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Onetime 'worst landlord' loses Downtown Brooklyn property to foreclosure

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A onetime “worst landlord” has lost a Downtown Brooklyn property where years ago he had planned to put up a 6-story apartment building, according to a court notice this week.

The now-vacant lot at 33 Nevins St., which Zalmen Wagschal bought for $120,000 in 2012, according to the city register, will be sold at auction May 23 at Kings County Supreme Court. In September the court issued a judgment of $5 million, plus interest and fees, records show.

Wagschal, who in 2016 made then-Public Advocate Letitia James’ list of the 100 worst landlords in the city, defaulted on his loans after months of late payments and had the property foreclosed on by plaintiff Sharestates Investments, according to the complaint, filed in 2020. In 2012 Wagschal bought the lot between Livingston and Schermerhorn streets under a limited liability company named after the property’s address.

The judgment, however, is assigned to what’s called the successor-in-interest — and in this case, it’s another limited liability company, Nevins Street Capital, which is being represented by attorney Michael Bonneville of Manhattan-based firm Kriss and Feuerstein, court records indicate. Bonneville declined to comment.

Last year Wagschal filed for bankruptcy protection at six Brooklyn walk-ups — 634 Wilson Ave., 299 Throop Ave., 221 Himrod St., 1427 43rd St., and 867 and 871 Knickerbocker Ave. — for which he had accrued a total $13.7 million in debt that he blamed on the pandemic, The Real Deal reported at the time.

He attempted to file for bankruptcy protection at the Nevins Street property, but the case was dismissed last month, according to federal court filings.

Attorney Diana Rubin, who is representing Wagschal through her own eponymous law firm, based in Manhasset on Long Island, declined to comment.

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Julianne Cuba , 2024-05-21 19:03:17

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