IStar nears deal to sell Trump Soho debt

December 03, 2010 09:27AM

Donald Trump, Alex Sapir and Trump Soho

Troubled lender iStar Financial is nearing a deal to sell around $275 million in debt on the Trump Soho condominium-hotel to Los Angeles investment firm CIM Group, likely at a discount, according to the Wall Street Journal. The two sides are apparently already about a month into negotiations and are expected to reach an agreement within days. Developers Bayrock Group and the Sapir Organization have been notoriously struggling with sales in the condo portion of the building, having closed just 20 of its 391 units by this summer. In September, they began offering direct financing to buyers through CalCon Mutual Mortgage in an attempt to drum up interest from potential buyers, and cut prices for buyers who were already in contract by up to 25 percent if they agreed not to try to back out of their deals. In September, the iStar granted the developers an additional $20 million in financing after restructuring the mortgage loan on the property, which is one of the largest in its portfolio. This would be the second big-name Manhattan transaction for CIM this year, after taking control of the former Drake Hotel site from Macklowe Properties and saving it from foreclosure. [WSJ]