Toby Moskovits is trying to stave off foreclosure on one of her most treasured Brooklyn properties.
Her project at 564 St. John’s Place in Crown Heights, where she is planning a 193-unit luxury rental building, is allegedly in default, and a foreclosure auction is currently set for 3 p.m. on July 31, according to Commercial Observer.
Moskovits and her partner Michael Lichtenstein received an $89 million refinancing on the project about nine months ago from Benefit Street Partners, split between a construction loan for $81 million and a mezzanine loan for $8 million. Benefit Street is now suing the pair for $10.5 million and accusing them of monetary and non-monetary defaults.
But Moskovits is fighting back hard against the proceedings and has attempted to prevent the auction by filing a temporary restraining order. She has also sued Benefit Street for predatory lending, arguing that they engineered a default on the loan so that they could seize the property.
She argues that they have never defaulted on the mortgage or mezzanine loan, while Benefit Street claims that they have defaulted by not maintaining adequate balances in a tax account or an interest reserve account.
Heritage Equity Partners, Moskovits’ company, has owned the Crown Heights property since 2014, after she bought out her former partner Rabsky Group. Construction is ongoing at the rental project, which is also known as the Frederick and the Olmstead Luxury Residences.
One source familiar with the conflict told the Observer that Moskovits was insistent in ensuring the project does not go into foreclosure, as she views it as “her baby.” [CO] – Eddie Small