Hartford office building owner sued for missing mezz loan payments

Daniel Loeb–controlled firm says Aaron Berger signed personal guarantee, owes $11M

Hedge Fund Sues Hartford Office Building Owner Over Mezz Loan

A photo illustration of hedge fund billionaire Daniel Loeb and 100 Constitution Plaza in Hartford, Connecticut (Getty, Google Maps)

An investment firm controlled by billionaire Daniel Loeb’s hedge fund is suing the owner of a Hartford office complex who put the building into bankruptcy.

Aaron Berger personally guaranteed the $10 million mezzanine loan for 100 Constitution Plaza, a 217,000-square-foot, Class A office building, according to the lawsuit.

Now the mezzanine lender, Trawler Capital Management, is coming after him for the principal plus interest, saying Berger “irrevocably and unconditionally” guaranteed the loan, according to a lawsuit filed in New York Supreme Court.

Lawyers for Trawler, which is controlled by Loeb’s Third Point, filed a motion for a summary judgment, effectively asking the court for a final ruling without a trial.

BSPRT Finance issued the mezzanine loan in April 2018 and assigned the loan to a real estate investment trust created by Trawler.

The loan agreement required Berger to make interest-only payments until the maturity date of May 6, 2023, when the outstanding principal and interest became due, according to court documents.

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Berger defaulted on the loan in May and put the limited liability company that borrowed the mezzanine funds into Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this month, the suit says.

Lawyers for Berger and Trawler did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Berger and a group of New York investors purchased six buildings on Constitution Plaza under the name BHN Associates for $71.1 million in 2015, according to the Hartford Courant.

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The sale included the One and 100 Constitution Plaza office towers, plus several low-rise buildings that occupy nearly seven acres, according to the Courant.

The building at 100 Constitution Plaza has 18 floors and is in the heart of downtown, according to a Colliers listing for a 13th-floor sublease.

Loeb is worth $3.3 billion, according to Forbes.