Broker claims meat purveyors cut her out of prime $31M West Village sale

Lawsuit alleges Gia Wang found buyer but didn't get commission

<em>From left: 601 Washington Street in the West Village and a pile of money being butchered (credit: Wikimedia Commons)</em>
From left: 601 Washington Street in the West Village and a pile of money being butchered (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

New York City brokers often must fight tooth and nail for a sale, but one agent claims her meat purveying clients quietly cut her out of the $31 million of their West Village warehouse.

Broker Gia Wang filed a lawsuit against Patrick LaFrieda and his son, Patrick LaFrieda Jr., for allegedly cheating her out of a $602,000 commission for the sale of 601 Washington Street, a warehouse used for their North Bergen, N.J.-based business, Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors. Wang, who is licensed under her own brokerage company Gia Wang LLC, alleges that she found a buyer — developer Charles Dunne — for the property in 2006, but Dunne told her at the time that the $25 million price tag was too steep, according to a lawsuit filed in State Supreme Court.

Without her knowing, however, Dunne and the LaFriedas secretly entered into an agreement for the property for $31 million, according to the lawsuit. Wang later discovered the deal when Dunne filed permit applications with the Department of Buildings for a new 44,504-square-foot residential building on the site. The DOB approved those plans in January and issued Dunne demolition permits for the two-story warehouse in September.

The younger LaFrieda told The Real Deal on Wednesday that he’s never met Wang. He said that the sale didn’t have a broker; they found Dunne through a family friend.

“I never heard of the woman. I’m not really sure where she’s coming from,” he said.

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Wang’s attorney, Lawrence Hirsh, said that his client and the elder LaFrieda had a written agreement in 2006 — that is attached to the lawsuit.

In 2005, Wang made a few headlines when she reportedly got into an altercation with a Soho man at an open house. At the time, Wang was a broker with Prudential Douglas Elliman and attended an open house where the owner didn’t have a hired broker, the New York Times reported. According to the article, Wang refused to leave the apartment and “[clawed] at his face, scratching him and drawing blood.”

Hirsh wouldn’t comment on the incident, aside from saying that he felt that the incident had been incorrectly reported. Wang agreed.

“It was a long time ago, and it’s not part of this complaint,” she said.

She is seeking $602,000 in damages, roughly 2 percent of the warehouse sale price.