no fighting here

No fighting here

I’ve seen you ’round for a long long time
I remembered you when you drank my wine

I’ve seen you walking down in Chinatown
I called you but you could not look around

The color of your skin don’t matter to me
As long as we can live in harmony

I’d kind of like to be the President
So I can show you how your money’s spent

Why can’t we be friends?
Why can’t we be friends?
Why can’t we be friends?
Why can’t we be friends?

Have you ever walked by a building in Long Island City and thought “I wonder who owns it?” or “How does it remain ‘as is’ in light of all the changes going on in the neighborhood/city?”  Real estate investing is idiosyncratic.  Unlike a stock or a bond, which can easily be compared, quantified, and traded, every single home, building, and piece of land is unique.  So are the circumstances behind their ownership.

Proof of that comes in a story today about a nondescript but classic-looking 4-story walk-up at 5-19 47th Road.  The 8-unit building was purchased back in 1996 by James and Vincent Cortazar.  At some point the brothers mortgaged the property and took out $1 million to buy land in California.  Unfortunately for Vincent, James titled this land solely in his name, and when Vincent subsequently discovered this, there was a physical altercation between the two brothers.  James allegedly locked Vincent out of the operations of the property and collected the rents, but stopped making mortgage payments and repairs to the building.

In light of this, the bank(s) want to foreclose on the building, but needed an unusual legal ruling by a judge to dissolve the brothers partnership – “Due to the violent relationship between the managers,” the court held, “the company will be unable to achieve its purpose of operating an apartment building” – which is what allowed us to peer in and learn more about this building’s unusual ownership history.

The logical question to anyone doing a back of an envelope analysis of all this, is “What leads siblings to screw up an obviously in-the-money (Oh to buy in ’96!) real estate purchase so badly?”  While we’ll probably never know the answer, it’s where opportunities lie, and wealth disappears.  Expect to see the bank put the building up for sale in the near future.

//THAT’s not the end of the Cortazar Brothers saga in LIC.  They also control a development site on Jackson Avenue that was caught up in litigation back in 2013.  This one seems to have been worked out, with no mention of an altercation, as plans for a 13-story residential tower were revealed a year ago.

//THE Democratic Party members of the New York State Assembly seem to be having some family problems as well, as a major rift has led to name calling and insults which have caught our seemingly mild-mannered State Senator Mike Gianaris in the cross-hairs.  Like the feud above, I can’t really make heads or tails of “Why?,” but also like the feud above, it seems to center on money, and being politicians, that comes via the conduit of power.  Oh, and also getting bigger offices and titles.

Family Feud, Commercial Division Dissolves LLC Owned by Quarreling Brothersduking it out on 5th Street

5-19 47th Rdsee what they’re fighting over, or not any longer

Cortazar vs. Tomasinono duking, except by lawyers

13-Story Building to Rise at 27-51 Jackson Avenuesee what happens when we all just get along

This Queen’s Developer’s Secret to Building an Empire?  Family, and Tax Breaksfamily wins out in the end! (w/ a little help from the gov’t, putting a new twist on the term family-planning)

Insults Fly Between Democrats in NY Senate, Underscoring Rifthe said, she said

Signage Appears for The Forge on 44th Drive272 more rental units will soon be available in Court Square

71-Unit Development Across Street From 5Pointz Filedformer 1-story union hdqtrs

Hudson Yards Will be a Transportation Torture Chamberaka the 7-line gets overrun

The Bookmobile Returns to Hunters Pointsame location, different day, but it’s back!


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