A bit of news crept across my email that, for a moment, had me all kinds of shook.
“Friedland Properties Sues Zabar Family to Force Sale of Upper West Side Property,” read the scary headline from Commercial Observer.
I immediately though the worst and made all kinds of internal arguments about how “we” were going to save Zabar’s. Never mind who “we” might be. The point is that it was all an overreaction. The article clearly points out that the Upper West Side institution is not the property involved in the lawsuit. Phew!
According to the complaint filed on June 28, plaintiffs 2231 Associates LLC and Gem 2231, LLC each own a 25% tenant in common stake in 2231 Broadway. ZKZ 2231 LLC holds the remaining 50%. The lawsuit is verified by Eric Friedland and William Friedland of Friedland Properties, a family-owned real estate company and the 25/25 plaintiff. Commercial Observer reported that the 50% stakeholder LLC is owned by the Zabar family.
The building in question, 2231 Broadway — located on the corner of 80th Street right across the street from the famous Zabar’s store — is a five-story, multifamily structure that the Friedlands and Zabars intended to develop together after entering into an agreement last December.
The Friedlands claim that the building is primed for redevelopment to maximize its value. However, the Zabar’s LLC has allegedly refused to engage in any meaningful discussion.
Friedland argues that this refusal is “commercially unreasonable,” that “joint ownership of the Property between the parties is no longer desirable or workable,” and that the 50% owner should be forced to sell its share.
The suit also seeks for the Zabar’s group to account for “all income, profits, and expenditures with respect to the Property and that the Court adjust the rights of the parties so each receives its proper portion of the Property’s profits.”
Neither Friedland nor Zabar’s could be immediately reached for comment.