Rabsky Group sues over stalled $14M sale in NoMad

Building is adjacent to Murray Kushner’s proposed 135K-square-foot tower

275 Fifth Avenue (Photo credit: Google) and Ike Chehebar
275 Fifth Avenue (Photo credit: Google) and Ike Chehebar

Development firm the Rabsky Group claims in a new lawsuit that the owners of a NoMad building backed out of a planned $14.1 million sale set to close in May.

In a lawsuit filed Monday, the Williamsburg-based Rabsky Group states that the Midtown-based Jackson Group, along with the owner of the fabric company Regal Home Collections, reneged on a deal to sell the building at 275 Fifth Avenue, between 29th and 30th streets.

City records show an affiliate of the Jackson Group purchased 275 Fifth for $8.5 million in December 2012, and in November 2013 Regal Home was added as a co-owner.

The dispute over the property, however, began after an attorney for the building’s owners sent a purchase agreement to the buyer’s counsel on March 18. According to the suit, Rabsky signed and sent back the purchase agreement the next day, then placed a $1.4 million deposit into escrow. But on March 20, the attorney for the building owners said they no longer wanted to sell, the suit claims.

The Rabsky Group alleges that the defendants breached the purchase agreement, and wants a judge to enforce it. “The defendants act of sending the agreement constituted an offer to sell the property to plaintiff in accordance with the terms of the agreement,” the court filing said.

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Rabsky Group did not respond to a request for comment. The Jackson Group and Regal Home declined to comment.

The NoMad neighborhood has gained traction as a residential and hotel district over the last few years, building on the popularity of the NoMad Hotel and other developments.

Indeed, 275 Fifth was one of several adjacent parcels on the block fronting Fifth Avenue that brokers were shopping quietly as a package in late 2012 and early 2013, an industry source told The Real Deal. But Murray Kushner — brother of Charles Kushner, of Kushner Companies — bought two of the properties and added it to one his New Jersey-based firm Kushner Real Estate Group already owned, creating a three-building site at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 30th Street. Kushner plans to redevelop the property as a 135,000 square-foot residential tower.

The Rabsky Group, headed by Simon Dushinsky, is one of the most active developers in the outer boroughs. The firm filed plans in December for a 172-unit apartment at 564 St. Johns Place in Crown Heights and in November proposed a 44-story residential tower at 29-32 Northern Boulevard in Long Island City, among other projects.

The Jackson Group, lead by Ike Chehebar and his brothers Elliot and Gabriel, focuses on retail real estate, and owns 21 properties in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, according to the firm’s website.