The Sorrento comes back to life as a rental

Town Residential to head leasing at the 122-unit building starting in July

TRD New York /
Jun.June 14, 2012 06:30 PM

A 122-unit residential tower at 306 West 48th Street, formerly known as the Sorrento condominium, is coming back to life as a rental after sitting vacant for several years.

The building, which was subject to an investigation into its finances by the Attorney General, is slated to begin leasing in July, according to Town Residential, the exclusive marketing and leasing agent for the property.

The Ismael Leyva-designed tower was developed in 2007 by a partnership between Esplanade Capital’s Jay Eisenstadt, brothers Kevin and Donal O’Sullivan of Time Square Construction, and Navillus Contracting.

Also known as 785 Eighth Avenue, the building hit headlines in 2010, when Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued subpoenas in an investigation into whether the developers improperly co-mingled $17.1 million of deposit funds with operating money at the tower. The Attorney General was not immediately available for comment.

The owner of the property, 785 Partners LLC, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year following a foreclosure action at the property brought by creditor First Manhattan REIT. First Manhattan asserted that it holds a claim of $101 million against the property – more than the building’s market value. The foreclosure suit appears to be ongoing.

The current ownership of the building was not immediately clear. Esplanade told The Real Deal today that it had sold its interest in the project and was not longer involved. The O’Sullivan brothers, First Manhattan and Navillus were not immediately available for comment.

Town declined to comment on the ownership status of the building, other than to say the new ownership had approached the firm with a rental project in mind.

The 43-story will have three corner units per floor, and is comprised of studio, one- and two-bedroom units and one three-bedroom penthouse, Town said.

“There is strong demand for residential product of this quality, where units are built to condominium standards,” said Matthew Van Damm, director of operations at Town.

Town Marketing and Leasing has been tapped to lead on-site leasing at 11 developments in the last 11 months, the firm said.

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