From lender with love: Bond-themed hotel sued for $40M

Skyfalls on Aliz Hotel in Midtown

Aliz Hotel at 310 West 40th Street (Google Maps)
Photo illustration of Aliz Hotel at 310 West 40th Street (Google Maps)

It’s a view to a bill: A lawsuit says a Midtown hotel with a James Bond-themed bar owes $40 million.

Cindy Zhang, a non-secret agent for the lender, alleged in a complaint filed Jan. 9 that Abraham Noy, owner of the 297-key Aliz Hotel at 310 West 40th Street in Midtown, defaulted on a loan that came due in November.

Noy developed the hotel in 2014. In 2018 YJR Group inked a lease for the 6,900 square-foot rooftop bar, which underwent a James Bond-themed redesign.

The lawsuit, by NY Manhattan 40th St. Lenders, alleges that in addition to defaulting on the mortgage, Noy failed to bond numerous liens, preventing sale of the property. The liens, from 2015 to 2019, total more than $2 million, according to the state court filing.

The suit also asserts that a 2019 judgment for a $637,000 lien was not paid. It says Noy created a separate entity to operate the hotel without the lender’s consent and hasn’t filed accounting reports to the lender on the hotel’s revenue or occupancy.

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Attorneys for the lender declined to comment. The plaintiff’s attorney did not respond to a request for comment.

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In response to the notice of default, attorneys for the borrower, in a letter filed with the complaint, called the default “improper” because the borrower had exercised a contractual right to extend the terms of the loan.

The letter also said that when the borrower asked what additional documentation was needed to extend the terms of the loan, it was not met with any “coherent response.”

“This predatory conduct in and of itself constitutes a Lender default and Lender’s breach under the loan documents,” the letter read.

Attorneys for Zhang responded the same day, the court papers show, alleging that the borrower had scuttled attempts to discuss a solution and had canceled a planned call.

“The statements made in your letter are simple [sic] not true,” the lender’s attorney wrote. “We would suggest that you read the loan documents.”

The lawsuit seeks $40.6 million plus interest and court expenses, and demands that the asset be placed in receivership.

The hospitality industry has endured widespread distress as a result of the decrease in travel. New York City’s Department of City Planning estimated that between January and September, 135 hotels and 39,244 rooms closed, representing declines of 20 and 31 percent, respectively.