Developer Brandon Miller in intensive care

Real Estate Equities principal hospitalized in Southampton as erroneous obituaries appear online

Rumors swirl around Real Estate Equities’ Brandon Miller
Candice and Brandon Miller with 196 Orchard Street and 1 St. Mark’s Place (Getty, Google Maps, Morris Adjmi Architects)

Unconfirmed reports swirled on internet discussion forums this week that Brandon Miller, principal of Real Estate Equities Corporation, was dead or near death. Obituaries, apparently generated by AI, circulated online. 

But Miller was alive — in the intensive care unit at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital, a hospital representative said Wednesday.

Miller is a second-generation developer who has done substantial projects in New York City, but his health situation has drawn attention because his wife, Candice Miller, is a well-known influencer and lifestyle blogger.

He is also related to fashion blogger Arielle Charnas, whose husband, Brandon Charnas, co-founder of Current Real Estate Advisors, was investigated for insider trading last year. A judge in February denied the SEC’s effort to subpoena Charnas’ text messages and ordered the matter closed. (The SEC did not appeal the decision and has not brought a case, according to Charnas’ attorney.)

Real Estate Equity Corporation, or REEC, run by Miller and Mark Siegel, has several commercial projects under development. It recently wrapped up construction on an East Harlem life sciences building, according to New York YIMBY. Just before the pandemic it inked an ill-timed deal for a boutique office building at 1 St. Mark’s Place.

In 2015, REEC teamed up with Ben Shaoul’s Magnum Real Estate Group to develop 196 Orchard Street into a mixed-use condo.

Miller has also been involved in several lawsuits, some of them unusual even for the litigious real estate industry.

A 2019 complaint alleged that his father, Michael Miller, who had died in 2016, had instructed his assistant to forge and notarize his son’s signature on various loan documents related to a condominium project at 137 Franklin Street. That lawsuit has been settled, according to court documents.

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TD Bank sued Miller, his mother and his sister in 2022, alleging that they engaged in a series of fraudulent transfers to prevent the bank from collecting a $2.1 million judgment from his mother. 

The case stemmed from a $17.5 million commercial mortgage loan on which Miller had missed payments to the bank. His late father, reporting a net worth at the time of $74 million, had personally guaranteed up to $3.5 million of the loan.

The bank alleged that it was unable to retrieve the judgment from his mother’s inheritance because she had transferred a $5 million stake in her Manhattan co-op to her son and hundreds of thousands of dollars to Miller, his firm and his sister.

Another lawsuit, filed in May, alleged Miller owes more than $55,000 in docking fees to a marina in Aquebogue, New York. Miller and his wife reportedly have homes in the Hamptons and Tribeca.

Michael Miller founded his real estate development company in 1978 and Brandon joined in 2004, according to the company’s website, which says the company has developed over 20 million square feet throughout the United States.

Michael Miller was a developer of shopping centers in the 1970s and 1980s. With Real Estate Equities, he then repositioned properties such as 156 Prince Street and built projects such as the condominium at 985 Park Avenue.

Siegel did not respond to a request for comment. Several calls to the company went to voicemail.

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