Lightstone ends air-rights feud with Moxy Chelsea hotel’s neighbors
Developer sued couple in 2019 over attempted “sabotage” of $155M project
A long-running drama surrounding Lightstone’s Moxy Chelsea hotel came to a quiet conclusion this week.
Developer Lightstone Group settled with David Sinclair and Lisa Chapman, two unit owners in the condominium next door to the hotel who it had accused of selling air rights for the $155 million project then delaying construction for years with bogus 311 complaints, court filings show.
Lightstone sued the married couple, who manage the condo building at 111-113 West 28th Street, for $8.7 million in damages in 2019, accusing them of waging a “campaign to sabotage the hotel.” Terms of the settlement were not disclosed
Things started off okay between the neighbors in 2014, when Lightstone approached Chapman and Sinclair about the air rights and the pair agreed to sell for $6.75 million.
But once work began on the 35-story hotel next door, Chapman and Sinclair evidently had a change of heart.
By the following year, the couple had begun making “numerous” phone calls to city agencies with false accusations about the quality of construction, flooding at the site and work stretching late into the night, Lightstone claimed.
The pair, along with another resident of the condo, Patricia Kirshner, made nearly 30 calls to New York City agencies in an effort to get a stop work order on the development, the complaint alleged — and they often succeeded.
The trio’s antics “resulted in at least 56 days of partial or full work stoppages,” according to the suit, which noted that none of the complaints resulted in an actual violation from the Department of Buildings.
Instead, the pauses came from “generally minor, technical violations, such as lack of proper paperwork like daily logs or operating manuals,” which were found during inspections spurred by Chapman, Sinclair and Kirshner.
The complaints didn’t stop when the hotel finally opened in 2019. The continued calls caused the DOB to revoke the hotel’s temporary certificate of occupancy, which Lightstone claimed forced the property to close just months after it started taking reservations. The 350-key hotel has since operated regularly.
Lightstone and attorneys for Lisa Chapman and David Sinclair did not immediately respond to a request for comment.