Recession Reaches Redoubt of Redolently Wealthy at 740 Park

Foreclosure toys with allure of house that Rockefeller polished.

Kent and Liz Swig

The New York Post revealed earlier this summer that the developer and his now-estranged wife, Liz Swig, the daughter of another famous New York developer, Harry Macklowe, were facing foreclosure on the apartment they bought in 1997.

Bank of America is suing the Swigs for failing to make good on a $4.7 million loan the couple took out on the apartment back in 2007, The Post reported. The bank is threatening to foreclose upon the apartment, from which Mr. Swig has allegedly moved out. The foreclosure would be a first for 740 Park.

The Swigs.

They’re not supposed to happen there: financing for purchases is not an option—prospective buyers must pay up front, and they are expected to have substantial liquidity (reportedly to the tune of $100 million) before they are even considered for entry. So how, in a building that does not allow residents to borrow against their apartments, did Mr. Swig manage to do exactly this?

Exact details are unclear, but it is particularly noteworthy that a company that Mr. Swig co-owns, Terra Holdings, owns Brown Harris Stevens, the tony brokerage that manages 740 Park. A source, who wished to remain anonymous given the subject’s sensitive nature, said that one could make “an educated guess that he was only allowed to borrow against this apartment because he was managing in the company.”

A spokesperson for Swig Equities declined to comment on that aspect, saying instead that “the apartment at 740 Park Avenue is owned by Liz Swig and has been for over a decade.”

Although the bank appears to be closing in, money may not be the issue. Neither Mr. nor Ms. Swig is wanting, and the potential foreclosure may have more to do with the knock-down-drag-out divorce proceedings.

In fact, multiple sources seemed less surprised by the Swig story than the fact that Ezra Merkin was still in the building.


Never mind these kerfuffles, though. The Great Recession—indeed, the very traffic from Park Avenue—arrives muffled on the other side of 740’s limestone walls.

“That building is such an A++ building,” said luxury broker Michele Kleier of Gumley Haft Kleier, “that I don’t think anything negative that happens in the building will actually affect the building itself.”

Recession Reaches Redoubt of Redolently Wealthy at 740 Park