Newmark sues Accesso for stiffing it on Loop property tax appeals

Firm alleges it hasn’t gotten its cut of nearly $6M in property tax savings provided to now-distressed owner of 200 West Monroe, 20 North Clark

Newmark Sues Accesso for cut of Loop Property Tax Appeals
Newmark's Barry Gosin and Accesso's Claudio Dombey with 200 West Monroe and 20 North Clark (Newmark, Accesso, Google Maps, Getty)

Newmark has joined a list of firms claiming Chicagoland office landlord Accesso Partners hasn’t paid its bills on time.

The brokerage and advisory firm sued the Hallandale Beach, Florida-based commercial real estate firm in Cook County late last week, seeking to recover $876,000 in fees it says it is owed for work it did to save the landlord almost $6 million over the past few years, court records show.

The lawsuit comes as lenders prepare to work out or foreclose on $126 million in delinquent debt tied to Accesso-owned offices in the Loop, Naperville and Downers Grove. 

Newmark claims it spared the landlord from hefty property tax bills for the 23-story 200 West Monroe Street and the 36-story 20 North Clark Street in the Loop, which Accesso bought in 2013 and 2014 for a combined $164 million.

Newmark was supposed to get a 15 percent cut out of the tax savings at each property for each year a successful appeal of the property’s tax assessment was won, the lawsuit alleges.

Newmark and outside counsel the firm hired to help work on Accesso’s tax relief guided the landlord through a lawsuit and appeals with the Cook County Assessor’s Office and the Cook County Board of Review to win more than $3.9 million in property tax savings for 20 North Clark, based on contesting assessments made for the tax years 2018 and 2021, it alleges.

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Accesso saved more than $2 million through a Newmark-led Board of Review appeal of the 2021 assessment for 200 West Monroe, it alleges.

The landlord hasn’t paid Newmark any of the fees it says are owed, and the brokerage has made numerous attempts to collect, the suit said. An attorney for Newmark declined to comment, and Accesso didn’t return requests for comment.

The lawsuit adds to Accesso’s already daunting financial positions on its Chicagoland portfolio.

Accesso paid off a loan for 20 North Clark in 2020, but its mortgages for 200 West Monroe, as well as the 211,000-square-foot Park Plaza in Naperville and the two-building, 320,000-square-foot Highland Oaks complex in Downers Grove all appear to be underwater.

LNR Partners, representative of the bondholders in the $33 million CMBS loan for the Downers Grove property, sued the Accesso venture that owns it for foreclosure in September, DuPage County property records show. The next hearing in the court case is scheduled for May 20.

The landlord last year also sold the 623,000-square-foot office building at 230 West Monroe — next door to 200 West Monroe — for $45 million to Menashe Properties, a massive discount from Accesso’s $122 million purchase in 2014, during its Chicago-area acquisition spree.

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