In the News: 456 Greenwich developers file for bankruptcy

The group that dug the large hole in the ground at Greenwich and Desbrosses that was scheduled to be the “Hotel Barriere Le Fourquet” filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Thursday, according to The Real Deal. I would say that this officially explains the delay. The partners claim that the landlords — the Ponte family — made it impossible for them to secure a construction loan. This quote from TRD:

“The partnership has been in discussions with various lenders to complete the project financing, but the landlord’s President, Vincent J. Ponte, has refused to approve various standard loan and financing terms which are common in the market that have been presented to him,” said Ivaylo Ninov of Mactaggart Family & Partners, speaking as principal of the general partner in a statement. “The partnership is confident that financing will be obtained through the bankruptcy process to complete the project.”

The property is leased from the Ponte family, which owns a good chunk of northern Tribeca, having first put its stake in the ground in the ’60s with Ponte’s Restaurant on Desbrosses and West and then buying up warehouses and parking lots nearby (while also running a trash hauling business, natch). They sold the property for 70 Vestry to Related, and lease the ground under Truffles Tribeca and 15 Renwick, just to name a few. (This link will give you an overview on the family’s holdings — shout out to my classmate C.J. Hughes.) CBCS Washington Street LP — a partnership between Western Management Corp. and Caspi Development Corp. — leased the site for the hotel from them in 2013. Some other intel from The Real Deal:

In particular, anti-assignment provisions meant that lenders would not have a clear path to foreclose on the project and complete it, or to sell the debt to a third party at a later time. One prospective lender walked away after four months of negotiations, and the partnership ended up breaking ground on the project using its own money, in the hope of eventually coming to an agreement with the Pontes, according to the filing…“As it now stands, [the developers] may lose their entire equity investment due to the rejection of standard requests made by financing sources,” Michael E. Lefkowitz of Rosenberg & Estis said.