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CBRE Sues Philly Developer Over Commission From Aborted Bfresh Lease

The Abbotts Square apartment building in Philadelphia as of July

CBRE has filed a lawsuit against a Philadelphia developer for failing to pay commission after the commercial real estate services firm negotiated a retail lease.

Eric Blumenfeld, perhaps best known for his redevelopment of the Divine Lorraine hotel building into luxury apartments, retained CBRE's services to lease the retail portion of the Abbotts Square apartment building in Society Hill. CBRE alleges that Blumenfeld only paid $50K of the $313K he owed after a subdivision of international grocery chain Ahold Delhaize signed a lease, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Ahold planned to open a branch of its urban-format Bfresh line of stores at Abbotts Square, but pulled the plug on the brand entirely. The 17K SF space remains vacant while Ahold reassesses its strategy, and a representative for Blumenfeld claims that his company, EB Realty Management, has not paid the full commission because of the uncertainty over the space.

Blumenfeld has also run into conflict with residents of the building, who claim that his plan to open an escape room concept on the third floor would disrupt residents. The second through fourth floors of Abbotts Square are rental units owned by Blumenfeld, while the fifth through eights floors are for-sale or owned condo units.

Blumenfeld sent a letter to CBRE asking to move on from the dispute and continue to work together on the remaining retail space in the building, but the suit remains open in U.S. District Court.