The massive LED sign that wraps around Seventh Avenue and West 47th Street — it’s roughly the size of four basketball courts — exists today thanks to a Times Square-sized construction loan.
The $2 billion financing package that Natixis led for Maefield Development’s project at 20 Times Square was the largest real estate loan of 2018. But a portion of that debt package is now in default, according to Natixis, which has filed to foreclose on Maefield’s project.
The French bank on Monday filed a lawsuit in Manhattan State Supreme Court alleging a $650 million portion of the loan package is in default because of “numerous undischarged mechanics’ liens recorded against the property.” The property is also known as 701 Seventh Avenue.
Natixis argues that Maefield blew past several deadlines to complete the project clear of any liens and sent a final notice of deficiency in September.
Representatives for Maefield and Natixis could not be immediately reached for comment.
Natixis also claims that Maefield defaulted by failing to lease the project’s retail space by a September deadline. The NFL Experience, a joint venture between the National Football League and Cirque du Soleil, had occupied 40,000 square feet in the tower for roughly a year before leaving at the end of 2018.
Maefield, led by Mark Siffin, teamed up with Steven Witfkoff, Winthrop Realty Trust, the Carlton Group and Howard Lorber’s New Valley to purchase the leasehold on the property in 2012 for $430 million.
They set out plans to develop a 452-key Marriott Hotel with four floors of retail and a giant 17,000-square-foot LED sign.
Siffin used part of the $2 billion finance package to buy out his partners and fund construction of the project.
Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated 20 Times Square’s previous tenant. It was the NFL.