Back in 2006, when the boom was booming, the owners of gigantic Upper West Side rental building 30 Lincoln Plaza announced a plan to take the building condo. In a show of supreme kindness, discounts of 25% off the general public prices were offered to building renters—which sounded all great and stuff until the prices were announced and renters immediately started emailing Curbed with comments like, "The prices are astonishing." But in the end, 45 tenants ended up biting—something they now wish they hadn't done following a round of massive PriceChops in late 2008 that has sparked a lawsuit, The Real Deal reports.
Per the Real Deal:
A total of 45 tenants entered agreements to buy their units during the time allotted, though two later backed out, the court documents say. During that time, "not one non-tenant had purchased an apartment in the building," the suit says. Rather than increasing, non-tenant prices allegedly decreased. According to the plan, the sponsor was required to sell at least 87 units in the building before Dec. 17, 2008 in order for the plan to be declared effective. To facilitate that, the sponsor's selling agent approached various brokers in September 2008 and asked them to find buyers at "vastly reduced prices," the suit says.
The suit charges: "The sponsor was conducting a fire sale of units in the building in order to declare the plan effective."
For example, the suit says, Apartment 6k was priced at $2.39 million in the offering plan, but went into contract for $990,000. Unit 12U was priced at $1.38 million in the plan, but went into contract for $550,000. Unit 9R, listed at $1.42 million, was sold for $625,000.
Them's some fighting PriceChops, to be sure! A spokesman for the Milstein Family, the building's owner, calls the lawsuit "complete nonsense," which is about what one might expect. Color this one on.
· Fire Sale at 30 Lincoln Plaza Prompts Lawsuit Against Milstein [The Real Deal]
· All 30 Lincoln Plaza Coverage [Curbed]