Acadia sues Armstrong’s Ringel for alleged default

Financial woes mount for president of shopping center developer

Aerial view of an Armstrong shopping center
Aerial view of an Armstrong shopping center

Acadia Realty filed suit against Armstrong Capital founder Benjamin Ringel and investor Tibor Klein, alleging they defaulted on $9 million in loans.

Acadia, a White Plains, N.Y.-based real estate investment trust, filed suit Monday in New York State Supreme Court, alleging the borrowers failed to make required interest payments, leading to a default last July.

Neither Ringel, Klein nor Acadia were immediately available for comment.

Ringel borrowed $4.18 million in December 2009 and $415,000 in December 2011 through an Armstrong affiliate called AC Retail. A third note issued to AC Retail, Ringel and Klein in December 2011 represented the consolidation of a $2.5 million loan and a $1.97 million loan from 2006 and 2009, respectively. The three notes are set to mature in December.

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Armstrong has developed shopping centers in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and the loans were secured by its various holdings; however, the lawsuit did not seek title to any of the assets.

Previously, LNR Partners, a Miami Beach-based special loan servicer, sued Ringel in 2012 after he allegedly defaulted on a $16.3 million loan balance backed by a Food Emporium site at 250 West 90th Street on the Upper West Side. A state judge denied Ringel’s motion to dismiss the case, according to court documents.

Additionally, Ringel and Armstrong are facing a suit for $242,000 in back rent for his office at 360 Madison Avenue, subleased from Beck, Mack & Oliver, an investment advisory firm. The sublease, which began in January 2010, is scheduled to expire on June 29.

Steven Schackman, an attorney who represents Ringel in the landlord-tenant case, declined to comment.