One Madison Park is the sort of project that, for better or worse, could only have been dreamt up during a real estate boom. The super-slender, super-tall condo tower was the work of two out-of-towners teaming up with some run-of-the-mill architects who actually turned out a pretty nice building, one that has altered the city’s skyline before falling, rather frighteningly, back to earth.
One Madison Park has struggled along for more than a year now, stuck with lawsuits, foreclosures and bankruptcies. On Friday, one of its condo owners, developer Bruce Eichner, offered to infuse the building with $40 million in exchange for his Continuum Company taking a controlling stake in the project. The building’s original developers, Ira Shapiro and Marc Jacobs of New Jersey, have agreed to the deal, as has the general contractor. The building’s lender, iStar Financial, which has been out to foreclose on the building for months, is considerably less enthusiastic about the deal.
IStar has already criticized Mr. Eichner and a handful of other tenants for buying grossly discounted units–in his case one for $5 million, more than half-off–and while no clear indication was given to The Journal, the lender seems prepared to fight this deal, as well. Mr. Eichner and his team are willing to pay iStar $124 million, well below the $233.5 million the lender is owed, but not far from the roughly $135 million iStar has appraised the building at. That seems like a fair price to be rid of this ongoing headache, but if it is true that high-end real estate is really back, iStar may be better off holding out for the entire building after all.