The Real Deal New York

HFZ files plans for long-delayed Bryant Park tower

20 percent of project financing from EB-5 program: industry source

February 04, 2014 01:21PM
By Adam Pincus

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From left: Rendering of 20 West 40th Street, parking lot at site (Photo credit: Google) and Ziel Feldman

Ziel Feldman’s HFZ Capital Group filed plans last week for a Bryant Park mixed-use project where another developer once planned to build the city’s largest green hotel. HFZ, one of the most active developers in Manhattan, filed the new plans for 20 West 40th Street, between Fifth and Sixth avenues, on Jan. 27, city Department of Buildings records show.

HFZ, along with several partners, purchased the vacant lot out of foreclosure in 2010 for about $46 million, and then last year some of those partners sold their stakes for $83 million.

HFZ remained as a partial owner and as the developer. Currently, the site is a parking lot. But the new plans call for a 32-story, 361-foot-tall tower with at total of 274 condominium and hotel units, city records show. HFZ did not respond to a request for comment.

At the top of the newly-proposed tower, there will be two residential condo units each on floors 29 through 32; three each on floors 24 through 28; four each on floors 17 through 23; and five each on floors 15 and 16, for a total of 61 condo units. The hotel will have 215 units on floors two through 14. (The plans, as filed with the DOB, have a discrepancy between the 274 total units listed on one portion of the application, and an accounting per floor on a document called a Schedule A, which yields a total of 276 units.)

The financing for the project included a large amount of funds from foreign investors seeking permanent residency through a minimum investment of $500,000 in a development project through the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services’ EB-5 program.

HFZ received $52.5 million of the total project cost of $252.8 million through the EB-5 program. About $143 million of the remaining funding will come from bank financing, while developers will put in $57.4 million in equity, according to a Florida company called the US Immigration Fund.

Earlier plans for the site laid during the boom years never materialized.

Starwood Capital Group announced in 2007 that it intended to open a “1” Hotel in the 31-story LEED-certified hotel and condo tower planned for the site, designed by the architect Morris Adjmi. But that project collapsed and the property owner, an affiliate of Ascent Real Estate Advisors, sold the site to Feldman’s group after its lender Petra Capital Mortgage started foreclosure proceedings.

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