UWS synagogue in danger of foreclosure

From left: Ilan Bracha, Rabbi Yishayahu Yosef Pinto and 240 Riverside Boulevard (building photo credit: CityRealty)

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The wife of a developer wrote a $56,000 personal check in an effort to stop foreclosure proceedings on a proposed synagogue site for Yishayahu Yosef Pinto, a rabbi with strong ties to the real estate world, the Wall Street Journal reported. For the last several years, Pinto has been raising money to open a synagogue on the ground floor at the Heritage at Trump Place condominium at 240 Riverside Boulevard. In 2008, Ilan Bracha — who recently left Prudential Douglas Elliman to open a Manhattan office for Keller Williams — and his B + B Investment Group partner, developer Haim Binstock, paid $1.65 million for the 2,700-square-foot space, with plans to donate it for the rabbi’s use. Construction hasn’t yet started. Last year, the condo board obtained a judgment against Bracha and Binstock in Civil Court for $55,753 in unpaid common charges and other fees, according to the condo board and court records. At the end of last year, the board started foreclosing on the property. On Monday, following the Journal’s inquiries into the property’s foreclosure, the board said it received a personal check from Binstock’s wife. Bracha said common charges were withheld related to a dispute between the board and the owners over access to the building. Bracha and Binstock planned to build a synagogue at the space to complement Rabbi Pinto’s existing synagogue on the East Side, but have not yet submitted any construction plans for approval to the condo board, according to the board. [WSJ]