Miami Beach nightclub owner sues potential buyer in real estate deal gone sour
Looking to close the sale of his Miami Beach nightclub, Michael Freundlich footed a potential buyer’s $37,000 tab for a five-day party fest this past Labor Day weekend.
But the deal for Treehouse Nightclub at 323 23rd Street never materialized. Now, Freundlich wants his money back, plus broker and legal fees, from Sky Park, the proprietor of a New Jersey karaoke bar who allegedly made an offer to buy Treehouse.
Freundlich filed a lawsuit in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court last month accusing Park of fraud. The nightclub owner is seeking $200,000 in damages, which includes money Freundlich claims he spent covering meals and booze for Park and a five-member team who flew down to Miami Beach from August 30 to September 4, the suit says.
Freundlich’s lawyer Arthur Vincent did not return a phone message and an email requesting comment. Park’s attorney Brian McHugh declined comment.
According to the complaint, Park expressed interest in purchasing Treehouse, telling Freundlich that he had a team of professionals that had experience in the purchase of clubs. After numerous conversations and conducting his own analysis, Park said he would go to Miami Beach to complete the transaction, the lawsuit states.
Park asked Freundlich to “please arrange for all accommodations so that we can begin our evaluation of the business as my team needs to visit and meet with your representatives,” the lawsuit says.
However, according to the suit, Park and his team never engaged in any activity remotely related to the purchase of the nightclub during several trips to Miami Beach. On the last excursion, Park made “false representations” over the telephone that “he needed to close on the purchase and would be sending his team down for Labor Day Weekend.”
In actuality, the suit says, Park never intended to purchase Treehouse even though Freundlich had spent $100,000 on broker retention, attorneys and accountants believing the transaction was legitimate. “$37,000 went towards Sky Park’s and his team’s travel expenses, taxi fare, air fare, hotel, meals, liquor and entertainment expenses,” the lawsuit states. “Over the course of five days, Sky Park and his team, using credit cards provided by Freundlich, partied, wined and dined all over Miami Beach.”
During that time, Park and his team only spent a few hours at dinner with Freundlich and they never visited Treehouse or met with Freundlich to close the deal, the lawsuit alleges. In a September 19 letter sent to Park that was attached to the lawsuit, Vincent accuses the would-be buyer of scamming his client.
“You spent a lavish weekend in Miami Beach at Mr. Freundlich’s expense,” Vincent wrote. “The circumstances presented lead to the conclusion that you have perpetrated a fraud upon Mr. Freundlich.”
According to Miami-Dade property records, Freundlich purchased the Treehouse property in 2015 for $3.2M.