Hilfiger’s plan to buy Clock Tower fizzles

September 14, 2011 06:35PM


From left: Fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, Lev Leviev Africa Israel chairman and 5 Madison

Tommy Hilfiger’s plan to buy the Clock Tower building for $170 million
has fallen apart because he has been unable to secure financing, Crain’s
reported. Together with real estate investment company JSR, he had
intended to purchase the property at 5 Madison Avenue between 23rd and 24th streets from Africa
Israel, and convert it in to a luxury hotel and condominium. JSR Capital said there were other reasons apart from financing
problems for why the deal fell apart.

“Virtually everyone in the real
estate business has looked at Clock Tower as a hotel, residential,
and/or office,” said Ari Schwebel, vice president of operations at JSR
Capital. “Some of those were even all-cash buyers. There are reasons
not one of them has closed on the building, and it isn’t about
financing.” Hilfiger and Africa Israel declined to comment.

SL Green
Realty had sold the Clock Tower — along with RFR Holdings and
hotelier Ian Shrager — to Africa Israel for $200 million 2007. Africa
Israel had had its own conversion plans. There are still a number of residential and hotel developers that are
interested in the site, according to Crains. [Crain’s]