Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Catching up with the developers who turned the Christodora House into luxury housing

On Sunday, we reposted that New York magazine article titled "The Lower East Side: There Goes the Neighborhood." A reader provided an update about two of the people featured.

Real estate investors Harry Skydell and Samuel Glasser bought the abandoned Christodora House on Avenue Bin the early 1980s and turned the building into luxury condos in 1986.

As The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported back in June 24, Glaser "was sentenced to time served and 100 hours of community service for a kickback scheme that cost a bank $133,000."

To the article:

Glasser, 65, owner of Samuel & Co. LLC, pleaded guilty in federal court in St. Louis Feb. 25 to a bank fraud charge and admitted he'd inflated invoices for asbestos removal, lead abatement and the interior demolition of the Ford Building at 1405 Pine Street in St. Louis.

The building's owner, Matthew Burghoff, passed those invoices on to Montgomery Bank to document expenditures from a loan. Glasser kicked back $133,332 of the inflated amount to Burghoff in 2007.

Under federal sentencing guidelines, Glasser faced 15 to 21 months in prison. Lawyer Scott Rosenblum argued for Glasser to be sentenced to the day in jail he'd already served, citing the fact that Glasser did not personally benefit from the scheme, his community service and his cooperation with the government, among other factors.

Glasser thanked court officials, his lawyer and the prosecutor for their professionalism and then apologized to his family for bringing shame on them. He also said that he was unemployed and no longer in business. "I couldn't get a loan to buy a head of lettuce," he said.

The reader noted that Skydell, a lawyer, resigned from the bar for disciplinary reasons in 1997.

Interestingly enough, someone claiming to be Sam Glasser commented on the post the first time we ran it. Per his comment:

Yes, I paid $3M for the Christodora House and I borrowed $2M of that at 24% interest. What a great building! What fun it was to renovate. The Black Panthers had been the last occupants. It was TRASHED. While my flooring subcontractors were installing the last of the oak flooring in the building, someone stole the engine and back seat out of their car which they had parked across the street from the building. The neighborhood was off the charts. I loved it. Sam Glasser December 9, 2009 1:41 AM

Previously on EV Grieve:
A voice from the Christodora's past

[Image via Streeteasy]

1 comment:

Ken from Ken's Kitchen said...

Skydell redeveloped the Puck Bldg and the Starrett-Lehigh Building in Chelsea too.