Sanford Loewentheil and Ron Moelis’ L and M Development Partners got more than it bargained for when it partnered in the acquisition of the Savoy Park apartment complex in Harlem. It also earned a place as a defendant named in a law suit brought by its residents, according to The Real Deal.
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L&M bought the complex in 2012 together with the financial services firm TIAA-CREF and an affiliate of real estate fund Savanna.
The law suit was filed on August first by 47 residents of the building located at 2300 Fifth Avenue who are seeking $700, 000 in damages. They have accused the new owners of overcharging them for rents. This, they say, was in spite of ant order issued by New York’s Department of Housing and Community Renewal in 2011 that required the owners to reduce the rents.
Their lawyer, David Hershey Webb, said, “We filed this action to recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in rent overcharges for low and middle income tenants at Savoy Park in Harlem. It looks like the current owners are following in the footsteps of the prior owner by mistreating tenants and cavalierly disregarding the law.”
In response L & M asserts that they were not aware of the situation when they made the acquisition. They released a statement saying, “These complaints predate the current ownership of the building and we only learned of them recently. We have invested heavily to improve the property and the quality of life for residents at the Savoy. This lawsuit is the first time these issues have been brought to our attention and we are looking into them.”
2300 Fifth Avenue is a 16 story high rise with 257 rental apartments.
Spread out over Lennox Ave, Savoy Park is a complex of seven brick rental apartment buildings spread out over 13 landscaped acres of land that include Walking paths, courtyards, playgrounds, and gardens. It features recently renovated apartments with modern kitchens and bathrooms, stainless steel appliances and large, flexible layouts. Apartments on the top floors offer amazing views of the East River, Manhattan skyline, Yankee Stadium and the George Washington Bridge.
L & M also acquired a 19 building affordable housing complex in West Harlem just last month.