Foreclosure looms for Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower retail

Madison Realty set to lose property after its lender alleges default

Madison Realty Set to Lose Williamsburgh Savings Bank Retail
Madison Realty Capital's Josh Zegen; Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower (Loopnet, Getty, Linkedin)

Anyone want a piece of the city’s most phallic building?

The retail portion of the Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower, whose dome the AIA Guide to New York City called “New York’s most exuberant phallic symbol,” is heading to a foreclosure auction within 90 days.

The 41,400-square-foot property is to be sold almost three years after lender Amherst Capital brought a foreclosure action against its owner, a joint venture between Madison Realty Capital and private equity firm Siguler Guff.

In February, a judge delivered a blow to the owners when it allowed the lender to move ahead. Madison Realty principals Brian Shatz and Josh Zegen were personally on the hook for some of the debt because of guarantees in the loan documents.

Madison filed an appeal, but withdrew it in November as the two parties reached an agreement to remove Zegen and Shatz from the suit. Madison’s principals are no longer liable for the guarantees.

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On Wednesday, the judge finalized the foreclosure judgment, calculating the amount owed on the loan at $23.8 million along with default interest. A date has not been set for the auction.

Madison and Siguler Guff acquired the former bank building in 2015. The Downtown Brooklyn tower, also known as One Hanson Place, was built between 1927 and 1929 and long served as a headquarters for the Williamsburgh Savings Bank. At 529 feet, it was the tallest building in Brooklyn until 2009. The upper floors were converted to luxury condos in the mid 2000s.

Barclays Center opened a stone’s throw away in 2012 and an Apple store followed in 2017, but finding a retail tenant for One Hanson proved difficult. In 2020, Amherst alleges Madison and Siguler Guff defaulted on its debt. The lender alleged the joint venture failed to pay debt service as well as common charges and assessments to the condo. The owners blamed the pandemic, according to court filings.

Madison Realty did not return a request for comment. An attorney for Amherst Capital also did not return a request for comment.

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