2014-04-18 / Columnists

Boyleing Points

Theater of the Absurd
By Kevin Boyle

You think the theater-Konig story on the front page last week was confusing? You weren’t alone, of course. Michael Koing seemed a tad confused when he said he didn’t know if he owned the theater. I told him over the phone that he achieved my goal in life. That’s what I want, I said. I want to own so much property I forget which is mine.

It was kinda quiet on the other end of the phone after I made that crack.

The theater is a well know eyesore but who knew there was a connection between the theater and a nonprofit on Beach 135th Street with more than $70 million in assets?

I’m still trying to figure out what this private foundation does and have requested to see the books. Although the tax returns list an address on Beach 135th, Michael Konig said “they don’t really use that as the main office.” He said hell check with his counsel and get back.

I left out one part of my research because, well because it’s ridiculous. But since ridiculous items regularly appear in this space I figured this is home for it. So…a bank gave a $128 million dollar construction loan to a condo. It was in the wild pre-crash days, of course. The group which gets the $128 million includes a guy named Michael Konig. He’s had property in New Jersey and Florida.

So the company with the $128 mil and the bank that gave it to them go bust. Along comes another group that buys the $128 million mortgage for a great bargain of $50 mil. The new group who made this great deal includes a guy named Michael Konig. He’s got property in New Jersey and Florida.

Aha, elementary my dear Watson, Mr. Konig is playing the long and short. Vetty, vetty interesting as they said on Laugh-In in 1968 – about the last time the theater on Beach 116th showed movies.

But get this. There were and are two Michael Konigs – no relation. Nobody believed it when I told them. You got one guy who forgets what property he owns and you’ve got another guy getting $128 million and making a deal with another guy with the same name. Are you suuuuuurre?

Well, if Michael “crumbling theater” Konig wasn’t sure if he owned the property on Beach 116th, I could be unsure that there were two Michael Konigs in a related business deal. After more research, a phone call, and a few emails I had to conclude that there were two guys with the same name.

I kept that whole twist out of the front page story because it seemed too much like Murder She Wrote. Everybody would’ve been saying, “Come on...”

And then there was the picture of the woman giving tours of the theater. It was either Esther, wife of Michael, or a manager from the Park Inn. Esther arranged for tours of the place even though she said she didn’t know who owns it but the photo was a little like the ownership: unclear (to some).

Another piece of trivia I left out was the fact that Esther used to manage the Chai Home on Beach 125th Street and is a great source of annoyance for people on that block.

All the intrigue and even the BS is kinda interesting. But it’s not funny. The properties have been shameful eyesores for years. The owners can’t cry poverty, that’s fir sure. And they shouldn’t cry for Sandy relief money. Not while people aren’t back in their homes.

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