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Developer charged in broker death

A New York City developer is facing criminal charges after allegedy crashing his car and killing the veteran broker riding with him.

According to police, Sean Ludwick, co-founder of BlackHouse Development, lost control of his Porsche and crashed into a utility pole early Sunday morning. His passenger, veteran Douglas Elliman agent Paul Hansen, was found dead at the scene.


The 53-year-old father-of-two was “a loving father and an exemplary member of the community,ˮ according to Douglas Elliman CEO and president, Dottie Herman.

Hansen was a licensed real estate salesperson at the firmʼs Sag Harbor office for many years. “He played a strong leadership role in both his personal life and professional career, where he was admired and highly-respected,” Herman said in a statement.

Police found his body on the roadside after being called to Rolling Court East in Sag Harbor. They found Ludwick standing by his car near the crash site and reportedly followed a trail of oil that had leaked from his car back to where the accident happened, and found Hansen.

Paul Hansen
Paul Hansen

Ludwick was arrested and charged with DWI and leaving the scene of a fatal accident. His is currently being held on a $1 million bond.

The New York Post reported that, earlier in the night, the two friends were drinking at 230 Down in Southampton.

The accident happened in front of Hansen’s home where he lived with his wife and two children, Newsday reported. Hansen and Ludwick’s sons were friends and were in the house at the time of the crash.

This isn’t Ludwick’s first brush with the law – in February 2014, he was arrested after allegedly breaking into an ex-girlfriend’s apartment and vandalizing paintings he had previously given her by drawing penises on them.

He also allegedly e-mailed derogatory statements about her to her bosses. He was charged with computer trespassing, aggravated harassment, criminal mischief, stalking and impersonation.

Last year, he was charged with assault and battery in Martha’s Vineyard after allegedly striking his girlfriend, according to a police report cited by the Vineyard Gazette.

He admitted to the assault and battery as well as destruction of property and paid fines relating to the charges, which were later dismissed.

Ludwick’s firm, which he founded in 2007, develops hotels, like the posh Hotel Americano on the High Line.

BlackHouse was recently involved in the Hudson Rise condo-hotel, a 47-story project at Hudson Yards with Kuafu Properties and Siras Development, but his partnership with executives at Siras eventually soured, and both companies have filed lawsuits.

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