Baruch Singer defaults on multi-million dollar Brooklyn loan

By Adam Pincus | May 18, 2009 05:39PM

alternate textBaruch Singer (Source: Jennifer Weisbord, and the Greenpoint Pencil Factory

A lender to controversial landlord Baruch Singer is seeking the repayment of a multi-million dollar development loan on a delayed high-profile condominium project in Brooklyn, court papers said.
Singer took out a $6.68 million subordinate loan from Greenwich Village-based real estate financial services firm Aristone Capital Funding for the development of a Greenpoint, Brooklyn project, a lawsuit filed May 8 in New York State Supreme Court shows.  
But the 93-unit Greenpoint Pencil Factory condo was not finished by its January 19 completion deadline this year, and so the lender called in its loan.
“Borrower is in default of the loan agreement for failing to complete the construction of the [Pencil Factory] by the completion date,” a March letter Aristone Capital sent to Singer said, court records indicate.

The Pencil Factory development includes the conversion to residential apartments of two industrial buildings at 122 West Street and 60 Java Street, as well as the construction of another at 108-122 West Street. All three buildings will be integrated into one building, the court records say.
Singer’s company, West Street Member, is a 50 percent partner in KMW Group, the developer of the Pencil Factory, court records say. Only Singer himself is named in the lawsuit.
A $36.5 million senior loan on the development is held by Bank Leumi to KMW Group, Department of Finance records show.
Singer, with offices at 95 Delancey Street on the Lower East Side, has been portrayed in media reports as a landlord with huge numbers of fines and code violations.  
An attorney representing Aristone Capital declined to comment. Singer did not respond to requests for comment.  
Although there are no stop-work orders, reported construction had halted earlier this month.
Davis Iszard, a partner with Daniel Goldner Architects, which designed the project, told The Real Deal there was no halt in construction, but that the owners were voluntarily changing several contractors.

Iszard said the project was expected to open this fall, but the owners were debating whether it should remain as a condo project or be converted to rentals.   

Prudential Douglas Elliman is the exclusive listing agent for condo sales at the building, a spokesperson for the brokerage said.