How HFZ Became the Face of Manhattan’s Condo Woes

The Belnord was bought in 2015 for $575 million from Extell’s Gary Barnett.

Rich Bockmann, Keith Larsen & Sylvia Farnham O’Regan, TheRealDeal, Dec. 17, 2020

Excerpted: Many developers saddled with unsold units in a sluggish market are in a tight spot. HFZ, however, may be the first big Manhattan developer in the Covid era at risk of losing it all. Its investors and lenders have sued to collect more than $300 million, liens from contractors and vendors are piling up, and at the firm’s flagship project — the Bjarke Ingels–designed XI condo and hotel spanning a full city block along the High Line — sales are slow and construction has stalled. Feldman and his wife, Helene, are personally on the hook for many of the loans tied to these projects. 

A spokesperson for HFZ acknowledged the developer was facing challenges, adding, “It is how a company reacts and rebounds from adversity that defines its reputation.” As Feldman runs the company day to day in light of Meir’s exit, HFZ has hired outside advisers to help restructure its debt, the spokesperson added.

To its defenders, HFZ is simply a victim of forces outside its control. And there’s a line of reasoning that with builders everywhere in the same boat, one of the market’s biggest players going under would be to no one’s benefit.

When HFZ bought the Belnord from Barnett in 2015 for $575 million, it was Feldman’s second bite into the fabled Upper West Side luxury rental building. He had been part of an investment group that had paid just $15 million for the property in 1994.

Read the full article in TheRealDeal.

Josef Marx

Josef Marx

The John Coltrane of the oboe

A New Garden Grows Within an Iconic New York City Building

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