Prodigy Network’s AKA Wall Street hotel closes permanently
Closure is latest step in slow unraveling of troubled crowdfunding firm
AKA Wall Street, an extended-stay hotel once marketed by crowdfunding platform Prodigy Network as a promising investment opportunity, has closed its doors for good.
The hotel at 84 William Street shut on Aug. 24, according to a notice filed this week with the Department of Labor. A total of 31 employees are affected.
The closure marks another step in the slow unraveling of Prodigy, which has been marred by months of financial problems and lawsuits from investors. The firm recently closed its co-working brand, The Assemblage, with two locations selling at a loss. A month earlier, Prodigy founder Rodrigo Niño, died at the age of 50. No replacement has been appointed.
Representatives for the company could not be reached. Larry Davis of Shorewood Real Estate Group, Prodigy’s development partner, did not respond to a request for comment.
AKA Wall Street is one of many hotels to shut down in the past three months, with others including the Hilton in Times Square and the Omni Berkshire Place hotel in Midtown. But while the hotel’s fate may have been sealed by the pandemic, its financial problems date back much earlier. In February, Prodigy wrote to investors in the building asking for $40 million to keep it afloat, warning that they risked losing their investments if the money wasn’t raised. A similar letter was sent out in March, asking for $30 million to save another Prodigy property at 85 West Broadway, which also operated as an AKA-branded hotel.
Representatives for Korman Communities, which operates the AKA hotels, did not respond to requests for comment.
Niño, a former luxury real estate broker who once marketed units at Trump Soho, launched Prodigy as a crowdfunding firm in 2013, raising some $690 million from investors around the world to fund commercial real estate developments in New York, Chicago and his native Colombia.
The latest closure will only create more uncertainty for investors, who have been largely shut out by Prodigy since the company stopped paying distributions across its portfolio last year, blaming underperformance.
Communication is further complicated by the fact that many investors are based overseas and Prodigy appears to be barely operating, leaving emails and phone calls unanswered.