A Brooklyn branch of the Midtown-based private educational company MetSchools signed a 20-year lease starting at just under $1 million per year for space in an under-construction building in Williamsburg, a lawsuit filed last week reveals.
MetSchools’ Williamsburg Northside Schools finalized the lease for 297 North 7th Street, at the corner of Meeker Avenue and in the shadow of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway overpass in July, the lawsuit filed Aug. 28 in New York State Supreme Court shows. The lease begins at $995,690 per year in the first year, jumps to $1.4 million in the second, and continues rising until topping out at just under $3.9 million in year 20, the court papers say.
Two Manhattan-based commercial brokerages, Itzhaki Properties NY and Flatiron Real Estate Advisors, brought the suit against 297 North 7 LLC, a company that owns the school site and is developing the nine-story building.
MetSchools, led by CEO Kevin McCarthy, currently runs infant-and-toddler, preschool and elementary school programs through its Williamsburg Northside arm. It also operates schools in Manhattan, such as the Montclare Children’s School on the Upper West Side at 747 Amsterdam Avenue.
The brokerage companies claim the development firm, controlled by Victor and Harry Einhorn, refused to pay a $1 million leasing commission due for bringing MetSchools to the property.
Itzhaki and Flatiron claim that the school and the landlord had a deal following a meeting they arranged in November 2012, which was ultimately followed up by a letter of intent they sent to the Einhorns in January which they say was signed by Harry Einhorn and a representative from MetSchools.
Despite that, the commission was not paid, the court papers state.
The Einhorns filed plans with the city’s Department of Buildings in May to build a new, 34,827-square-foot building with nine stories at the site. The DOB approved permits for the project Aug. 22, city records show.
The Einhorn company acquired the site for $3.3 million, city records show.
The Einhorns and Itzhaki’s CEO Yona Edelkopf did not respond to a request for comment. Steven Ancona, the head of Flatiron Real Estate Advisors, declined to comment. The school, as well, did not respond to requests for comment.