Mack Real Estate takes over 7 distressed Manhattan hotels

Firm acquired the properties through UCC foreclosure auction

Mack Real Estate CEO Richard Mack and one of his new hotels at 51 Nassau Street. (Getty, ING)
Mack Real Estate CEO Richard Mack and one of his new hotels at 51 Nassau Street. (Getty, ING)

Mack Real Estate has gained control of a seven-hotel portfolio for what appears to be a major discount.

The developer paid transfer taxes on $315.8 million — or less than 40 percent of the portfolio’s 2016 value of $816.3 million — for the seven properties, all of which are in Manhattan.

Earlier this year, the firm initiated UCC foreclosure proceedings against the owners of the properties, a joint venture between Hersha Hospitality Trust and Chinese investment firm Cindat Capital Management. Those firms defaulted on an $85 million mezzanine loan issued in 2018 by Mack Real Estate Credit Strategies.

The portfolio hit the auction block on Jan. 21, and Mack was apparently the winner, according to a transfer tax document filed with the city.

Mack Real Estate declined to comment on the transaction. Hersha and Cindat did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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The seven hotels are located in Times Square, Chelsea, Herald Square and the Financial District operating under the Holiday Inn, Hampton Inn and Candlewood Suites brands. The properties are at 116 West 31st Street, 108 West 24th Street, 337 West 39th Street, 339 West 39th Street, 343 West 39th Street, 51 Nassau Street and 126 Water Street.

The portfolio had been fully owned by Hersha until 2016, when the Philadelphia-based REIT sold a 70 percent majority interest to Cindat in a deal worth $571.4 million.

The hospitality industry has been one of the hardest hit in the pandemic-driven economic downturn, with both smaller and major hotel brands being forced to hand their keys over to lenders. The owner of the Hilton Hotel in Times Square, for example, surrendered the property to one of its mortgage owners.