The owners of the famed Zabar’s gourmet food store have left a sour taste with one developer, who is suing the family over an Upper West Side property.
Friedland Properties filed a lawsuit against the owner of Zabar’s on Tuesday, the Commercial Observer reported. The lawsuit stems from a dispute over the future of 2231 Broadway, a five-story property across the street from the gourmet emporium.
The partners purchased the property together as tenants-in-common in 1986 for $583,000.
The Zabars and Friedland both own a 50 percent stake in the multifamily building. Friedland is ready to redevelop the property, but claims in the suit Zabar’s vice president Stanley Zabar “steadfastly refused to engage in meaningful discussions.”
The court filing claimed the Zabars were being “commercially unreasonable” in refusing to engage in redevelopment discussions. Friedland is looking to terminate the joint ownership structure of the building.
Friedland isn’t looking to take the property for itself, though. In the lawsuit, it asks the judge to force a sale of the building. A partitioning of the property is one common resolution to these types of disputes, but Friedland said such an action would harm the property value.
Friedland and the Zabars in December entered into contract to buy the air rights above the site from the First Baptist Church in the City of New York, PincusCo reported.
None of the relevant parties commented to the Observer about the lawsuit.
Friedland’s interest in the redevelopment of the Upper West Side site likely stems from a recent success for the developer in the area. Several years ago, Friedland redeveloped 222 West 80th Street, transforming it into a 19-story, 72-unit rental tower. The building was 30 percent leased before it even opened, commanding rents as high as $25,000 per month.
[CO] — Holden Walter-Warner