Zelig Weiss returns with bid to buy William Vale in Williamsburg
Attempts to regain upscale hotel after lawsuit alleged he diverted money from it
Zelig Weiss has made a surprising comeback attempt to take control of the William Vale hotel in Williamsburg.
Weiss, who co-developed the swanky hotel with Brooklyn landlord Yoel Goldman, made an all-cash offer to buy the property late last year, despite facing a lawsuit alleging he diverted money from it. Israeli bondholders, who held the debt, rejected Weiss’s bid in favor of a proposal from Monarch Alternative Capital and Richard Wagman’s Madison Capital.
But now the Monarch-Madison bid is no longer on the table and Weiss is the lone bidder, according to bond filings on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and sources familiar with the matter.
Weiss is offering to buy the debt on the William Vale for $157.3 million. As part of the deal, Weiss, a 50 percent owner of the property, will acquire the remaining equity interest in it from All Year, according to TASE filings this week. The deal still needs approval from bondholders.
It’s the latest headturner in the saga of the William Vale.
Weiss and Goldman developed the posh 183-key hotel in the heart of Williamsburg in 2016. The amenity rich establishment, which boasts New York’s longest pool, advanced Williamsburg’s evolution from a humble enclave into a hip community. The hotel once played host to the Rose Ceremony on ABC’s popular dating franchise “The Bachelor.”
Since then, Goldman and Weiss have had a falling out, and Goldman’s company, All Year, unraveled in a series of foreclosures and creditor disputes; decision making has been left in the hands of restructuring officers. The company filed for bankruptcy late last year.
Led by the restructuring officers, All Year sued Weiss in state court last year. The suit alleges that Weiss, who runs the hotel, refused to pay rent, although the hotel was operating and Weiss-controlled tenants scored more than $7 million in forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans. Weiss denied the charges and filed a motion to dismiss, which was denied by the judge.
Deciphering the ownership of the hotel has been complicated. All Year Holdings and Weiss had a 50-50 stake in a company that owns the property, according to Israeli stock exchange filings. That company, Wythe Berry Fee Owner, leases out the property to an entity equally controlled by Weiss and Goldman. Weiss, however, is the one managing and running the property, according to a lawsuit in New York Supreme Court.
Weiss could acquire the hotel for less than he initially offered. He submitted a proposal on Oct. 22 to buy equity in the hotel along with the debt held by Israeli bondholders for $156 million. Three days later, Weiss upped his offer to $163 million. He claimed that Ohana Real Estate Investors, based in Redwood City, California, had agreed to finance his offer.
“I am closely familiar with the [William Vale] and have the financial resources and willingness to move quickly towards closing the proposed transaction,” Weiss said in the offering proposals.
Weiss is becoming more active in Brooklyn’s real estate market. His Riverside Developers recently filed plans with the city to build a seven-story, 83-unit residential building at 22 Skillman Street, a site that had been at the center of a legal dispute between him and Goldman.
Weiss and All Year did not return a request for comment.