Morgan Stanley wades into Milonas condo feud

Relatives of elderly shipping titan in long battle at Upper East Side building

Spiros and Antonia Milonas with the Briarcliff (Getty, Zillow)
Spiros and Antonia Milonas with the Briarcliff (Getty, Zillow)

A house divided against itself cannot stand. How about a condo building?

Morgan Stanley is suing to foreclose on Spiros and Antonia Milonas’ condo unit at The Briarcliff, an Upper East Side prewar rental that Spiros converted to luxury condos in 2007. For years, Spiros’ daughters from his first marriage, Claire and Sofia, have battled their stepmother in court, with each side accusing the other of taking advantage of the family’s aging patriarch.

Spiros and Antonia Milonas own unit 11B at 171 East 57th Street through Axia Realty LLC, which they split 50-50. Morgan Stanley alleges that Spiros missed payments on a $2.4 million mortgage it provided him against the condo in 2016.

The lawsuit doesn’t say when Milonas began missing payments, but it isn’t the first time he’s been accused of financial truancy. In 2019, the owners of three other units in the condo sued Milonas for failing to pay property taxes and common charges for his units at the building.

The neighbors also alleged Milonas, as developer and owner of most of the building’s units, had failed in his responsibility to handle condominium affairs. In that legal battle, Milonas’ own lawyer walked off the case, claiming $366,000 in unpaid fees.

In late 2020, Constantina Papageorgiou took over as guardian for Spiros Milonas after a judge found him “incapable of adequately prosecuting or defending his rights,” as his former attorney Stepen Meister wrote to the court.

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Around the same time, Axia Realty filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, bringing the litigation to a halt. The bankruptcy proceedings ended last month, and on April 7 the parties were given 45 days to negotiate a settlement.

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Deborah Kern’s (Corcoran)

Meanwhile, the very unit Morgan Stanley wants to seize appears to be on the market. Corcoran’s Deborah Kern has the listing for units 11B and 11C, asking a combined $10.5 million, according to her website. Reached by phone, the agent said, “I don’t talk to anybody.”

Papageorgiou, the attorney for Milonas, did not respond to a request for comment by press time.