By Ben Fractenberg
UPPER WEST SIDE — A collection of Upper West Side residents are suing their building owner over what they call blatant preferential treatment for incoming new tenants.
Five tenants at 30 Lincoln Plaza have filed a lawsuit against building owner Milstein Properties, saying the firm sold units to outside buyers at a discount and didn't offer the same deal to current residents, The Real Deal reported Monday.
A suit filed May 5 reportedly alleges Milstein Properties promised to sell apartments in the building located at 30 West 63rd Street to the current residents at a 25 percent discount.
After the market downturn, the firm offered a better deal to outside buyers, infuriating existing residents.
Some 46 tenants reportedly agreed to purchase their apartments for $1,404 a square foot while 70 outside buyers signed agreements on apartments for just $956 a square foot over the same period in 2008.
The court papers also alleges that after an exclusive discounted buying period for current tenants ended in 2008, Milstein extended discounts to certain current tenants at discounts up to 50 percent and then tried to hide the deals by referring to them as "outside buyers."
One apartment was reportedly listed at $1.88 million but was sold to a buyer who previously lived in another unit in the building for only $855,000.
Residents had filed a lawsuit in 2009 after the building converted from rentals to condos, making similar allegations against Milstein in which they claimed the company offered unfair discounts to outside buyers.
The lawsuit accuses Milstein Properties of fraud and breach of contract. The firm did not return a call for comment.