Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

City to Review Agreements With Shekhter/NMS In Light of Superior Court Decision

"Request of Councilmembers McKeown and Himmelrich that Council ... review agreements with Neil Shekhter"

Update, 12/2: Judge Bruguera today ordered NMS properties to cede control of its Santa Monica, Los Angeles, and West Hollywood "LUXE" properties, to AEW Capital Management. She also imposed attorneys fees against NMS.

We previously reported that the LA Superior Court (Judge Suzanna Bruguera), found that Neil Shekhter, the principal behind NMS Properties, had engaged in evidence tampering.

We are told that next week's City Council Agenda 13C, reads: "Request of Councilmembers McKeown and Himmelrich that Council, in light of recent news coverage and Superior Court action, direct staff to review all existing and pending agreements with Neil Shekhter, NMS, and associated entities, verifying information provided as part of such agreements, and attempting to ensure that the municipal corporation, residents/taxpayers, and occupants of NMS buildings are fully protected from possible misstatements and their consequences."

In a civil case involving NMS Family Living Trust, and Margot and Neil Shekhter, Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bruguera found that NMS Properties and its owners, fabricated evidence, and destroyed or hid electronic evidence from the Court and the opposing parties.

For this reason, she entered a judgment imposing "Terminating Sanctions" against NMS, meaning that they lost the lawsuit and now have a default judgment against them. Terminating sanctions are unusual, though not unheard of, in civil litigation.

Shekhter and NMS built 1000 units in Santa Monica, mostly in downtown on 6th and 7th Street. There, they rent 2 bedroom apartments for $6000 a month, mostly to Google, Snapchat, and other overpaid high tech employees in their 20's. It is unclear what, if any impact the decision will have on NMS' Santa Monica properties, or on NMS' status at City Hall as the City of Santa Monica's unofficial favorite developer. It's also unclear precisely how NMS became SM City Hall's favorite developer, though perhaps one day light will be shed on that as well.

NMS provided millions of dollars to oppose Measure LV, a grassroots anti-development measure in Santa Monica, that was defeated 45-55. The City Council members also unanimously opposed Measure LV, which would have limited "Pack and Stack" apartments, such as those built by NMS.


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