moskovits, Lichtenstein and Schweid filed their own suit in 2017, accusing Goldman of theft of company funds and misappropriation of assets.

In response, All Year’s attorney blamed the others for causing a termite problem in their own office by doing renovations with infested wood. Then Moskovits’ side accused an All Year employee of being involved in an “illegal gas hook-up scheme.”

While both sides hurled allegations against each other, the senior loan on the property neared its maturity date. And in 2019, the mezzanine lender — Hutton Capital Management — sought to foreclose on the equity interests in the property.

To avoid foreclosure, the property’s LLC filed for bankruptcy in Westchester County in front of Judge Robert Drain, who was thought to be sympathetic to debtors. (Drain recently approved the bankruptcy reorganization plan of Purdue Pharmaceuticals.)

When the property filed for bankruptcy, Liechtenstein told TRD he planned to withdraw the application shortly. He also said he had an amicable, out-of-court agreement with Yoel Goldman that would settle all litigation over 227 Grand Avenue. But that has not happened, and the project’s ownership entity remains in bankruptcy.

In October 2020, Goldman filed another lawsuit against Lichtenstein and Schweid, accusing them of trying to “squeeze out” his stake in the property. Lichtenstein and Schweid, meanwhile, accused Goldman of “secretly colluding with others” to put the senior mortgage into default. (Madison Realty Capital ended up purchasing the senior loan from Santander, according to court filings.)

As Moskovitz, Lichtenstein and Schweid searched for financing to exit bankruptcy, Goldman’s empire was crumbling. He was facing numerous defaults and allegations of fraud by business partners along with foreclosures on his trophy assets, including the Denizen in Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood.

Sometime this year, Goldman lost control of decision-making at All Year Holdings, and the company’s restructuring officer was left in charge. This appears to be how All Year Holdings was able to settle its claims with Moskovitz and her partners at Grand Street. The settlement does not list Goldman and All Year Management as parties.

An attorney representing All Year Holdings did not return a request for comment. An attorney representing Goldman also did not return an inquiry. The attorney representing the debtors declined to comment. Moskovitz, reached by phone, declined to comment.





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
     Jeff Sutton of Wharton Properties, 25 West 34th Street in NYC (Google Maps)
    Jeff Sutton’s Midtown hotel project snags Sonder as first tenant
    Jeff Sutton’s Midtown hotel project snags Sonder as first tenant
    City law protecting commercial tenants upheld on appeal
    City law protecting commercial tenants upheld on appeal
    City law protecting commercial tenants upheld on appeal
    Last-mile facilities dominating industrial real estate
    Last-mile facilities dominating industrial real estate
    Last-mile facilities dominating industrial real estate
    273 Skillman Street, 83 Nostrand Avenue and 1358 Dekalb Avenue with Andrew Farkas of Island Capital (Google Maps, Getty)
    All Year’s massive Brooklyn portfolio in distress, sparking bidding war
    All Year’s massive Brooklyn portfolio in distress, sparking bidding war
    Newest unicorn is property-services startup Lessen
    Newest unicorn is property-services startup Lessen
    Newest unicorn is property-services startup Lessen
    Light i-sales precede heavy eating
    Light i-sales precede heavy eating
    Light i-sales precede heavy eating
    277 Fifth Avenue and Shokai Group's Shawn Xianyang Zhang (277 Fifth Avenue/Rafael Viñoly, Shokai Group)
    Shokai Group picks up unsold NoMad condos for $81M
    Shokai Group picks up unsold NoMad condos for $81M
    Traffic was up 47.5 percent from last year, when coronavirus restrictions and concerns were more rampant. (iStock, Getty)
    Black Friday retail traffic stuck below pre-pandemic levels
    Black Friday retail traffic stuck below pre-pandemic levels
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...