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Unfinished Brooklyn Development Could Fall Into Foreclosure

Construction at 57 Caton Place near Prospect Park in Brooklyn in August 2022.

The 131-unit multifamily building at 57 Caton Place, a few blocks from Prospect Park in Brooklyn, topped out this summer, but its developer hasn't made payments on the mortgage, according to a lawsuit filed by the project's lender this week.

Los Angeles-based lender Parkview Financial is asking a Brooklyn judge to approve a foreclosure and appoint a receiver after developer Abraham Leifer defaulted on $66M in mortgages tied to the development, it said in the complaint, which was first reported by PincusCo.

Parkview provided the financing in December 2021, extending to Leifer's Aview Equities a $16.7M land mortgage, a $38.7M building loan and an $11.5M project loan. Aview used it to start construction on the 130K SF project, which tapped the since-expired 421-a tax abatement and is slated to include 33 affordable units and 98 market-rate units, Real Estate Weekly reported in 2022.

The Windsor Terrace project topped out in July and had an estimated completion date of January 2024, New York YIMBY reported. Parkview is asking a judge to force a foreclosure sale and appoint a third party to collect rents and profits. It is unclear if the lawsuit alters the timeline of construction on the project, also set to include more than 12K SF of ground-floor retail.

The brick-clad building was designed by Gene Kaufman Architects and is next to the historic Prospect Park Kensington Stables. The stables were bought by the city in 2018 from the family that had owned it since the 1930s to stave off bankruptcy. 

Leifer bought the site for $7.2M in 2014, Crain's New York Business reported, and it isn't his only project facing distress. An Aview affiliate filed for bankruptcy in June at a 21-story hotel project in Downtown Brooklyn, Crain's reported, while the lender on a $36.7M mortgage Aview took out to convert a nine-story commercial building at 19 West 55th St. to apartments filed to foreclose in March.