A fallen star

By David Jones | June 04, 2010 05:30PM

Lender iStar struggles with troubled loans at a bevy of high-profile New York projects

From the June issue: Jay Sugarman is swimming in a sea of red ink. After turning his company into one of the nation’s largest commercial real estate lenders, the chairman and chief executive of Manhattan-based iStar Financial has accumulated a virtual who’s who of troubled assets in the New York market, where it has more than $1 billion in outstanding loans. Non-performing loans comprise about 43 percent of its portfolio companywide.

From troubled condos like One Madison Park, 20 Bayard, the William Beaver House and 34 Leonard to defaulted development projects like Harry Macklowe’s former Drake Hotel site, iStar has become synonymous with some of city’s biggest flops of the boom.

In 2009, the company reported an adjusted loss of $689 million and Sugarman, in the company’s fourth-quarter conference call, admitted that iStar got burned. [more]