Haysha Deitsch misses $3M payment to seniors he tried to evict

Landlord says would-be buyer Sugar Hill may be getting cold feet

<em>1 Prospect Park West in Brooklyn</em>
1 Prospect Park West in Brooklyn

Developer Haysha Deitsch missed a $3.1 million payment to the senior citizens he tried to evict as the buyers of his Brooklyn senior living facility show signs of walking away from the deal.

Deitsch’s attorney said on Monday that his client couldn’t make the payment because the Park Slope building’s expected buyers, Sugar Hill Capital Partners, aren’t cooperating and have yet to provide money to the landlord.

Deitsch bought 1 Prospect Park West, a 130-room senior assisted living facility, in 2006 for $40 million. He then moved to evict sone 100 seniors from the building, and allegedly employed tactics like turning off the facility’s air conditioning and serving rotten food to force the tenants out. After a lengthy court battle, a judge ordered Deitsch to pay the five remaining tenants $3.35 million to leave. At the time, the judge indicated that the tenants would have more time to move and get more money if Deitsch didn’t stick to the payment schedule. He’s so far made two payments totaling $250,000, according to his lawyer, the New York Post reported.

Around the time that the landlord ordered the elderly tenants to leave, he agreed to sell the building to Sugar Hill for $76.5 million.

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“It has always been and continues to be Sugar Hill’s intention to acquire the building,” a spokesperson for Sugar Hill told The Real Deal in a statement. “Sugar Hill’s goal is for all parties to come to a resolution and we are working diligently toward that.”

An attorney for Deitsch, Joel Drucker, said that Sugar Hill seems to be getting cold feet or trying to change the terms of the sale.

“They feel they have my client over a barrel and can make any agreement they want,” he said. “They’re trying to rewrite the agreement they made two years ago.” [NYP]Kathryn Brenzel