Paper Tigers: Princeton Club defaults on $39M mortgage, may lose digs

Buyer of debt could force club out of 15 West 43rd Street

New York /
Oct.October 20, 2021 07:02 PM
The Princeton Club flag in front of 15 West 43rd Street (Google Maps)

The Princeton Club flag in front of 15 West 43rd Street (Google Maps)

A hallowed hall dedicated to Ivy League alumni may soon house nothing but memories from Princeton’s finest.

The Princeton Club in Midtown is in financial trouble after defaulting on a $39.3 million mortgage, according to Bloomberg. The debt is being sold to the highest bidder, who could ultimately force the club’s exit from 15 West 43rd Street and repurpose the 10-story building.

The Princeton Club was closed for 15 months during the height of Covid and reportedly lost about one-third of its 6,000 dues-paying members.

The club received six months of forbearance from Sterling National Bank on $39.3 million in debt. That forbearance expired last month, leading the bank to bring in a Newmark team led by Steven Schultz and Evan Layne to sell the note before the end of November.

The Princeton Club has no financial relationship with Princeton University, according to Bloomberg, distinguishing it from other Ivy League clubs in the area. The Princeton Club has explored a sale and asked Princeton University for help, but nothing has panned out.

(Princeton University’s endowment has grown to $27 billion — presumably because it invests for high returns, not charity.)

The club has been operating in some form since 1866, moving into its current digs in 1963. Bloomberg reports that annual dues in 2019 ranged from $350 for new graduates to $3,255 for those 15 years out.

Annual operating expenses at the club are about $15 million, Bloomberg reports.

The private club has two restaurants, a banquet space, squash courts and 58 rooms for guests. Affiliate members from prestigious universities such as Williams College and Georgetown University are also accepted to the club.

[Bloomberg] — Holden Walter-Warner





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