Treasury Department Street Tough Roughs Up NYC Real Estate Brokers On Gang-Ridden Central Park West

This pair of Brown Harris Stevens messed with the wrong buyer!
Author:
Publish date:
Updated on

By day, Antonio Weiss, formerly head of investment banking at Lazard, works as an advisor to the Secretary Treasury. By later on in the day, according to a new lawsuit, he allegedly (!) strong-arms Manhattan real estate brokers through a gang network he's a boss of called The Weissguys.

Madeline McKenna and Jeffrey Levitas claim in their Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit that the firm, Brown Harris Stevens, withheld their commission for the $7.4 million Central Park West condo they sold to Antonio Weiss, counselor to the secretary of the US Treasury. The brokers say in the suit that Weiss won a fierce bidding war for his dream pad but then threw a tantrum over the eventual sale price.
He then threatened Brown Harris Stevens into keeping the brokers’ portion of the payment, they say. “It’s my opinion that [Weiss] was totally pissed off that he did not get the apartment for what he wanted to pay for it,” McKenna told The Post. “We believe that once he got the apartment for 7.4 . . . his ego wanted money back.” Weiss bullied the company’s president, Hall Willkie, the brokers alleged.

Speaking of Gangs of New York (-Based Real Estate), little known fact: among the sub gangs of brokers, throwing a pair of loafers over a telephone pole is to send a message to other broker gangs, "I sell this block." If McKenna and Levitas think Weiss makes it hard for them to do business, wait until they run into the boys from Sotheby's Real Estate, The His And Her Closets. They'll make Weiss look practically fraternal.

Realtors say Treasury big shot bullied them out of $185K [NYP]

Related

Formula 1 Heiresses Recommend Real Estate, Dog Facials

Last year, Petra Ecclestone, daughter of Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, gave the California housing market a boost when she bought 90210 widow Candy Spelling's 57,000 square foot mansion for $85 million, as a crash pad for when she's in Los Angeles (she also owns a six-story house in London’s Chelsea neighborhood purchased for £56 million). Around the same time, Petra's sister, Tamara, paid $70 million for "a 16,000-square-foot historic brick home across the road from Kensington Palace." And while some would simply write the Sisters Ecclestone off as spoiled rich girls whose parents have footed the bill for these places (mom is Slavica Radic, a former Croatian model who lent Petra $82.4 million for the LA house), the Wall Street Journal sees what the haters will not: a couple of savvy investors who you might consider asking to manage your money. In an interview with the paper, which dubbed the Sisters Ecclestone "The First New Family of Real Estate," Tamara explained her investment thesis: Wearing Lululemon yoga pants and a fitted hoodie, Ms. Ecclestone sat in her living room, overlooking an outdoor lap pool, and explained that she sees their real estate holdings as smart purchases. "I think London [property] is a really good investment," she said. "There's no bank in the world that can give you that return." Ecclestone also shared some pearls of wisdom re: dealing with critics looking to bring you down, of which her fellow billionaires, newly minted or old, should take note. Last year Ms. Ecclestone starred in a reality program about her life called "Billion $$ Girl." One episode depicted her taking her dogs to Harrod's for facials and pedicures. Another shows her debating cancelling a meeting because she woke up with a pimple on her face. Her participation in the show, in the midst of a recession, drew criticism from many, including her father. Mr. Ecclestone said he could barely make it through one episode. "I spoke to her before and said… 'They're never going to show you in a good light,' " he said. "She was stupid to do it." Ms. Ecclestone took the criticisms in stride. "It's like water off a duck's back," she said. The First New Family Of Real Estate [WSJ]