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  • Writer's pictureAndre Watson

Investor has until Christmas to pay $200M or lose West Side assemblage

Robert Gans strikes deal with Barnett, Tabak in long-running foreclosure dispute

By: Pat Ralph | Research By Jay Young

Extell Development’s Gary Barnett, Princeton Real Estate Partner’s Robert Gans and Joseph Tabak with Scores New York (Yelp, Getty)

Robert Gans has three months to pay off a group of creditors he’s accused of engaging in a “predatory scheme” to seize his potentially lucrative New York City real estate portfolio.

In a Wednesday court filing, Gans said he has reached an agreement with his lenders, including affiliates of Gary Barnett’s Extell Development and Joseph Tabak’s Princeton Real Estate Partners, that will allow him to keep control of his bankrupt properties — if he can pay back $200 million in loans and other expenses by Dec. 22.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the settlement agreement, which requires approval from the bankruptcy judge overseeing the case.

The long-running and at-times ugly dispute dates back to loans Gans secured against his portfolio in 2018, court records show. The properties include the site of Gans’ now-shuttered strip club Scores on West 28th Street in Chelsea, a retail property in Soho and an industrial site in Queens, but the crown jewel in the portfolio is a large assemblage on 11th Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen that’s ripe for redevelopment.

Last year, lender Mack Real Estate initiated a foreclosure on 11 of Gans’ properties, including the Hell’s Kitchen assemblage and the Scores building, alleging that the investor had missed $6.6 million in payments.

Bluestone Group, led by Joseph Tabak’s brother Eli, and Extell bought the senior debt on Gans’ portfolio for $148 million in April and sued Gans the next month in a bid to take control of the assemblage.

Gans responded with his own lawsuit, alleging a “sweeping and predatory scheme” and seeking $100 million in damages on claims that “controlled by members of the Tabak real estate family” had conspired to prevent him from paying off his debts.

In the Wednesday filing, Gans wrote that the proposed settlement agreement would allow those involved in the dispute to “avoid the substantial costs and uncertainty of further litigation.”

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