Bankruptcy baron goes under for 7th time

James McGown will be forced to sell 8 Brooklyn properties

TRD New York /
Sep.September 20, 2016 08:00 AM
Brooklyn Buschenschank bar in Carroll Gardens

Brooklyn Buschenschank bar in Carroll Gardens

How many Chapter 11s is too many? For James McGown, a Brooklyn landlord who Crain’s dubbed the “Bankruptcy Baron,” the seventh time’s a charm.

After filing for his seventh bankruptcy in as many years, McGown will be forced to sell eight holdings, including the Brooklyn Buschenschank bar in Carroll Gardens, a four-story walk-up in Red Hook, two Gowanus apartment buildings and a Park Slope bar, according to Crain’s.

In July 2015, McGown filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for his real estate company Brooklyn Renaissance, and listed 10 properties, mostly in Brooklyn, and $13 million in debts. He attempted to sell off his properties shortly after but failed to get the prices he was seeking.

But McGown, who uses bankruptcy as a recurring survival strategy, says he’ll be back. “I’ll have no debt when this is done,” McGown told the magazine.

He may very well be right. Five of his properties have already brought in a total of $14 million in offers or sales, according to court records cited by Crains — $1 million more than his total debt.

“I’ll rebuild when the market collapses,” he said.

If he does come back, it will be his eighth time, and even a cat has nine lives. [Crain’s]Chava Gourarie

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