DelShah wins dismissal of 55 Gansevoort suit

By Zachary Kussin | March 01, 2013 03:30PM

A New York State Supreme Court judge yesterday dismissed a lawsuit disputing the ownership of 55 Gansevoort Street, a vacant Meatpacking District building that DelShah Capital is marketing as a possible boutique hotel conversion. The ruling brings an end — at least for now — to a clash between DelShah and Robert Romanoff, a former owner who claimed that the transfer of the property, which had been signed for by his father on the deed, was unauthorized.

DelShah obtained title for the building this past summer, after purchasing what sources said were $27.5 million of defaulted loans on the 25,109-square-foot building in March 2012. However, Romanoff filed a suit against the company, its CEO Michael Shah and his own father, Gerald Romanoff, claiming that the latter had improperly acted as a trustee for GHC NY Corp., a trust that owned the building.

Judge O. Peter Sherwood dismissed the case, finding that Romanoff had no standing to sue, according to Larry Deluca, an attorney for DelShah.

“Simply stated, the court said Robert Romanoff could not be the person bringing this lawsuit,” said William F. Savino, a Buffalo, N.Y.-based attorney for DelShah.

“I think we had laid out a plan and it is always satisfying to follow through the way that it was supposed to,” Shah said. “It was a complicated, messy deal, but that’s what we do.”

Neither Romanoff nor his attorney, Robert Rimberg, responded to a request for comment.

As reported this week, DelShah is hoping to lease the property to an investor who can redevelop the five-story structure into a boutique hotel. But Shah said that he is exploring all options and will go with whatever yields the highest net operating income, including office or retail.