The glamorous and trendy Times Square hotel tower has new owners

A group of lenders led by Natixis won control of 20 Times Square at a public auction Jan. 26 when outside bidders failed to beat their bid, Realty Check has learned. The brightly lit 42-story tower at Seventh Avenue and West 47and Street is home to the famous Times Square Edition Hotel.

“This result is not surprising,” said a source familiar with the situation. The title of the skyscraper should be transferred within a few weeks.

Mark Siffrin’s Maefield development defaulted on $800 million lease debt at the end of 2019. The property has since been embroiled in litigation over that bond and other loans and liens associated with the building.

What the Natixis group will do next is unclear. As we first reported on January 19, the lenders have engaged SL Green Services to manage the loan and consult on the situation.

The step theoretically opened the door for SL Green becoming the property’s asset manager. That hasn’t happened yet, but it would fit with SL Green’s CEO Marc Holliday’s statement in the company’s annual report that it would pursue other such arrangements. The publicly listed developer-owner is not believed to be interested in buying 20 Times Square for his own portfolio.

Natixis sign and logo on a building
A group of investors led by the French company Natixis will control the fate of 20 Times Square.
AFP via Getty Images

The hotel is the New York flagship of the trendy Edition brand, owned by Marriott, under the creative direction of Ian Schrager. It occupies approximately 90% of the tower. It boomed until pandemic closures, then reopened in June 2021. The rest of the building is mostly empty retail space – which was the main cause of Maefield’s loan failure.

The Edition Hotel is likely to stay because Marriott has an ironclad management contract that cannot be abrogated by a change in ownership.

Times Square
Title to the Times Square skyscraper is expected to transfer within weeks.
Times Square
Maefield Development defaulted on $800 million in lease debt at the end of 2019.

The mystery is solved as to what happens to the notorious former southwest corner of First Avenue and East 78th Street. Carmel Partners has filed plans with the Buildings Department for a 24-story apartment tower on the long-empty lot, Upper East Side Patch reports.

The project will also encompass the low-rise buildings adjacent to 1487 First Ave. and at 356 E. 78th St., which will be demolished.

The new building will have 94 apartments and a commercial space on the ground floor.

Carmel’s plans appear to end a long saga involving the site, which previous owners had left vacant for more than a decade. The contamination conditions, including the rat infestation, caught the attention of council member Julie Menin and other local elected officials, as The Post first reported.

California-based Carmel bought the fenced-in, weed-infested horror for $73.5 million in December.

Land bordered by fence
An apartment building will rise in the vacant space at First Avenue and 78th Street.
Google Maps

Office leasing has cooled since the big Touro College and Roku deals in Times Square earlier this month. Smaller activity includes 30,000 square feet of new leases, a lease extension and an expansion at 521 Fifth Ave. from Savanna to East 43d Street.

The new offerings were 8,600 square feet plus an outdoor terrace for Teza Technologies on the 22nd floor and 6,700 square feet for Arevon Energy on the 34th floor. Meanwhile, commercial real estate company Berkadia moved to a larger space on the 16th floor, combining a new lease and a 15,000 square foot extension.

The 498,700 square foot tower still has about 100,000 square feet available, but recent leasing has been quick. Asking rents are $69 to $87 per square foot.

Exterior of 521 Fifth Avenue
Three companies recently signed leases at 521 Fifth Ave.
Google Maps

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