The Real Deal New York

DHA, Heng Sang nix condo conversion plans for Cassa Hotel

Dan Hollander's ownership stake was previously undisclosed
By Christian Bautista | April 11, 2018 06:30PM

Dan Hollander and Cassa Hotel Times Square

DHA Capital and Heng Sang Realty have shelved plans to convert the residential portion of the Cassa Hotel in Hell’s Kitchen to condominiums.

The firms jointly purchased the building’s 108 extended-stay apartments for $80.5 million last November, with DHA’s involvement in the deal kept under wraps. In spite of the disclosure of DHA’s stake, both sides declined to disclose their share of the project. The partners funded the acquisition with a $50 million loan from Signature Bank.

The former owners — a partnership comprised of Chetrit Group, Assa Properties and Read Property Groupwithdrew plans to convert the rental units into condos as the sale closed. Meyer Chetrit filed the conversion plan for eight residential floors in the building last May, setting the total sellout price at $117.5 million, or just over $1 million per unit.

A representative for DHA said there are no immediate plans to revive the proposal. “We may take this under consideration at a later date, and think the property is a good candidate for it, but we are not doing so right now,” the representative said.

Instead, the partnership is rebranding the project.  The name of the property was previously the subject of a copyright lawsuit, with Assa Properties suing a Florida developer for using the “Cassa” name. DHA and Heng Sang also plan to renovate the apartments and the building’s common areas.

The property, with the address 511 Ninth Avenue, also contains 112 hotel rooms. Assa bought the site from Rosedale Equities for $36.3 million in 2006. Chetrit and Read Property bought a stake in the property through a $15 million investment in 2012.

DHA, headed by Dan Hollander, has been an active player in the luxury residential market, with a portfolio that includes 12 East 13th Street in Greenwich Village and 75 Kenmare in Nolita. Heng Sang, meanwhile, is a family-run firm that is best known for its $280 million sale of a retail condominium at 503-511 Broadway.

Evan Weber of Loren Properties, who represented both sides of the deal, declined to comment.