New York investor sues over Fort Lauderdale dev site sale
An entity managed by partner Josh Schuster alleges property sold for $20.8M without his knowledge
Six months after a Fort Lauderdale development site sold for $20.8 million, a New York builder who had a stake in the property is suing his former partner.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in New York Supreme Court, an entity controlled by Silverback Development’s Josh Schuster alleges it has not received its share of the sale proceeds. Schuster alleges his ex-partner Daniel Silber kept him in the dark about the deal.
In addition to Silber, the lawsuit names as defendants a Silber-controlled entity and a holding company jointly owned by the Schuster and Silber entities.
In September, the Schuster-Silber holding company and its development partner, New York-based Bizzi & Partners, sold the 1-acre site at 100 Southwest Street in Fort Lauderdale to Alta Developers, the Miami-based real estate firm headed by Raimundo Onetto. Bizzi and Alta are not parties to the lawsuit.
Schuster alleges he learned about the deal, which netted $1 million for the partnership, in January, the complaint states.
Attorneys for Schuster and Silber declined comment.
Schuster has been involved in the financing and development of more than 1 million square feet in New York, according to Silverback’s website. Since 2021, the developer and entities he controls have been named as defendants in nearly a dozen lawsuits in the Big Apple; including four of which he has been ordered to pay damages, and two that were settled.
In March 2018, Schuster, Silber and Bizzi teamed up to buy the five-block assemblage in Fort Lauderdale for $12 million, Schuster’s lawsuit states. Bizzi would take on managerial responsibilities of developing a 35-story tower with 401 apartments and retail.
The joint venture closed on the property seven months later, and had a predevelopment budget of about $13 million, the lawsuit states. Schuster kicked in $457,611 in equity, and Silber contributed $1.3 million in capital. But the project never broke ground.
Schuster’s entity also funded additional capital calls that were treated as either equity contributions or member loans, according to the suit. However, the holding company, managed by Silber, has not paid Schuster’s entity its pro rata share of principal and interest owed on the member loans, the lawsuit alleges.
Yet, Silber did pay back his own entity its pro rata share of the member loans, according to the lawsuit.
Schuster’s entity is also seeking a court order to force the holding company to provide financial records, including tax returns, cash distributions and an accounting from the proceeds of the Fort Lauderdale deal.