Blackstone accuses a residential tenant of running a restaurant in his T2
The eight-course meals, which include wine, cost $365 per person, but for $225 customers can add a “caviar service.” Menus have offered dishes such as fluke with seaweed and green dragon apples, and crab with endives and salmon roe.
Gasperi may not charge to eat at 8 Spruce. But among the evidence submitted to the Supreme Court is a receipt for a meal in his apartment as well as a text message to a neighbor: “You and your wife are invited! Free!”
And relatively large crowds seemed to have poured in. On July 28, for example, No. 75H had 16 visitors, according to building managers, and another 14 on August 13.
On August 26, 8 Spruce decided to evict Gasperi on the grounds that a restaurant in a residential space violates health codes and zoning rules. His lease is due to expire next April.
A few years ago, 8 Spruce, which is run by Beam Living, might have seemed desperate for tenants. In 2020, after the pandemic hit and residents fled New York, the vacancy rate at the 899-unit building jumped to 25%.
Brookfield Properties, which acquired the building after buying 8 Spruce developer Forest City Ratner in an $11 billion deal in 2018, began shopping for it shortly after its rate of vacancy exploded, according to news reports.
In the spring, Blackstone completed the purchase of the residential portion of the tower, which has an undulating metal facade and was designed by Frank Gehry, for $930 million, records show.
It’s unclear if Maison Sun really poses a financial threat to Blackstone. But an upstairs apartment in Gasperi, a one-bedroom apartment, came on the market in early August as the Gasper parties raged on. As of Thursday, according to online listings, the unit, at $8,888 per month, still had no takers.
Brian Epstein, an attorney for 8 Spruce, declined to comment, as did Blackstone. But “the safety and well-being of our residents are always our top priorities,” a Beam Living spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “Running a restaurant in a high-rise residential apartment violates many lease provisions and city health and safety requirements.”