Real estate developer Joe Moinian slapped Goldman Sachs with a $175 million lawsuit that accuses the gold-plated bank of giving AIG a sweetheart deal when the bank subleased 180 Maiden Lane to the insurance giant –short-changing Moinian in the process.
The suit, filed Wednesday, comes as Goldman and Moinian battle over the downtown tower.
Goldman last month sued Moinian — whose namesake group owns the building — claiming it’s owed $3.1 million in brokerage fees from the developer for lining up AIG as a subtenant. The investment bank is looking to move out of space at 180 Maiden and into new headquarters at the World Financial Center.
Now Moinian has fired back, claiming Goldman gave American International Group a deal in which the government-controlled insurer is paying a rent that is far below market rates. In addition, Moinian says Goldman isn’t living up to the terms of its lease, which stipulates the bank pay Moinian 50 percent of any profits made on a sublease or an assignment.
Goldman, for its part, claims the sublease with AIG is worth a mere $10.
“This leasing scheme was a contrivance to defeat the plain purpose of the lease and now they can’t sue to enforce the arrangement,” said Stephen Meister, Moinian’s lawyer.
A Goldman lawyer did not return a call for comment.
While Goldman continues to occupy the space (its headquarters is not completed yet), AIG, and by extension the US taxpayers, are paying Moinian rent of $44 a square foot for the 800,000 square feet the insurer is subleasing.
That translates to $120 million, according to the lawsuit, and is well below what space in downtown Class A — or top tier — buildings goes for. The suit adds that the rent was even $20 to $25 less than market rates when AIG first signed the sublease.
Meanwhile, The Post has learned AIG has closed on the sale of its headquarters at 70 Pine and 72 Wall St. to Youngwoo & Associates and South Korean bank Kumho Investment Bank for $150 million.
Under the agreement with Youngwoo, sources said, AIG now has 18 months to vacate those buildings and move to 180 Maiden as Goldman shifts into its new digs.[email protected]