The former home of American composer and conductor John Philip Sousa is facing foreclosure.
The Galinn Fund, which provided a mortgage to the current owner of the townhouse at 80 West Washington Place, filed a foreclosure notice Tuesday in New York State Supreme Court.
In June 2019, Galinn issued a $3 million loan to 80 West Washington Place Holdings, the limited liability company listed as the property’s owner. In the filing, the lender alleges that the owner defaulted on a balloon payment of $2.1 million that was due July 1, 2020.
William Rainero, whose family has owned the property since the 1970s, is listed on property records as a managing member for the shell company and is named as a defendant in the filing.
“The Galinn Fund has exercised our legal remedies only after many, many months of repeated attempts to foster dialogue with the property owner and in an effort to amicably resolve their default,” David Linn, co-managing partner of the Galinn Fund, told The Real Deal.
The $3 million loan is a second mortgage for the home. An additional $13 million mortgage was issued by Emigrant Bank in April 2019.
The 8,700-square-foot townhouse, built in 1839, has been on and off the market since for nearly a decade. According to StreetEasy, it’s currently up for sale at $24.9 million, or about 21 percent less than the original 2012 asking price of $31.5 million.
“My clients, like many NYC property owners, have been dealing with the devastating effects of the pandemic and the total loss of rent income,” said James Burchetta, a lawyer representing the owner. “We believe that any action by a mortgage company is misguided during this crisis that has so deeply affected everyone in our great city.”
The state previously had a moratorium on commercial evictions and foreclosures in place, but the fate of the executive order that had enacted the ban is currently up in the air, and legislation to codify it into law has not yet been signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. But the measure was put into place to prevent actions such as this one, Burchetta added.
Sousa, who composed famous military marches — including “Semper Fidelis,” the official march of the United States Marine Corps., and “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” the National March of the United States — bought the townhouse in 1919.
The property has recently been marketed as an event venue for corporate events and private parties, according to the Sausa House website, which notes it has “seven levels of ultimate luxury living featuring five-star amenities and smart technology.”