Published On: Sun, Jan 4th, 2015

Abe Talassazan Suing Lightstone for $5 Million for Locking him Out of Own Synagogue

485 Seventh Avenue

Imagine being locked out of your own building and even your own synagogue. Well that is what happened to New York real estate developer Abe Talassazan who is now suing the Lightstone Group for $5 million over what he has described as a public humiliation, according to a report in The New York Daily News.

Back in November Talassazan, who heads the Eretz Group, sold 485 Seventh Avenue in Manhattan to the Lightstone Group for $182 million. Apparently he believed that Lightstone assured him that his company would be able to continue to use its offices in that building for at least another six months. These included a small room used by Jewish employees as a synagogue for daily minyan.

But Talassazan maintains that Lightstone reneged on the deal and when he and some other people tried to access their offices in the building they were kicked out of it.

According to a lawsuit filed in New York State Supreme court last month, “They left them [the Eretz people] in the lobby, subjected to humiliation as they awaited the police. They intentionally interfered with persons seeking to exercise the right of religious freedom at a place of religious worship.”

Located between W. 36th and W. 37th streets in Manhattan’s garment district, 485 Seventh Avenue is a landmark building which holds 263, 000 square feet of space and opened in 1906. Lightstone is said to be considering turning it back into as hotel.

At the time of its acquisition, Lightstone chief operating officer Mitchell Hochberg said, “This is a fantastic location that has done well with office tenants and is poised to continue to improve.”

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