The Daily Dirt: Real estate mogul suspects theft of trade secret

An analysis of New York's top real estate news

The Sapir Organization’s Alex Sapir (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)
The Sapir Organization’s Alex Sapir (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)

Sapir fears that a former legal assistant stole trade secrets.

In a new federal lawsuit, Sapir alleges that Patricia Lemanski, who has worked for Sapir’s SFM Realty Corp. since 2011, forwarded “countless files, agreements and other trade secret and confidential information,” to her personal email account, Rich Bockmann reports. Sapir claims Lemanski wasn’t working on any of the projects related to the information she sent herself.

“There is no possible legitimate reason [Lemanski] could have to forward these documents to her personal email account,” the lawsuit claims.

Some of the documents — which include business contact information, operating agreements, leases, vendor agreements and loan agreements — could be considered “inside information” under the securities laws of Israel, where the Sapir Corp. is listed on the Tel Aviv Stock exchange. Sapir asked the court to grant a temporary restraining order to prevent Lemanski from sharing the documents.

NYCHA’s repair bill climbs to unfathomable heights. But its progress on meeting those needs is mixed.

Minnesota resident Gregory Russ, who was appointed chairman and CEO in June 2019, said Tuesday that the agency requires $40 billion in repairs. That’s up from the $32 billion estimated way back in 2018, though the agency’s board has acknowledged that costs could swell even higher. Politico reported in December that estimated costs could rise to $68.5 billion by 2028, the worst-case scenario.

Meanwhile, the agency hasn’t made much progress on its “build to preserve,” program, colloquially known as its infill initiatives. There’s been fierce opposition to building mixed-income housing on underutilized NYCHA property. Still, Russ said he’s confident in the agency’s ability to carve out a plan with the communities impacted by these plans.

He also noted that sometime this year the agency will release another proposal to raise additional capital, though he didn’t provide any details beyond the potential to take on debt and that it “might be” looking to disposition.

“Even NYCHA is fixable,” he said. “It’s a demand on the organization, it will be a demand on the city and community as a whole.”

What we’re thinking about: Billionaire John Catsimatidis is thinking about running for mayor (again). Will he or won’t he? Would he win? Do you want him to win? Send a note to


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Residential: The priciest residential closing recorded Tuesday was for a condo unit at 90 Lexington Avenue in NoMad, at $9.7 million.

Commercial: The most expensive commercial closing of the day was for a Salvation Army warehouse at 22 Quincy Street in Clinton Hill, at $28.5 million.


The largest new building filing of the day was for a 24,423-square-foot apartment building at 1357 Purdy Street in Parkchester. Franco Suka filed the permit application.


The priciest residential listing to hit the market Tuesday was for a co-op unit at 45 East Ninth Street in Greenwich Village, at $7.3 million.
— Research by Mary Diduch

A thing we’ve learned…

Jeff Sutton’s 60th birthday is Jan. 17, according to Tel Aviv Stock Exchange filings. Thank you to Kevin Sun for providing this information. Safe to say Sutton wants a healthier retail market for the big 6-0?

Elsewhere in New York

— Former mayor Michael Bloomberg has more than 1,000 staffers after adding some 700 organizers across 33 states, Politico New York reports. A growing number of the presidential hopeful’s staffers have been hired in states that vote in Super Tuesday.

— Citigroup executive Raymond McGuire may throw his hat into the NYC mayoral race, CNBC reports. Wall Street and corporate execs have been urging McGuire to run in 2021.

— In more raccoons-in-transit news, a racoon held up traffic for 15 minutes while trying to catch a Staten Island bus, Gothamist reports. Also, a bunch of Staten Island bus drivers have started calling all raccoons they encounter “Rocky.”