Metro Loft acquires stalled Tribeca conversion site

Metro Loft Management has partnered with a Russian billionaire to buy a long-stalled Tribeca condominium-hotel conversion site. Crain’s reported they have entered a $150 million contract to purchase the vacant seven-story office building at 443 Greenwich Street, near Vestry Street, for $150 million from Israeli investment firm WD Group.

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Shahab Karmely’s Kar Properties previously purchased the building for $114 million in 2006 with plans to convert it into a luxury condo hotel. Kar took out a $85 million mortgage from Anglo Irish Bank and a $20 million mezzanine loan from WD. The investment firm moved to foreclose on the property when Kar defaulted on the mezzanine loan, but, as The Real Deal reported, Karmely filed a suit in New York State Supreme Court to block the proceedings. Crain’s said Karmely, Anglo Irish and WD eventually struck a deal that gave control of the building to the Israeli investment firm.

Metro Loft, headed by Nathan Berman, is one of the largest landlords in the Financial District and most recently put 116 John Street, which it converted to rentals from offices, on the market in May. The firm is also behind the conversion of the former American International Group headquarters at 70 Pine Street. The identity of Its Partner On Greenwich Street was not reported. [Crain’s]