Fortress buys debt on troubled 125 Greenwich

SoftBank-owned investment firm paid $230M for tower’s defaulted mortgage

125 Greenwich Street (Credit: 125 Greenwich, iStock)
125 Greenwich Street (Credit: 125 Greenwich, iStock)

A SoftBank-owned investment firm has purchased the defaulted mortgage on the troubled luxury condo tower 125 Greenwich Street.

Fortress Investment Group bought the mortgage for about $230 million from the investment firm BH3, according to the Wall Street Journal. BH3 had been moving to foreclose on the 88-story project, which is under construction but nearly complete. Fortress will have the right to continue the foreclosure lawsuit if it chooses.

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The developers — Howard Lorber’s New Valley, Davide Bizzi’s Bizzi & Partners, the Carlton Group and China Cindat — defaulted on the loan as the market for high-end apartments in New York began to weaken. A group of lenders including United Overseas Bank filed to foreclose on the project last year, but BH3 ended up buying the loan for about $125 million in July.

Manhattan is dealing with a glut of luxury condos thanks to a surge in new construction, which has given investors an opportunity to bail developers out at high interest rates, purchase defaulted loans or take over projects that are not doing well for low prices.

BH3 co-founder Daniel Lebensohn told the Journal he “would not expect” Fortress to slow down the foreclosure process on the tower. [WSJ] — Eddie Small