Investor buys Bryant Park development site for about $46M

By Adam Pincus | June 24, 2010 04:00PM

Ziel Feldman and 14-20 West 40th Street (building photo: PropertyShark)

Developer Ziel Feldman’s HFZ Capital Group took title to a high-profile development parcel facing Bryant Park this week, several sources said, which at one time was planned to be the site of the city’s first high-end green hotel. 

In January, HFZ Capital paid approximately $41 million for control of a defaulted note at 14-20 West 40th Street that had a value of about $46 million from an entity affiliated with Midtown-based Petra Capital Mortgage, according to sources and public property records.

Then this week, Feldman — who is also chairman of the Israeli firm Polar Investments and a principal at the Manhattan-based real estate firm Property Management Group — took title of the property from the owner, 40th St. Partners, an affiliate of the investment management firm Ascent Real Estate Advisors, sources said. Feldman’s firm paid 40th St. Partners about $5 million to avoid a foreclosure auction scheduled for yesterday, a source familiar with the deal said. The original investors with 40th St. Partners included its managing principals John Porges and Dean Benjamin, as well as Moin Moinian and David Moussazadeh, court records show. They either did not comment or could not be reached for comment.

HFZ purchased the note in January with $16 million in cash, sources said, and a $25 million seller-financed loan from an affiliate of Petra Capital Management, city records show, revealing that Petra maintains a significant stake in the site.

40th St. Partners paid $45 million in 2006 for the four-parcel lot with frontage on 40th and 39th streets that now has development rights for 189,000 square feet, Department of City Planning documents show. In 2007, the developers planned to build a 31-story, mixed-use hotel and condominium tower, designed by architect Morris Adjmi, which would have been the city’s first environmentally green luxury hotel.

However, the building was never constructed and the site is currently occupied by a parking lot.

Petra declined to comment, and Ascent and HFZ did not respond to a request for comment.