By: Ellen Cans
A former manager for the retail condo tower at 432 Park Avenue is suing its ex-partner for $3.3 million.
As reported by Crain’s NY, Macklowe Properties, which helped develop the residential skyscraper at 57th Street and Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, is suing the building’s current owner for unpaid broker fees on a leasing deal. In the lawsuit filed recently in Manhattan’s State Supreme Court, Macklowe alleges that it was never paid the commission owed from a leasing deal secured with Phillips Auction House, for a 71,000-square-foot retail space.
Back in 2016, Macklowe, led by Harry Macklowe, had entered a partnership agreement with Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim bin Jaber Al-Thani, chairman of the Qatar Investment Authority and a former Qatar prime minister. Together, they purchased the site for $411 million forming MIP Acquisition limited-liability company. The 1,396-foot-tall tower was developed by Macklowe and CIM Group, creating some of the Big Apple’s most expensive condos. Macklowe was handling leasing and management at the space, but since then the partners ended their agreement and MIP became fully owned by the Sheikh. The lawsuit, which names MIP Acquisition as the defendant, alleges that the partners were already close to sealing a lease deal with the auction house. In 2019, Phillips took on the lease, worth $121.6 million in rent over the 15-year term. If the lease was successfully closed, Macklowe was to receive a standard broker fee, the suit says.
As per Crain’s, the next month, Macklowe sent MIP an invoice for his cut, or $3.3 million, but never received a payment. The complaint also says that MIP tried to lower Macklowe’s cut to cover commissions owed to CBRE and Cushman & Wakefield for different lease agreements.
As of 2021, the 96-story luxury condominium building is the fifth-tallest building in New York City, the sixth-tallest building in the United States, and the third-tallest residential building in the world. An average apartment in the building sells for tens of millions of dollars. A penthouse in the tower is currently listed for sale asking $169,000,000, boasting 8,255 square feet of space, 6 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms. Recently, another lawsuit involving the building was filed by its board against Macklowe Properties and CIM Group, alleging poor workmanship and design defects at the residences.
A Macklowe representative declined to comment. An MIP representative did not respond to a request for comment. The Sheikh was not personally named in the lawsuit.