The Real Deal New York

Alexico unloads troubled development site for $64M

Toll Brothers plans a condominium project for East 53rd Street parcel

January 08, 2013 12:00PM
By Katherine Clarke

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From left: Izak Senbahar, David Von Spreckelsen and the stalled site

Developer Alexico Group has offloaded a troubled First Avenue development site, plans for which went belly-up as a result of the financial crisis.

The firm, which stalled several of its projects, including 56 Leonard Street, after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008, has sold another stalled site at 953-961 First Avenue, at East 53rd Street, to the homebuilder Toll Brothers, according to public records filed today with the city. The deal for the site, which closed December 28, was for $64 million. Cushman & Wakefield represented the seller in the transaction.

Toll Brothers plans to develop the site as a condominium, David Von Spreckelsen, a senior vice president at Toll Brothers, told The Real Deal, although the project’s exact specifications have not yet been determined. The development was previously designed as a rental building by Alexico. Von Spreckelsen said the firm may opt to purchase some additional air rights in order to expand the purview of the project.

Foundations are already in place at the site – they were installed by Alexico before the financial crisis — but may be modified to support the new structure that Toll Brother plans, Von Spreckelsen said.

Alexico’s Izak Senbahar was not immediately available for comment. His reported partner on the project, Steven Elghanayan of Epic, declined to comment.

As previously reported, Bank of America filed to foreclose on two loans relating to the construction of Alexico’s planned 161-unit rental tower in 2009. The loans, which included a fee acquisition loan and a development rights acquisition loan, had a combined value of around $30 million. Several claims against Alexico at the property have not been resolved, according to legal documents filed in State Supreme Court.

Companies affiliated with Alexico have held title to four of the five lots combined lots since the early 2000s, public records show.

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