Demolition is now underway at 207-221 West 84th Street, a site consisting of four residential buildings purchased by Naftali Group for $71 million in June 2021. According to New York YIMBY, “workers were [recently] seen hauling away dumpsters of debris from the gutting of their interiors.”
One of the buildings included in the $71 million purchase included 215 West 84th Street, also known as Eagle Court, where penthouse tenant Ahmet Ozsu started making headlines last February for refusing to move out.
Naftali filed a lawsuit against Ozsu at the time, stating that his lease had expired at the end of 2021 and that he hadn’t paid rent in months, adding that he had been “maliciously” standing in the way of the project “for the sole purpose of causing financial harm” to the developer, ultimately costing them $25 million in “lost rent and profits.”
Ozsu’s attorney, Adam Leitman Bailey, claimed Naftali Group had been tampering with Ozsu’s “gas and hot water supply, cut off electricity in the building’s laundry and garbage area, and started using several generators that make ‘mind-numbing noise’ as early as 6:45 a.m,” according to Crain’s.
The developer had offered Ozsu a $30,000 buyout which he declined.
Naftali Group filed plans for the luxury condo in May 2022, even though Ozsu still lived there at the time. The developer then filed demolition permits in July 2022 – again with Ozsu still in the building – and public records indicate the permit was issued on March 6, 2023.
Wondering when Ozsu actually left, we reached out to the offices of Adam Leitman Bailey and were provided with the following statement:
“We have a happy ending. My client moved out at the end of the year and now has the ability and is closing in on buying a home. Also, our firm’s attorney’s fees were paid in full by the the developer. The cases were all settled except one as I refused to give up our ability to seek sanctions and attorney fees at the appellate division in the case where I was personally and frivolously sued which should be decided this summer.”
The case Bailey mentions above references a $25 million lawsuit Y. David Scharf filed against him on behalf of Naftali Group. According to a May 2022 article published in The Real Deal, Scharf accused Bailey of “abusing the legal system to delay the developer’s project” and “force a cash payout” by, at least in part, creating a “media circus.” Bailey denied these claims, pointing out that he had only started representing Ozsu after the story was in the news. In October, the New York Law Journal reported that this case had been dismissed but is being appealed. The judge presiding over the case stated that the “defendants were acting to zealously represent their client and not solely to harm plaintiff, and [the] plaintiff has failed to allege any business relationship that was interfered with.”
The 18-story condo is expected to rise 209 feet and house 45 apartments, 17 indoor parking spaces, and just under 3,000 square feet of ground floor retail space.
According to New York YIMBY, “The structures should begin to be razed by late spring” and while a target completion date has not been announced, “it’s possible that work could finish by early 2025.”
We’ve also reached out to Naftali Group for comment and will provide an update if and when they get back to us.
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Thanks Naftali Group for completely destroying any sense of life or charm this block once had.