UPDATED, April 23, 2021, 11:40 a.m.: Salim “Solly” Assa is facing new troubles at the Mave Hotel in NoMad.
The $19.5 million loan on the 72-key hotel at 62 Madison Avenue has been sent to the special servicer, according to Trepp. The loan is now more than 90 days past due.
Cantor Commercial Real Estate issued the loan, which carried an original balance of $22 million, to Assa Properties for the firm’s acquisition of the hotel in 2013. Assa paid $28.45 million to buy the property at a bankruptcy auction, according to public records.
Assa Properties did not return a call for comment. An asset manager with the loan’s special servicer, LNR Partners, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mave — and Assa — have made headlines before. In 2016, neighborhood residents were outraged when the luxury hotel was found to be housing homeless families. While his hotel was collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars from the city’s Department of Homeless Services, the city sued Assa for illegally running hotels out of his rental properties in Midtown.
In 2019, Assa sued the hotel’s first-floor retail tenants — a group of soothsayers, fortune tellers and psychic readers — for leasing the space with the intention of not paying rent. In January 2020, the judge granted part of Assa’s requests, ordering the tenant company to pay $868,000 in back rent and interest.
The Mave isn’t alone in its recent financial troubles, as many Manhattan hotels have been devastated by the pandemic. Some struggling hotel owners have opted to give their properties to lenders. And seeing opportunity, investors have started picking up distressed hotels. In March, Mack Real Estate took control of seven distressed Manhattan hotels in a UCC foreclosure auction. And earlier this month, Yellowstone Real Estate Investments bought the distressed Watson Hotel at 440 West 57th Street in Hell’s Kitchen for $175 million.
Correction: This story previously stated that the Mave became a homeless shelter again during the pandemic, but according to the city, the hotel had always remained a shelter until families were transferred out in October 2020.