Alleged illegal hotel operator sued by former partner

Salim Assa is accused of running hotels out of residential buildings

Solly Assa and the MAve Hotel
Solly Assa and the MAve Hotel

Things seem to be going from bad to worse for hotel developer Salim “Solly” Assa. Assa is already facing contempt charges from the city for turning apartment houses into tourist lodging. And now, he is being accused by a former business partner of improperly “seizing” the property.

Last year, the city sued Assa for allegedly running an illegal hotel out of rental buildings at West 55th and West 46th streets. Then in October, a city inspector found that a British businessman was renting a room at the West 55th building for a one-week stint.

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Now, Manhattan investor Abraham Lavi contributed $1.1 million in 2013 to the purchase of Two West 46th Street apartment buildings with Assa, according to the New York Post. But Lavi contends in legal papers that Assa “duped” him into believing they were buying the property together and then “secretly” brought another partner into the deal.

Lavi is now attempting to stop what he believes was Assa’s pending sale of the property via court order.

Assa’s lawyer, Stephen Meister, told the Post that Lavi breached his original agreement, failed to pay his full investment, and “then Lavi disappeared, without explanation, for nearly two years.” [NYP] Christopher Cameron