Brotherly Philadelphia Real Estate Developments Get Contentious

On behalf of Kaplin Stewart Meloff Reiter & Stein, P.C. posted in on Nov 1, 2016.

A Pennsylvania real estate development firm owned by a pair of brothers has some legal issues on its hands at a pair of its real estate projects. The 624-unit Germantown, Pennsylvania apartment renovation recently got underway after the brothers, Matthew and Michael Pestronk, obtained a $52 million loan from a French bank towards the project’s $85 million price tag. Soon after, Philadelphia’s Building & Construction Trades Council began protesting the brothers’ use of partially non-union labor with allegedly substandard wages and standards.

The Pestronks are also embroiled in conflict at their $38 million Center City construction site, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Council made similar claims in relation to that project, which aims to build a 163-unit apartment building on the site of a former factory.

Real Estate Disputes

The vast majority of real estate development projects do not feature the twists and turns of the Pestronk brothers’ ongoing tale. Occasionally, though, real estate deals of this magnitude can end up in litigation. Disputes can arise during any of the various stages of real estate development, such as the following:

  • Acquiring land
  • Clearing title to the property
  • Obtaining insurance
  • Securing necessary approval from municipal entities
  • Drafting, negotiating and implementing construction contracts

Philadelphia Unions, Developers Clash

The Pestronks reported intimidation, vandalism and violence by the unions. These reports led to a court issuing a temporary restraining order against the unions. The brothers even created a website to state their position and attack the Council’s. The factory site, however, was temporarily shut down after city inspectors found unlicensed subcontractors, according to the Inquirer. The brothers said they removed the subcontractors.

When disputes arise from a real estate transaction or construction project, the parties involved should obtain legal representation by a skilled, knowledgeable real estate attorney who can help them overcome legal obstacles and achieve their goals.