Long-delayed Hudson Heights condo project leaves a developer’s life in tatters

2008 financial collapse brought divorce, bankruptcy for Rutherford "Ruddy" Thompson

New York /
Oct.October 08, 2018 04:30 PM

A rendering of One Bennett Park at 33-35 Overlook Terrace (Credit: PropertyIDX and iStock)

The never-ending saga of Upper Manhattan’s One Bennett Place development site in Washington Heights took another turn in August, when its developer filed for bankruptcy on the eve of the foreclosure auction. It now appears that the true owner of the property may be the developer’s ex-wife, who terminated a grant of power when the the deal failed to get off the ground.

As legal wrangling around the property continues, Crain’s took a look at the personal toll this development has taken on Rutherford “Ruddy” Thompson, who acquired the site at 33-35 Overlook Terrace in 2002 – his first attempt at developing a building from the ground up.

The former bank executive received a $95 million loan and was able to begin construction on a 23-story, 114-unit condominium in 2007, but funding was soon halted due to the financial crisis, miring Thompson in debts and lawsuits, eventually leading to a divorce and multiple heart attacks.

Thompson’s chances of coming out with a profit are slim at this point, and he will be worth “less than zero” if he fails to do so, he said. He says he may have to move to China, where he has been before and where “they can use people like me who know English and who are honest.”

“The narrative about developers making tons of money isn’t always true,” said David Scharf, a lawyer at Morrison Cohen who represents the interests of Thompson’s ex-wife in the condo project. [Crains] — Kevin Sun


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Group for the East End president Bob DeLuca and a plan of the Wainscott Commercial Center (Group for the East End, Stop Wainscott Commercial Center, Getty)
Put industry in Hamptons and this is what happens
Put industry in Hamptons and this is what happens
RJ Capital Holdings' Michael Abramov with 445 5th Avenue
TRD Pro: NYC’s busiest neighborhoods for alteration work
TRD Pro: NYC’s busiest neighborhoods for alteration work
Gary Barnett with 32 West 48th Street
A “nonsense issue”: Extell Diamond District hotel mired in 18 inch dispute
A “nonsense issue”: Extell Diamond District hotel mired in 18 inch dispute
From left: John Perez, Christian Amato and Nathalia Fernandez in front of Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx (Getty Images, JacobiPeds.org, ChristianAmato.com, John Perez)
Candidates back affordable housing, but not in their back yard
Candidates back affordable housing, but not in their back yard
Arlington Village at 3100-3124 Atlantic Avenue in East New York, Brooklyn (Google Maps, Getty)
Developing in downtrodden areas gets dicey
Developing in downtrodden areas gets dicey
800 East Main Street and AMS Acquisitions' Avi Abadie (Town of Yorktown, LinkedIn)
Luxury senior housing proposed for vacant Westchester office
Luxury senior housing proposed for vacant Westchester office
D&F Development Group’s Peter Florey and the development site at the northwest corner of Pulaski and Elwood Roads in East Northport (D&F Development Group, Google Maps)
Four decades in making, East Northport project clears key hurdle
Four decades in making, East Northport project clears key hurdle
From left: Century Development's Group’s George Xu and City/Rybak Development’s Sergey Rybak with 78-29 Austin St./11-36 45 Road
Rybak, Century file to build Queens multifamily projects
Rybak, Century file to build Queens multifamily projects
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...