A developer of one of the first commercial-to-residential conversions in New York City history has failed to pay common charges on his penthouse pad in the building he converted, forcing residents there to pick up the tab, the New York Post is reporting.
According to the report citing a lawsuit filed in 2020, Barnet Liberman, who with a partner turned the West Village building previously used to house printing firms into fancy Printing House condo in 1978, hasn’t paid his monthly common charges of $3,160 since January 2019.
An invoice sent to the Libermans in August 2021 that included fines for violating building rules such as leaving packages in the lobby and illegal gas piping to the unit shows a debt of $609,530 owed to the condo, according to court papers.
Liberman, who filed for bankruptcy in 2021, owes $123 million to a bevy of creditors, according to the report, including his wife, children and a pest control company in the Hamptons where he owns a townhouse. He is the principal of Mountbatten, the company which converted the building back in the 1970s and still owns 11 condos within it, which includes 30,000 square feet of space it leases the Equinox gym there. Five of those properties are also subject to a lawsuit filed in March claiming their common charges haven’t been paid.
Liberman told The Post that he only owns his Hamptons property, having transferred ownership of the Printing House apartment to an LLC in 2013 before giving most of the entity to his five children. He also claimed he has paid $35,000 a month in rent to the LLC on the property he said is worth anywhere from $6 million to $20 million.
When owners of condo units stop making common charge payments, other owners have to make up the difference unless they’re able to somehow recover the fees.
[New York Post] — Vince DiMiceli