Cassa condo-hotel files for bankruptcy

The developer of the Cassa NY Hotel and Residences near Times Square has filed for bankruptcy protection for the project, citing legal battles that have made it difficult to move units. According to the Wall Street Journal, Waterscape Resorts, an affiliate of Solly Assa’s Assa Properties, said contractors and subcontractors have filed around $20 million in mechanic’s liens against the condominium-hotel in order to guarantee their payments, hindering sales and causing the developer to default. Cassa, which has 165 hotel rooms and 57 condo units, was completed in September 2010 but had sold only five units by the end of last year. Last late month, junior lender UBS filed to foreclose, but the bankruptcy filing will now halt proceedings, in addition to all pending litigation. Meanwhile, Waterscape has already received an offer to purchase Cassa for $125 million from an entity called 70 West 45th Street Holding LLC. Waterscape said Tuesday that it had $168.5 million in assets and $141.5 million worth of debt, including $126 million owed to senior lender U.S. Bank and $8 million owed to UBS. [WSJ]

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