Published On: Wed, Sep 3rd, 2014

Silvermintz Family Sued for $10 Million over Lehman Maupin Gallery

Maupin Gallery

The Silvermintz family, Manhattan real estate fund Savanna and the Manhattes Group have all been named in a $10 million lawsuit that has been brought by the Lehmann Maupin Gallery.

The suit centers on the eviction of the art gallery from its home at 540 West 26th Street in West Chelsea, Manhattan. The tenants there received eviction notices last October which gave them until April 2014 to vacate the premises. While two other art galleries did so, Lehman Maupin remains, having refused to leave. Lehman alleges that the eviction order was illegal.

As reported in The Commercial Observer, the suit states that according to the tenants’ lease a notice of eviction must come with a demolition permit from the Department of Buildings, which Savanna did not have. Lehmann also accused the landlords of having, “engaged in a systematic pattern of conduct that unreasonably interferes with and obstructs plaintiff’s use and occupancy of the subject premises.”

But the DOB says that no such permit can be issued before all of the tenants have exited a property.

The plaintiffs further alleged that “grave and irreparable harm” was done to them as a result of the installation of a 112 foot tall sidewalk shed in front of the gallery without providing required notice and posting an asbestos notification sign adjacent to the gallery when the landlord “has no right to perform asbestos abatement…prior to the expiration date of the lease on Oct. 14, 2016.”

The Lehmann Maupin Gallery currently holds 9, 839 square feet of space there.

As Jewish Business news reported earlier, the real estate private equity firm Savanna plans to tear down that building and replace it with a new nine story tall mixed use building with 128, 364 square feet out of which 99, 404 square feet will be commercial space. There will also be a new art gallery on its ground floor and 28, 960 square feet will be reserved for a community facility.

All this as Savanna is trying to fend off another lawsuit over the residential condo conversion at 141 Fifth Avenue. That property’s board of managers are suing it for $7.5 million for breach of contract. They assert that the conversion has major defects and that the firm diverted funds that were reserved for fixing such defects.

Savanna has filed to dismiss that suit saying that the building’s board did not have standing to bring it.

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