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Posts Tagged ‘303 east 51st street’

  • HFZ’s Ziel Feldman and a Halcyon rendering (Source: BuzzBuzzHome)

    Developer James Kennelly filed suit Wednesday against HFZ Capital Group and Arbor Realty Funding, alleging the development firm and the lender defrauded him in a deal to give them control of his three Turtle Bay co-op units.

    He filed the suit, seeking up to $14 million, in New York State Supreme Court, alleging HFZ misrepresented assets it purchased from Arbor and made false inducements to get him to enter into the deal. [more]

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  • HFZ’s Ziel Feldman and a Halcyon project rendering

    HFZ Capital Group’s condominium development in Turtle Bay, once the site of a deadly crane collapse, will be called Halcyon NY and will include a mix of one-bedrooms through four-bedrooms, priced at between $1.5 million and $5 million, Curbed reported.

    The building is set to reach 32 stories, with a total of 123 condos, as The Real Deal reported. In 2008, the crane accident killed seven people and damaged nearby buildings, effectively forcing out the original developer. [more]

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  • A rendering of the Zeckendorfs’ 50 United Nations Plaza

    Midtown East’s Turtle Bay neighborhood is undergoing a development renaissance, with several long-stalled projects recently taking off and a number of new projects in the pipeline, the Wall Street Journal reported.  [more]

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  • The site of the 2008 crane collapse

    A New York state appeals court refused Tuesday to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Arbor Realty Funding against Herrick Feinstein LLP over allegedly bad zoning advice on a Turtle Bay condo project that was the site of a 2008 crane collapse, Law360 reported.

    In the 2011 suit, Arbor alleged that it would not have provided $70 million in bridge financing for developer Jim Kennelly’s luxury residential project at 303 East 51st Street, had it not been for Herrick’s bad advice about the zoning regulations for the planned 42-story tower, as The Real Deal previously reported.  [more]

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  • From left: Ziel Feldman of HFZ Capital and 303 East 51st Street

    HFZ Capital Group was forced to temporarily halt construction at its controversial Turtle Bay condominium project after a contractor hit a live gas line late last week, The Real Deal has learned. [more]

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  • HFZ's Ziel Feldman and 303 East 51st Street

    Construction is once again an issue at the Turtle Bay site where a crane collapsed and killed seven people in 2008. According to the New York Post, Ziel Feldman’s HFZ Capital Group, which is developing the site in conjunction with CIM Group, is seeking a way to remove the balconies already built on the 18-story shell at 303 East 51st Street. [more]

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  • From left: Ziel Feldman, managing principal of HFZ Capital, and 303 East 51st Street

    Los Angeles-based CIM Group closed its majority stake in a high-rise residential tower and retail development site in Midtown, according to a statement from the developer yesterday.

    The site, at 303 East 51st Street, will be co-developed by CIM Group and Ziel Feldman’s HFZ Capital and construction will begin later this year, the statement said. [more]

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  • From left: CIM co-founder Richard Ressler, HFZ founder Ziel Feldman and 303 East 51st Street

    CIM Group has reached a deal with HFZ Capital Group to invest up to $85 million in the developer’s planned 32-story condominium project at 303 East 51st Street, the site of a fatal 2008 crane accident, The Real Deal has learned.

    Israel’s Polar Investment, a public company affiliated with HFZ, disclosed in a Jan. 16 filing with the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange that it had reached a definitive agreement with CIM, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, to help fund the project, allowing the struggling Polar to avoid future financial commitments. Though HFZ is involved in the deal, only Polar, as a public company, must make routine disclosures with securities regulators. [more]

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  • 303 East 51st Street

    The documents detailing the wrongful death settlements in the 2008 East 51st Street crane collapse that harmed 31 people have been ordered unsealed by a Manhattan judge, the New York Law Journal reported. The defendants appealed the decision yesterday, The Real Deal has learned.

    Justice Carol Edmead said that there was no justification for withholding the settlement amounts from the public now that all seven Labor Law wrongful death cases have been settled. Edmead had temporarily sealed the documents after one of the trials so that previous judgments wouldn’t impact the ones pending. [more]

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  • From left, 303 East 51st Street, Ziel Feldman, founder of HFZ Capital
    Group, and City Council member Jessica Lappin

    For three and a half years, the structure at 303 East 51st Street has remained a stunted
    skeleton, halted at 18 stories after the infamous March 2008 crane collapse that killed
    seven people and crushed an adjacent building.

    But that may change soon.

    Ziel Feldman, founder of HFZ Capital Group, which closed on the purchase of the site
    early this year, said through a spokesperson that he would have “significant progress to
    announce” later this week, and the firm plans to restart construction at the site, on 51st
    Street between First and Second avenues, this spring.

    The expeditor on the project, Laurence Gillman, an associate at Jerome S. Gillman
    Consulting Architect, said that the Department of Buildings had completed its zoning
    examination of the plan and was reviewing architectural and other drawings as part of a
    building code review…. [more]

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  • There is only one wrongful-death lawsuit related to the 2008 Turtle Bay crane collapse left unsettled, the New York Post reported. Families of the six other victims settled secretly out of court with the city, crane operator Rapetti Rigging Services, Kennely Development Company and building contractors.

    The only outstanding suit is from the family of Santino Gallone, a Rappeti crew member who died in the accident. The case will go before the Manhattan Supreme Court Sept. 12.

    There are still however about 43 lawsuits totaling $500 million related to the incident pending from people injured as well as property and business owners, the Post said…. [more]

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  • Though he was cleared of manslaughter charges last year, William Rapetti received a punishment for his part in the crane collapse in Midtown in 2008 that killed seven people. A judge today found that the rigger’s sloppy crane work was to blame for the collapse, and recommended his license be revoked, the New York Post reported. Department of Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri has adhered to that recommendation, making Rapetti unable to operate or oversee any cranes in the city.

    “We have determined that Mr. Rapetti took shortcuts while erecting the tower crane by using damaged equipment and failing to follow the manufacturer’s specific instructions,” LiMandri said. “Those shortcuts sacrificed the safety of the job site and led to horrific consequences.”… [more]

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  • The developers of a troubled Turtle Bay condominium tower filed a $100 million malpractice lawsuit against two high-powered law firms Cozen O’Connor and Blank Rome for allegedly giving them bad zoning advice prior to the fatal March 2008 crane collapse that killed seven people at the East 51st Street site.

    The developers, led by former firefighter James Kennelly of Kennelly
    Development, alleged in a suit filed June 13 in New York state Supreme
    Court that their former zoning lawyers provided flawed legal opinions,
    which led them to overestimate the value of the property, leading to the
    eventual default of $70 million in loans with Arbor Realty Trust.

    “Cozen and Blank Rome’s incorrect analysis of the applicable zoning
    regulations and their failure to conduct sufficient and adequate due
    diligence caused plaintiff to overestimate the value or potential value of
    the project,” attorney Rex Whitehorn, representing Kennelly, wrote in
    the complaint, “and plaintiff made irreversible decisions with respect to
    financing while relying on plaintiff’s advice.”… [more]

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  • Crane collapse nabe struggling to rebound

    February 21, 2011 08:37AM

    Developer Ziel Feldman may have stepped in last year to buy the note on the stalled Turtle Bay construction site at 303 East 51st Street, where a 2008 crane collapse killed seven people, but the immediate surrounding neighborhood is looking like it needs its own cash infusion in the aftermath of the tragedy. According to the Post, nine businesses around the site — near Second Avenue, between 50th and 51st streets — have become “ghostly museums” as a result of the crash. City Council member Jessica Lappin, who lives in the area, called the retail strip “moribund” and “just depressing.” Meanwhile, the construction site at the center of it all hasn’t been a source of much optimism, either. … [more]

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  • Michael Sackaris, the de facto owner of Nu-Way Crane company, has been sentenced to two to six years in state prison for bribing the chief crane inspector for the Department of Buildings numerous times. Sackaris, who pleaded guilty in May to bribery charges, gave cash payments to DOB inspector James Delayo, ranging from $200 to $500 on 20 separate occasions beginning in 2000, according to the Manhattan district attorney. Delayo, who also pleaded guilty, offered phony crane operator licenses to Sackaris’ employees. The former inspector was sentenced to two years behind bars in June. The case against Sackaris stemmed from an investigation after two deadly crane collapses in Manhattan, at the Azure condominium construction site at 333 East 91st Street and at 303 East 51st Street, both in 2008. TRD

    [more]

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  • Michael Sackaris, the de facto owner of Nu-Way Crane company, has been sentenced to two to six years in state prison for bribing the chief crane inspector for the Department of Buildings numerous times. Sackaris, who pleaded guilty in May to bribery charges, gave cash payments to DOB inspector James Delayo, ranging from $200 to $500 on 20 separate occasions beginning in 2000, according to the Manhattan district attorney. Delayo, who also pleaded guilty, offered phony crane operator licenses to Sackaris’ employees. The former inspector was sentenced to two years behind bars in June. The case against Sackaris stemmed from an investigation after two deadly crane collapses in Manhattan, at the Azure condominium construction site at 333 East 91st Street and at 303 East 51st Street, both in 2008. TRD

    [more]

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  • From left, William Rapetti, Scott Stringer and Cyrus Vance. 

    Crane rigger William Rapetti was acquitted
    today of manslaughter charges in the 2008 Midtown crane collapse that
    killed six construction workers and a tourist at 303 East 51st Street,
    at Second Avenue. Prosecutors said Rapetti did an efficient job
    of securing the nearly 200-foot crane as it was being extended upward,
    while Rapetti’s lawyer maintained that he worked carefully,
    but that the crane was unsteady because of engineering equipment that
    wasn’t Rapetti’s responsibility. City officials expressed
    disappointment following the decision. “While we respect
    the criminal justice process, we are extremely disappointed by the
    court’s verdict,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, in
    a statement. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer had harsh
    words for the Department of Buildings, blaming the DOB for faulty
    inspection procedures. “Questions about the innocence or guilt of this
    particular rigger miss the larger point that still lingers some 28
    months after the tragic crane collapse,” he said in a statement. “Any
    questionable straps, beams, collars or other crane parts should have
    been caught through the use of aggressive inspection protocols by the
    Department of Buildings.” TRD

    [more]

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  • Proceedings concluded yesterday in the deadly crane collapse case that led to seven deaths at a Midtown construction site on March 15, 2008,
    according to the New York Times. William Rapetti, the rigging
    contractor at the site at 303 East 51st Street near Second Avenue, had
    been formally charged with manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide
    and reckless endangerment in January 2009. In the closing proceedings
    yesterday afternoon, Deborah Hickey, an assistant district attorney,
    said that Rapetti showed disregard for safety when he failed to replace
    a worn out sling, which ultimately snapped, likely leading to the
    crane collapse. “All of it began with this sling,” Hickey said, “and
    the 67 seconds it would have taken the defendant to look at it that day
    and throw it away”. If found guilty on all charges, Rapetti faces 28
    years behind bars. Justice Roger Hayes said he plans to announce a
    verdict on Thursday. [NYT]

    [more]

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  • As expected, Michael Sackaris and his company Nu-Way Crane Service pleaded guilty to charges of bribery, according to the Manhattan district attorney’s office. And a company employee, Michael Pascalli, pleaded guilty to a charge of offering a false instrument for filing, in connection with the bribing of a Department of Buildings official. The arrests stemmed from an investigation following the deaths of nine people at two crane collapse sites, the Azure at 333 East 91st Street and 303 East 51st Street. Sackaris paid James Delayo, the acting chief inspector for cranes and derricks at DOB, to complete and file false paperwork with the agency on about 20 occasions, indicating that Nu-Way had passed city inspections, when in fact the cranes had not been inspected at all, or only in a perfunctory way, the DA’s office said. On six other occasions, the DA’s office said, Sackaris paid Delayoto certify that Nu-Way employees, including Pascalli, seeking crane operator licenses passed their examinations. Delayo pleaded guilty in March on bribery charges. The three defendants will be sentenced July 13. TRD

    [more]

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  • UES crane collapse building note purchased

    November 17, 2009 01:27PM

    Twenty months after a deadly crane collapse halted construction on a tower at 303 East 51st Street, new life has come to the condominium.
    HFZ Capital Group has acquired the note on the building from Arbor Realty Trust for $40 million, after the original principal developer, James Kennelly, invested more than $110 million for the defaulted project, according to sources.

    Nineteen of the building’s 30 floors have already been built, and the rest should be completed within a year and a half, according to a source closely involved in the deal. The project, east of Second Avenue, has yet to be named, but HFZ is expected to invest $60 million to complete construction.

    HFZ is a partnership between Tamir Sapir and Ziel Feldman, chairman of Polar Investments, and Israeli-based Acro Real Estate, although Sapir had nothing to do with the crane note purchase. Note: Correction Appended[more]

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