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In the News: Our own collusion, Tribeca real estate style

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Kevin Sun at The Real Deal reports that the partners who *were* developing the big hole in the ground at 456 Greenwich have accused the Ponte family and Related of collusion — and plotting to ruin their plans for a luxury French hotel at the site. It’s a high-stakes, complex web that leaves us neighbors with another couple years (at least?) of construction delays and an ugly boarded up site.

Mactaggart Family & Partners and Caspi Development Corp. filed last month for bankruptcy, after, they claimed, the lease terms with the Pontes prevented them from securing a construction loan for the Hotel Barrière Le Fouquet. Related Companies has 70 Vestry, the condo a block away, also built on Ponte property. Mactaggart and co. are now asking for a legal investigation of the communications between Related and the Pontes, both of who claim in initial court documents to be innocent of any plot. A court date is set for May 3.

Sun digs into the bankruptcy filing as well as a court case from 2017, when Mactaggart — Scottish royalty, folks call them — backed out on another financing plan for the hotel. It’s Ponte property underneath the Arlo Hotel as well, which was developed by the same partners that originally had a stake in 456 Greenwich. It’s not easy to follow — have your coffee first — but it’s a fun read. “Whether or not these suspicions are confirmed, there’s more to Tribeca’s long-delayed Hotel Barrière Le Fouquet than meets the eye – more developers, more investors, and more lawsuits,” Sun writes. Here’s more:

Now the developers have proposed an explanation for the landlord’s alleged behavior. “The Debtor believes that the reason for the Landlord’s actions may be that they are seeking to develop the property with a third party,” according to the motion filed in bankruptcy court two weeks ago.

“This would be consistent with Ponte Equities having a lengthy relationship with Related, having also partnered with them in building a 13-story condominium building in Tribeca and developing 261 Hudson Street, along with 460 Washington Avenue,” a footnote in the filing adds.



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