Chang unloads troubled FiDi development site

By Sarabeth Sanders | July 06, 2011 06:27PM

Sam Chang and a 2007 rendering of 33 Beekman Street

Sam Chang’s
McSam Hotel Group has unloaded a distressed Financial District development site where it had been planning a 36-story, Gene Kaufman-designed hotel, marking the third New York City project the developer has sold off in the past three months, according to city records made public today.

The site, at 33 Beekman Street, sits across the street from Frank Gehry’s brand-new 8 Spruce Street rental tower and traded June 15 for roughly $15.7 million — around 29 percent less than the $22 million McSam paid to acquire it in early 2007, public records indicate. A lis pendens was filed against the $19.9 million mortgage McSam held there in September 2010.

Kaufman’s plans had called for a 36-story, 270-room hotel that would have been the first four-star hotel in Lower Manhattan had it opened in 2009, as originally proposed. The red-and-yellow building was supposed to feature exterior glass elevators, four floors of amenities and meeting rooms, and a public plaza.

The buyer of the site is Massachusetts-based Jiten Hotel Management, which manages roughly 15 East Coast hotel properties and specializes in renovation and franchise conversion, according to the company website. A representative for Jiten did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Last month, Hersha Hospitality Trust said it had signed an agreement to buy another of McSam’s troubled hotel projects, the stalled 175-room Hyatt Union Square hotel, also designed by Gene Kaufman, for $104.1 million. In April, Hersha bought McSam’s new 112-room Holiday Inn Express at 126 Water Street, which was hit with a lis pendens in November 2010, for $36.7 million. A McSam representative said Chang was not immediately available for comment.