Auction of 'one of last' sites in TriBeCa pulled
Sale of $40 million first mortgage on what was to have been 20-story Five Franklin Place
condo called off after buyer emerges; price seen as “satisfactory and fair.”
By Amanda Fung
November 24, 2010
The scheduled auction of the $40 million first mortgage on the stalled condominium project Five Franklin Place in TriBeCa was indefinitely postponed after a foreign company signed a contract to buy the note, according to Procida Advisors, the real estate turnaround firm that had planned to conduct the auction on Wednesday.
“The buyer hit a number that is satisfactory and fair,” said Bill Procida, president of Procida Advisors, adding that the buyer will pay all-cash and that the deal is expected to close by mid-December. He said the purchase would be the buyer's first real estate property in the city. Further details on the purchase were not disclosed.
Five Franklin Place, better known as 369-371 Broadway, was being pegged as one of the last development sites in the TriBeCa area. Procida was retained by the lender, an undisclosed hedge fund, in January to auction the site. It was originally to have been developed by Sleepy Hudson into a 20-story luxury condo with 55 units. The building's architect was well-known Dutchman Ben van Berkel of UN Studio. The auction was supposed to begin Monday and end on Dec. 13. Mr. Procida said he already had 100 people on the bid list before the sale occurred on Tuesday.
According to Mr. Procida, foundation work and two stories of concrete of the site are already complete. Plans and permits are now in place for a 17-story, 130,000-square-foot residential building with ground floor retail. Procida also offered an alternate, more cost-efficient design by architecture firm Montroy Andersen DeMarco for the project.
It's too early to know what the new owner will do with the property, but “this project will finally get built,” Mr. Procida said.
© 2010 Crain Communications Inc.