Vanbarton Group has taken control of a Manhattan hotel building backed by investors in the near-defunct crowdfunding platform Prodigy Network.
The mezzanine lender held a UCC foreclosure auction for interests in the entity that owns the 84 William Street hotel in November, according to marketing materials reviewed by The Real Deal. Vanbarton won the auction through a credit bid, meaning it bid using the debt it was owed, a source familiar with the matter said. The lender has now taken over the developer’s position.
Records filed with the city Tuesday confirmed the transfer of the Financial District property, setting the value of the deal at $73.5 million. Eastdil Secured marketed the auction.
AKA Wall Street is the third Prodigy property to be taken over by lenders this year, after two downtown co-working buildings were acquired by Arbor Realty Trust several months ago.
The crowdfunding firm, which was founded by former real estate broker Rodrigo Niño in 2013, has been struggling for more than a year with a rising tide of legal and financial issues. Niño died in May at the age of 50, and his widow, Juanita Galvis, said in a recent court filing that the company has no employees left other than one bookkeeper.
For investors who have been largely left in the dark about what’s going on at Prodigy, the deal is another blow in their quest to get their money back. Of the thousands who invested some $690 million in Prodigy’s developments in New York and Chicago, many have joined forces in the past year to file at least 13 lawsuits against the company.
In late February, Prodigy sent a letter to investors in AKA Wall Street asking them to contribute $40 million to keep the building afloat, warning them that they could lose their investments in full. The letter included a report from Eastdil showing that Prodigy has received at least five offers for the property, though it’s unclear what became of those talks.
The pandemic hit New York a short time later, compounding Prodigy’s long-standing issues. The hotel at 84 William Street closed its doors permanently in August.
Larry Davis of Shorewood Real Estate Group, Prodigy’s New York development partner, did not respond to a request for comment. Vanbarton also did not respond.
Representatives for Prodigy could not be reached.
Mary Diduch contributed reporting.