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Inside Bruce Eichner’s Saga At Madison Square Park Tower

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Ian Bruce Eichner, 45 East 22nd Street (Real Deal with Getty Images, The Continuum Company, Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes via Godsfriendchuck/CC BY-SA 4.0/Wikimedia Commons)

The story of Ian Bruce Eichner’s Flatiron Condominium Tower is finally coming to an end.

Last week, a nearly 6,000-square-foot duplex at 45 East 22nd Street hit the market for $20 million, or about $3,400 per square foot. Last unsold listing of 83 units Madison Square Park Tower It comes after eight years of legal challenges, sluggish sales and lender drama in development.

Eichner previously set this project, which was born as a joint venture between the founder of Continuum Company and his equity partners Fortress Investment Group and Dune Real Estate Partners, in a way that sets it apart from other luxury condominiums on the market. was praised as

“There’s a tall building. There’s a view. There’s five-story amenities. There’s parking,” said Eichner. real When I visited the Tower Sales Center in 2015.

But the developer’s road to selling out Flatiron’s condos wasn’t easy.

The 65-story tower was a comeback project in New York City that Eichner called a 15-year “exile in the desert.” Following some high-profile losses in the Big Apple, he went to Las Vegas, where he developed his $3 billion Cosmopolitan casino project and lost a foreclosure.

At 45 East 22, instead of purchasing the space outright, Eichner buy air right Look for a co-op in the middle of the block before making your first land offer to the owner of the building next door.

“I went to the guy next door and said, ‘We’re in America, so I’m in a position to pay you more than anyone in America,'” Eichner said. TRDs 2016.

Eichner purchased $100 million worth of perimeter air rights and spliced ​​together seven properties to bring the development from 50,000 square feet to 260,000 square feet. With his $85 million construction loan from Fortress and Dune, his $61 million out of his own pocket, and his $343 million construction loan from Goldman Sachs, Eichner began construction.

Started selling at Mansion Tower from January 2015 some early successesAbout half of the development’s 83 units were under contract by October of that year, with the first units selling for $4.2 million and $5.9 million, respectively.

The following year, however, sales began to slow as the luxury condominium market cooled. corcoran sunshine Sales fell in favor of Douglas Elliman’s team of Fredrik Eklund and John Gomes.

More than a third of the condominium units were unsold when construction was completed in the summer of 2017. additional financing.

At the time, asking prices for condos ranged from $2.7 million to $45 million, with some of the unsold units on the more expensive side of the tower.

A month of sluggish sales. By the spring of 2018, Eichner was in danger of losing the project. The contract with Fortress and Dune required him to obtain a Temporary Occupancy Certificate for his unit of two condominiums by March 31, 2018.

joint venture tensions

Bruce Eichner and Josh Zegen of Madison Realty Capital (Credit: YJP Real Estate, Bridgeman Images, Madison Square Park Tower)

In a lawsuit filed in the New York State Supreme Court, Eichner argued his case. his partner thwarted his efforts To refinance by refusing to release the funds needed for construction and preventing him from purchasing one of the units.

Under the terms of the deal, Eichner will profit from the development only if Fortress and Dune recover their $85 million investment plus preferred returns at 22% per annum. Eichner claimed his partner wanted to lower the price and sell the condo, failing to recoup his $61 million investment.

Fortress and Dune countered that Eichner missed the September 2018 meeting. Milestone to sell $500 million Despite the six-month extension, he was still $110 million short, so he only filed a complaint.

The partners initially gave Eichner permission to reach $500 million in 36 months.Ah TRDs analysis Around the time of the lawsuit, it showed that it took luxury developers an average of about 14 months to sell a $500 million unit.

Eichner’s partner schedule Purchasing one of the units included a buyer benefit that lowered the price to $17.5 million, and the closing was not completed by the March 31st deadline (the developer will eventually release in 2018 closed for $19.5 million in November 2015).

Judge to Eichner provisional disposition — prevent partners from declaring him by default.

It was June 2018 when Eichner’s luck began to turn. Madison Realty Capital Ended a legal battle with a partner by agreeing to a $167.5 million condo inventory loan. With the influx of cash, Madison Square Park Tower sales finally began to pick up again, with five units signed in the weeks preceding the closing of the financing deal.

Another big win came in February 2020 when a buyer (described by Eichner as a wealthy Asian individual) claimed. two penthouses on the building. The Penthouse duo first asked him for $77 million in 2014, but the price was lowered to $52 million and he finally closed the deal for $44 million.

At the time of the penthouse sale, Eichner said about 90% of the building was sold, including two units that sold for $13 million.

Eichner told The Wall Street Journal in 2020 that he has “no plans to build another residential condominium in New York City in the near future,” but the developer hasn’t given up on his hometown.

The developer has signed a deal to buy in 2021 New York City Community Church $70 million in Midtown for Residential Condo Play. The congregation’s former Murray Hill building and his four adjacent brownstone rental homes will make way for 150 luxury condominiums.

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