They said what now? Real estate quotes of the week

From Jeffrey Gural to a worker at One Vanderbilt, here are some things people said that caught our attention

Former Bespoke executive Jarret Willis, Jeffrey Gural, One Vanderbilt, Flatiron building and former president of president of Bespoke Florida Harlan Goldberg
Former Bespoke executive Jarret Willis, Jeffrey Gural, One Vanderbilt, Flatiron building and former president of president of Bespoke Florida Harlan Goldberg (Facebook, Getty, Wikipedia, )

People were talking about two events that sent a literal shockwave in one iconic New York building and a figurative one through another.

First, an elevator malfunction at SL Green’s One Vanderbilt in Midtown Manhattan shook office workers at the 93-story skyscraper Tuesday afternoon. It was jarring to some tenants … to say the least.

“I can say with confidence, you would not get me to go back to my desk at One Vanderbilt after that today!” Twitter user Anne McCarthy wrote. “No way!”

No injuries were reported and the building was not damaged, officials said.

Meanwhile, a $190 million bid from Jacob Garlick at auction for the iconic Flatiron Building turned more than a few heads.

“It was a lot of money. You still have to spend $100 million to renovate the building,” a baffled Jeffrey Gural, the property’s former owner who put in a bid, said. “When you are all done, you are going to own a building that is $1,500 per foot.”

The high price was but one of two mysteries surrounding the bid. The other is who exactly is Jeffrey Garlick?

Meanwhile, former Bespoke executive Jarret Willis filed a lawsuit against his former employer, alleging the brokerage engaged in discriminatory and overtly racist behavior, as well as withheld commissions from him.

Harlan Goldberg, a real estate agent who was previously president of Bespoke Florida, joined Willis in the suit, alleging he is owed more than $1 million for his share of commissions on sales in Miami and Parkland. 

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“I do not know why my clients have not been paid their commissions,” attorney Adam Leitman Bailey, who represents Willis and Goldberg, said. “It’s unjust, it’s wrong, and when a person does a really good job and does the job well, and the employer gets paid, then I believe the agent should be paid as well. We shouldn’t have to sue for it either.”

The firm denied the claims.

“Bespoke unequivocally denies these false and untrue allegations, which arose regarding an ongoing attempt to collect unjustified commissions from the company,” the brokerage said in a statement. 

In Los Angeles, tenants sued their landlord, Arthur Aslanian, for alleged years of abuse and retaliation in an effort to get them to move out for a planned development. 

“We’re traumatized by our previous landlord,” one of the tenants, Clare Letmon, said. But Letmon and her partner, JonPaul Rodriguez, also have no plans to leave. “We are staying in solidarity with our disabled and senior neighbors,” Letmon added.

Aslanian faces criminal charges stemming from an alleged plot to hire a hitman to kill two people to whom he owed money. Aslanian also faces arson charges for allegedly paying someone to set fire to one of his properties to get tenants to move out.

Keller Williams and the brokerage’s cofounder Gary Keller are facing a Texas lawsuit from Colleen Basinski, an Illinois realtor and franchise owner, alleging the company interfered with her business and cost her millions of dollars in income for being an ally of ousted CEO John Davis.

“KWRI and Keller were determined to ruin the Basinskis for Colleen’s refusal to initially or voluntarily embrace Keller’s directive to lower market center caps,” the lawsuit says. “In fact, Colleen was told by another individual that Keller wanted to make her destitute.