Naftali Group filed plans to demolish 215 West 84th Street this week, Crain’s reported, despite the fact that there’s still a tenant fighting to keep his apartment there.
The real estate developer filed a lawsuit against the tenant, Ahmet Ozsu, back in February — stating that he refused to leave after his lease had expired at the end of 2021, while also claiming that he hadn’t paid rent since September. The suit also alleges that Ozsu has been “maliciously” standing in the way of the project “for the sole purpose of causing financial harm” to the developer, and that his insistence on staying put has cost the company $25 million in “lost rent and profits.”
Ozsu’s attorney, Adam Leitman Bailey, claims the real estate developer has 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.
Attorneys for Naftali Group say the tenant’s lease was lawfully terminated at the end of last year, and “maintained that the Naftali Group would be able to complete its project.”
In June 2021, the firm, owned by Miki Naftali, dropped $71 million on the parcel that spans 207-221 West 84th Street. The previous owner didn’t renew any leases, and beloved children’s bookstore Books of Wonder was forced to vacate its storefront at 217 West 84th Street.
In May 2022, Naftali filed plans to build an 18-story luxury condo with 45 apartments and ground floor retail.