The Real Deal New York

Related appointed Rector Square’s managing agent

March 31, 2009 04:33PM
By David Jones

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A State Supreme Court judge officially named Related Companies as the new managing agent at Rector Square, the Battery Park condominium that is currently going through foreclosure proceedings.

Related, the original developer of the building formerly known as Parc Place, will take over management of the property from Cooper Square Realty, and put together a plan to complete months of unfinished construction.

“The first focus is to just get the common areas in a habitable fashion,” said Michael Miller, a veteran trust attorney and the court-appointed receiver at Rector Square. “Aside from the renovation there are some items that I would call deferred maintenance issues.”

Miller said he plans to meet with the building’s existing homeowners and tenants tonight to update them on the appointment of Related, and to discuss the building’s financial status, as senior lender Anglo Irish Bank is finalizing plans to provide $2 million for renovations and other unfunded costs.

The property was left in a perilous state after Anglo Irish Bank filed to foreclose on developer Yair Levy’s building. Levy, president of YL Real Estate, reportedly defaulted on a $165 million mortgage loan and failed to pay months of common charges and PILOT payments on the building’s ground lease. Contractors walked off the job in December after Levy allegedly failed to pay for months of construction costs.

Miller said he plans to make a proposal soon about renting out unsold units at the building, however, the amount of inventory may be limited due to concerns raised by Levy’s attorneys.

“I know YL has been steadfast in their objection of renovation of the unsold units,” Miller said.

About 150 units in the building are occupied by affordable housing and market-rate tenants as well as individual unit owners. The building’s unit owners would like to see construction completed and the remaining apartments sold at fair market value, and not at fire sale prices, said Marc Held, attorney for the buyers.

“Whether that’s possible in this market remains to be seen,” Held said.

The building, located at 225 Rector Place, was originally developed by Related in the 1980s. That company, one of the largest residential developers in the country, sold Parc Place and Park Columbus, at 101 West 87th Street, to Levy in 2005.

Related officials declined to comment.

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