Friedland Properties sues Zabar family to force sale of Upper West Side property – Commercial Observer

Friedland real estate is suing the owners of the famous gourmet grocery store Zabars to force them to sell their shares 2231 Broadway on the Upper West Side, according to court documents filed Tuesday.

The lawsuit alleged that a company is owned by the Zabar family and affiliated with the Vice President of Zabar Stanley Zabarhas “steadfastly refused to participate in meaningful discussions” about the redevelopment of the five-story apartment building between West 79th and West 80th Streets, according to the legal action. The building is located across the street from Zabar’s famous store.

Friedland asked a judge to end the joint ownership structure and force the two to sell the building instead of dividing it in two, which could hurt its value.

“Joint ownership of the property by the parties is no longer desirable or practicable,” Friedland’s attorney said in the court filing. “Defendants’ refusal to deal with plaintiffs in relation to their efforts to maximize value is commercially unreasonable.”

The disagreement between the Zabar family and Friedland, both of whom have a 50 percent stake in the five-story building, comes after the two entered into a contract with the one next door First Baptist Church in the City of New York for the Church’s air rights over the site in late December. Friedland and the Zabar family planned to redevelop the site together, though plans for a replacement were unclear, PincusCo reported. Friedland claimed that there had been “substantial interest” in redeveloping the property in recent years, but that talks had been blocked by the Zabar family, the filing said.

The developer has kept an eye on the surrounding Upper West Side blocks since 2016, when it successfully redeveloped a nearby lot 222 West 80th St into a 19-storey rental tower with 72 residential units. The property was 30 percent leased prior to the building’s opening, with rents as high as $25,000 a month for some units, the Commercial Observer previously reported.

A representative of the Zabar family, Friedland’s attorneys in the lawsuit and her internal counsel did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Celia Young can be reached at [email protected].

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