How a deal paved the way for sales to recommence at Carriage House

Not long after the Chelsea Carriage House at 159 West 24th Street went on the market in autumn 2008, its three young developers ceased to be able pay interest on their loans and the lender moved to foreclose. Eamon Roche, Joshua Sachs and Eric Gray had purchased the property in 2006, then a parking garage, for $8.75 million. Sales had looked promising until Lehman Brothers collapsed.

Now, two years after the court-appointed receiver took over, the Chelsea condos are back on the sales market and in the hands of their former owners, according to the Wall Street Journal. Roche, Sachs and Gray are back at the helm of the project, working with the same bank and contractors, thanks to a deal made with MidFirst Bank.

“We spent our 40 days in the desert,” said Eamon Roche, one of the three principals of the developer, the Broad Mill Development Group. “Now we are back on the market.”

The Carriage House is not the only troubled project to have recently returned to the market, but most require loan defaults, debt sales, restructuring and changes in management, the Journal said. One such project is One Madison Park.

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While initial court papers showed that the bank was courting other developers, one state judge noted and argued that the trio had “put their hearts and souls into the completion of the project” as well as significant financial resources.

Eventually MidFist bank offered to forgo penalties so long as the developers paid interest and met benchmark deadlines.

“It was important to get everyone out alive, as much as possible, ” Roche said.

Sales launched in June
by Warburg Marketing Group, and offers have already been made on four apartments. Prices range from $695,000 for a studio to $3.6 million for the largest penthouse. [WSJ]