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Eli Cohen Purchases Distressed Debt Of Midtown Development Site

The lot at 560 Seventh Ave., currently a distressed asset

Curtain manufacturer and real estate investor Eli Cohen has purchased distressed debt for a property in the Times Square area.

560 Seventh Ave. is owned by Sharif El-Gamal's Soho Properties and MHP Real Estate Services, and they had released plans to develop a Dream Hotel branch on the site after purchasing it for $62.4M in 2014. To fund the purchase, they took out a $63M loan from Colony Capital, on which they defaulted back in January, The Real Deal reports.

Cohen swooped in, with backing from W Financial, to purchase the $63M loan on May 11, although it is unclear what he plans to do with it. If he wishes, he can foreclose on the property and take ownership. Soho and MHP also could potentially get a bridge loan to cover payments now due to Cohen.

Soho and MHP purchased additional air rights on the property for $9.2M in 2015, at which time the value of the Dream Hotel project was estimated at $300M.