New bidder emerges for William Vale in never-ending saga

Zelig Weiss was nearing a deal to take control of hotel

William Vale (iStock) New York
William Vale (iStock)

The battle for the William Vale hotel has been worthy of reality TV.

In the latest twist, a new bidder popped up just as a deal with Brooklyn landlord Zelig Weiss to purchase the property’s debt and equity from All Year Holdings seemed done.

The latest to seek control of the trendy Williamsburg hotel is a group led by health care executive Avi Philipson, according to court documents and filings on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

Philipson has gone after All Year’s real estate before: His Graph Group and Rubie Schron’s Cammeby’s International recently reached a deal to buy All Year Holdings’ bankrupt Brooklyn portfolio.

Philipson’s new offer is the latest chapter in a drama gripping the William Vale, a space-ship-looking office and hotel complex in northern Brooklyn.

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The project was co-developed by Weiss and Yoel Goldman of All Year in 2016. The Brooklyn landlords then had a falling out and sued each other. Goldman and All Year later ran into financial trouble, facing foreclosures, and in 2020 Goldman was forced to cede decision making to restructuring officers.

Late last year, Weiss, a 50 percent owner of the property, made a surprising bid to take control of the hotel despite a lawsuit alleging that he diverted money from it.

Israeli bondholders who held the debt on the property rejected Weiss’s first bid in favor of a proposal from Monarch Alternative Capital and Richard Wagman’s Madison Capital. But the Madison-Monarch bid fell through and last month Weiss made another offer to buy the debt in a deal valued at $157 million.

The bondholders were scheduled to vote on the proposal. But the Philipson-led group made an 11th-hour proposal to buy the debt of the hotel, also for $157 million, on April 12. It is conditional on Philipson’s group acquiring All Year’s equity in the deal.

The matter could come to a head April 26 at a meeting where the bondholders will vote to approve one of the offers. Philipson did not return a request for comment.

Philipson’s Graph — an investment firm — and Cammeby’s are set to take control of more than 100 assets from All Year’s portfolio of mostly small apartment buildings in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Williamsburg and Bushwick. If approved, the deal would allow All Year to exit bankruptcy, according to a federal court filing.

Philipson, whose Twitter photo does not show his face,  is a nursing home operator who holds an ownership interest in the Cold Springs Hills Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Woodbury, New York. His father, Bent Philipson, is a controversial operator of nursing homes on Long Island and throughout the country.