UES crane collapse building note purchased

By Avihu Kadosh | 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

The 150 condo units will mostly consist of one- and two-bedroom apartments and 10 percent of the project will be used for commercial purposes.

Ziv Yaakobi, CEO of Acro, which is marking its first US investment, said in a press briefing with Israeli media that it estimates they bought the rights to the building at a 30 percent discount off current real estate prices.