Gary Barnett’s Extell development is danger of being fined $440, 000 for civil contempt. This results from a civil suit brought by Kelly Coffey, the deputy CEO of Morgan Bank. Coffey won the escrow suit in which he alleged that Extell owed him the $440, 000 interest at a rate of 9%, dating back to 2008 when he put down a $1 million deposit on a condominium. He changed his mind and did not go through with the purchase of a $6.9 million apartment at Extell’s condominium building The Rushmore, located at 80 Riverside Boulevard.
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In May an appellate court upheld a ruling from April 2013 that required Extell to refund a $1 million deposit for the apartment and to pay the extra $440, 000.
Coffey’s lawyer Marc Held has accused Extell of defying court orders by refusing to allow the bond company which holds the funds to release them to his client.
Held issued a statement saying, “Despite the plaintiff’s unanimous victory in the Appellate Division, with costs, the defendants continue to disregard the order of the court and release the bond to the plaintiff in payment of the judgment. As such, it has necessitated the plaintiff to file a motion to the Supreme Court ordering the defendants to be held in contempt and accountable for their blatant disregard of the court’s directives.”
Extell has been ordered to respond in a new hearing to be held on August 25. For its part, the firm denies the allegations and says that it is just a matter of time before the court approved bond agent releases the funds.
Meanwhile, Gary Barnett’s Extell development is buying a Manhattan location that is currently home to a synagogue.
Extell entered into contract to acquire 44 West 66th Street, home to Manhattan’s Congregation Habonim, in April, according to a report in The Real Deal. The synagogue sold it to the firm for an undisclosed price.
The location lies between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and comes with 75, 000 square feet of development rights.
Congregation Habonim was established 75 years ago by German Jewish refugees. Originally a Reform synagogue, it is now Conservative. There’s no word yet on where the congregation plans to relocate and its latest bulletin mentioned nothing of the sale.