Ashkenazy loses original Barneys building

Argentic acquired Chelsea property after $49M judgment

New York /
Mar.March 31, 2022 10:50 AM

From left: Doug Tiesi, CEO, Argentic, and Ben Ashkenazy, CEO, Ashkenazy Acquisitions, in front of 115 Seventh Avenue (Argentic Investment Management, LoopNet, iStock)

It’s officially over for Ben Ashkenazy at Barneys.

Lender Argentic Investment Management acquired the Chelsea building that housed the original Barneys New York department store after a $49.5 million foreclosure judgment.  Argentic took over from from Ashkenazy Acquisitions through a referee deed, PincusCo reported. The transfer closed two weeks ago at a price of $7 million.

The foreclosure had been a long time coming for retail powerhouse Ashkenazy. A lawsuit was filed against the shell company established by the building’s owner in September 2020, claiming Ashkenazy failed to pay back a $46.2 million loan backed by the building after the loan matured in May 2020.

Barney Pressman opened the first Barneys at the location almost a century ago, in 1923. The property at 115 Seventh Avenue changed hands several times over the decades before Ashkenazy purchased it from the Rubin Museum of Art for $57 million in 2014.

The city-designated 2022 market value of the 42,000-square-foot building is $18.8 million, according to PincusCo. The original Barneys store shuttered amid bankruptcy proceedings for the department store.

The loss of the Chelsea retail building is the latest in a string of problems for Ashkenazy. A foreclosure suit initiated earlier this month claimed Ashkenazy defaulted on a $12.3 million mortgage for the retail portion of 1400 Fifth Avenue in Harlem. A trustee for the loan’s bondholders claimed Ashkenazy stopped making monthly mortgage payments in April 2020.

The loan on the property was originated by Barclays in September 2018 before it was securitized and sold to investors. The suit is seeking $16.7 million in damages.

Ashkenazy also lost control of 690 Madison through foreclosure late last year. SL Green Realty paid transfer taxes on about $74 million, slightly under 65 percent of what Ashkenazy paid for the five-story property in 2015. SL Green held a UCC foreclosure auction of an Ashkenazy entity that owned the building in September 2021, where retail tenants include Hermès.

[PincusCo] — Holden Walter-Warner





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