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Title company’s mistake killed downtown St. Pete YMCA deal, music promoter says

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Music promoter Thomas Nestor had big dreams: He’d buy the historic YMCA building in St. Petersburg, save it from destruction and convert it to a concert venue, music museum and hotel.

He and VPC 3, II, LLP, the owner of the property, struck a deal. Nestor would buy the building at 116 Fifth St. S, for $1.4 million. He proceeded to make installment payments but the deal fell through in July 2014 when he did not come up with the final amount needed to buy the property.

It was sold for $1.4 million in November 2014 to NE Apartments Associates Inc., according to Pinellas County property appraiser’s records. Nick Ekonomou, president of NE Apartments, based in Miami, told reporters late last year that he had hired an architect and was looking for a contractor to turn the building into short-term luxury rentals.

Now Nestor has sued the Title Agency of Florida, based in Indian Shores, alleging that it’s the company’s fault the deal fell through.

Indian Shores attorney Kenneth Arsenault, the registered agent and corporate officer with the Title Agency, could not be reached for comment.

According to the lawsuit, filed Thursday in the Circuit Court of the Sixth Judicial Circuit for Pinellas County, part of the Title Agency’s job was to provide a closing statement indicating the amount of money that Nestor was supposed to pay at closing.

The Title Agency provided Nestor with the closing statement on July 15, 2014, the date of the closing and Nestor paid the amount indicated on it. But the amount was incorrect, according to the lawsuit. Because it was not enough, the buyer refused the money and cancelled the sale.

“I was given the wrong amount on the … closing statement by the title company chosen by the seller. The deal should not have fell through,” Nestor said in response to written questions.

But Nestor declined to say what the dollar amounts were and what the difference was between what was given and what was owed.

A “purchase and sale agreement” agreement dated Oct. 2, 2012, indicated the amount of cash due at closing was $1.324 million, but Nestor said Tuesday that “was not the correct amount for the closing on July 15, 2014. The title company did not provide the correct number on that date.”

Nestor says he was damaged by the cancellation although he did not specify what those might be. He is asking for a jury trial and damages “in excess of $15,000” plus costs and attorney’s fees.

“I did feel the impact and the loss of not being able to go forward with the project of $16 million or more,” Nestor wrote Tuesday. “I’d worked diligently to move forward to carry it out. “

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