The Real Deal New York

Ben Shaoul in contract to sell incomplete Liberty Toye for roughly $85M: sources

At least 14 unit buyers will get deposits back
By E.B. Solomont and Mark Maurer | May 02, 2018 08:00AM

Renderings of Liberty Toye and Ben Shaoul

Ben Shaoul is in contract to sell Liberty Toye — an incomplete 81-unit condominium conversion project in the East Village — for around $85 million, sources told The Real Deal.

The deal values each unit around $1 million, and it puts an end to Shaoul’s tumultuous run with the property, at 62 Avenue B, which he purchased for $25.5 million in 2011.

The identity of the buyer was not immediately clear, and Shaoul declined to comment.

In 2013, Shaoul’s Magnum Real Estate Group converted the former nursing home into rentals, but residents of the building — then called Bloom 62 — threw raucous parties on the roof. Magnum shopped the site for $73 million and then $80 million in 2015, but ultimately plowed ahead with a condo conversion.

This past November, after a rebranding, Liberty Toye hit the sales market with a total sellout of $92.5 million, according to the offering plan. Magnum tapped Town Residential to market the units.

Sources said Magnum now plans to withdraw the offering plan from the New York state Attorney General’s office and return deposits to buyers who’ve gone into contract. The property is expected to continue to operate as a rental, sources said.

At least 14 units are in contract, according to StreetEasy, ranging from a studio last asking $675,000 to a two-bedroom that was asking $1.55 million.

The Magnum chief isn’t the only developer rethinking development plans. In March, the owners of Cassa Times Square Hotel scrapped plans to convert the property into condos. The trio of investors — the Chetrit Group, Assa Properties and Read Property Group — decided to keep the 108 units as rentals. Chetrit also backed out of a $1.4 billion plan to convert the Sony Building into condos, and CL Investment scrapped the $300 million conversion at 287 Park Avenue.

On the Lower East Side, Shaoul is still developing 196 Orchard Street, which will have 94 units. Other nearby condo projects include 150 Rivington, a 45-unit project being developed by Cogswell Lee Development, and 242 Broome, a 55-unit condo by a joint venture of Taconic Investment Partners, L&M Development, BFC Partners and Goldman Sachs.