Litigation stalls sale of Boogie’s building | AspenTimes.com

Litigation stalls sale of Boogie’s building

People walk by the Boogies building Friday afternoon, a week after news broke that the restaurant had permanently closed. The $27.5 million sale of the Boogies building, located at 534 E. Cooper Ave., was scheduled to close at the end of April. But an attorney for building owner Leonard "Boogie" Weinglass said Friday that litigation has stalled the sale.
Jeremy Wallace/The Aspen Times |

An attorney for Leonard “Boogie” Weinglass confirmed Friday that recent litigation has stalled the sale of the one-time clothing magnate’s building in downtown Aspen.

“We’re trying to keep the transaction to go toward closing but we’re having difficulties, but I can’t discuss those difficulties,” said Denver lawyer Richard Clark.

On Wednesday, Clark entered his appearance as counsel for Weinglass, who is being sued in Pitkin County District Court by longtime friend Shlomo Ben-Hamoo over commission for the building’s pending sale.

The sale of the 12,499-square-foot East Cooper Avenue building had been scheduled to close at the end of April for $27.5 million to New York-based buyer Thor High Street Advisors LLC.

On April 22, Shlomo Ben-Hamoo, an Aspen property broker, filed suit against Weinglass, seeking damages between $550,000 and $1.375 million.

Ben-Hamoo alleges Weinglass had agreed to pay him commission at the sale’s closing, based on Ben-Hamoo finding the buyer of the property. But Weinglass reneged on the deal when the property went under contract, the suit alleges.

When asked if the suit has jeopardized the sale, Clark said, “Yes.” He declined to elaborate.

“We will be filing all kinds of pleadings in the next week or two and those will be public,” he said.

Weinglass did not respond to a message seeking comment.

Ben-Hamoo’s lead attorney on the suit, Matt Ferguson, said the stall of the sale is a delay tactic being employed by the Weinglass team.

“They have said we are interfering with the sale, and I asked them to explain it and they could not,” he said.

Previously, Weinglass’ Baltimore-area attorney Ray Altman told The Aspen Times there was no commission agreement between Weinglass and Ben-Hamoo. Ben-Hamoo’s suit, filed by Aspen attorney Matthew Ferguson, claims a deal the two struck in January stipulated Ben-Hamoo would be guaranteed 2 percent commission for lining up Thor High Street Advisors as the buyer.

Ben-Hamoo, in a sworn affidavit introduced to the case April 23, said Weinglass cut him out of commission on the sale.

“After the contract was executed, I contacted Weinglass and his attorney to confirm that the agreed-upon two percent commission from the sale proceeds at the closing of the sale/purchase of the property,” the affidavit says. “Weinglass denied that I was entitled to a 2 percent commission on the sale of the property, and denied that I would be paid at closing.”

While there was no written contract, Ferguson said verbal real estate-commission agreements are binding under Colorado law.

Weinglass, the founder of the now-defunct Merry-Go-Round clothing chain, opened Boogie’s Diner, located on the building’ second floor, in 1987. He previously has said that the diner, an immensely popular spot with children and teens, among others, is permanently closed, but his clothing store on the ground level would remain open.

In 2013, Weinglass won Aspen City Council approval to build a third-story penthouse above the restaurant, but no work has been done.

rcarroll@aspentimes.com


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