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Foreclosure Sought On $750M Loan For 20 Times Square

The massive digital billboard on 20 Times Square

Lenders are looking to seize control of the Marriott-branded Times Square Edition hotel after its owners have fallen behind on payments on a $750M loan.

Maefield Development and its CEO, Mark Siffin, failed to repay the $750M loan on the 20 Times Square hotel, according to a foreclosure lawsuit filed in New York state Supreme Court this week by Wilmington Trust, acting as a trustee on behalf of bondholders.

The foreclosure suit, first reported by PincusCo, is the latest chapter in the troubled hotel’s saga.

Steve Witkoff purchased the 701 Seventh Ave. location in 2012, demolishing an 11-story office building to make way for a 42-story, 452-key luxury hotel. Construction began in 2015, The Real Deal reported.

Maefield took over the project in 2018 along with Fortress Investment Group, buying out the hotel’s other investors. But Maefield and Fortress split the property into a ground lease and fee simple interest, making the joint venture both the tenant and the landlord for 20 Times Square

One year after its opening, the Marriott-branded hotel closed amid the pandemic’s dramatic arrival in New York City, and it reopened a year later.

The hotel also struggled to lease all of its 76K SF of retail space, with confectioner Hershey taking 7K SF. A joint venture between the National Football League and Cirque du Soleil signed on for 50K SF, but the venture folded within a year.

The partnership took on debt from French financial giant Natixis for a combined $1.4B. Natixis retained the $650M piece of the debt on its balance sheet, with the leasehold functioning as the collateral, PincusCo reported.

It sued to foreclose on that debt in 2019 and took control of the building last year. It turned management of the property over to SL Green

The debt on the ground was securitized in four conduit deals and one single-borrower CMBS. Wilmington cited five different instances of default after the entire balance of the CMBS loan came due on May 5, per the suit. The debt was placed in special servicing in November after one instance of default.