Shell company buys Princeton Club on W 43rd St for $8M
The private club defaulted on a $39 million mortgage in 2021
The Princeton Club of New York was sold to shell company 15 West 43rd Street LLC for $8 million, Crain’s reported, at roughly $125 per square foot. The transaction closed late last month, two months after a foreclosure auction outside Manhattan’s Supreme Court.
The private-member club defaulted on a $39 million mortgage in October 2021. Two months later, the limited liability company purchased the defaulted loan from Sterling National Bank, which had granted the club six months of forbearance.
Last year, the note holder sued to foreclose on the Midtown property. The creditor sought control of the 10-story, 64,000-square-foot building that housed the Princeton Club for 60 years before it was forced to shutter in the aftermath of the pandemic, despite a brief reopening.
The club was struggling even before the pandemic. By the end of 2019, the club had $49.4 million of liabilities against $30.3 million of assets. That year, the club ran a $3.4 million deficit, according to tax records.
In recent years, the club — which has been operating in some capacity since the 19th century — reportedly lost a third of its due-paying members. Annual dues in 2019 ranged from $350 for new grads to $3,255 for alumni 15 years out of school.
The club doesn’t have any financial relationship with its namesake university. The club explored a sale and even approached the university for help, but was ultimately left in the cold. Even notable Princeton alum and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt couldn’t step in to save the club.
It’s unclear what the buyer’s plans are for the club. The property includes 58 guest rooms, two restaurants, a gym and a pair of squash courts.
Ownership behind the shell company could not be determined. The signatory on the deal was Kelly Zelezen of the law firm Kleinberg Kaplan, according to PincusCo. Zelezen did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Real Deal.
— Holden Walter-Warner