The Real Deal reports that developer Barnet Liberman has been sued for failure to pay common charges in the building he co-developed and in which he owns (or just lives in, depending who you ask—see below) the penthouse. Along with a partner, Liberman’s company Mountbatten converted a former West Village printing house at 421 Hudson Street into luxury Printing House condo in 1978—one of the first commercial-to-residential conversions in New York City history, according to the report.
According to a 2020 lawsuit cited by the article, Liberman hasn’t paid his monthly common charges of $3,160 since January 2019. His arrears as of August 2021 totaled $609,530, including fines for violating building rules such as leaving packages in the lobby and installing illegal gas piping to the unit.
Additionally, Mountbatten still owns 11 condos at Printing House, including 30,000 square feet of space it leases to the Equinox gym there. Five of those properties are also subject to a lawsuit filed in March claiming their common charges haven’t been paid, according to TRD. When a condo owner doesn’t pay their common charges, the other owners have to make up the difference, unless and until the monies can be recovered, notes TRD.
Liberman, who filed for bankruptcy in 2021, reportedly owes $123 million to a bevy of creditors, including his wife, children, and a pest control company in the Hamptons where he owns a townhouse. According to the article, Liberman told The Post that he only owns his Hamptons property, having transferred ownership of the Printing House apartment to an LLC in 2013 before giving most of the entity to his five children. He also claimed he has paid $35,000 a month in rent to the LLC on the property, which he said is worth anywhere from $6 million to $20 million.