Israeli Financier, Taxi Cab Drivers, Former FBI Agent, Stripclub Owners - A Circus Deal?

Well, this is a wild story. A building in Chelsea (184 11th Avenue) has been waiting for 7yrs to be developed. The vision is to build a 15-story luxury hotel (The Skybox) with an art museum and private gallery on the ground floor stocked with works by the likes of Picasso and Kandinsky.

Plagued with 5yrs of lawsuits and harassment one might agree the project might never go up. One of the recent lawsuits consists of the proposed developer (SkyBox/Chelsea LLC, a partnership led by Israeli financier Jonathan Leitersdorf), the landowner (former FBI agent), and current rent-stabilized tenants (a group of savvy taxi drivers). Mr. former FBI landowner and developer have been trying to clean up a mess left by strip club owners. What kind of a mess you might ask (great time for a dirty joke by the way but I'm not going there)? ---> Tenant-harassing.

The building has been used as a hostile and in 2015 there were 4 guests that became permanent residents just days before the hostel operation was shutdown. The developer tried to sue saying the city’s rent-stabilization laws were unconstitutional and stated it “deprived Plaintiffs of the ability to cure the harassment issued against this property since 2009, and prevent Plaintiffs from complying with the zoning laws.”

Disputes with the landowner and developer also arose and escalated tremendously. The project has to be altered to add more affordable housing which means a cut into the profits of the joint venture. There have been multiple violation issues and disputes. They both can't come to an agreement and are suing each other over it.

Click here to get the full JUICY article.

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