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Billionaire's Row's Steinway Tower Hits Funding Snag With Investor Lawsuit

Billionaire's Row's Steinway Tower Hits Funding Snag With Investor Lawsuit
A rendering of 111 West 57th St., also known as the Steinway Tower

A court order against a mezzanine loan for the supertall going up at 111 West 57th St., also known as the Steinway Tower, has increased the uncertainty surrounding the project.

Michael Stern's JDS Development and Property Markets Group, in raising finances for the project, enlisted AIG Global Real Estate for a construction loan of $400M, and later took out a mezzanine loan with Apollo Global Management for $325M. Their attempt to get another mezzanine loan from Spruce Capital Partners for $25M was temporarily blocked by a judge after a lawsuit filed by Ambase Corp., which had invested $70M in the project, the Commercial Observer reports.

At issue is a provision in the new loan that would transfer the property to Spruce without an auction in the case of a foreclosure. The provision could come into play after AIG triggered a clause in its own financing to accelerate loan payments after the project went over budget, which necessitated the additional mezz loan.

It is the second lawsuit Ambase has filed against the primary developers, JDS and PMG. In 2016, Ambase filed a suit claiming the joint venture was diluting its shares in the property, while the JV countersued Ambase for getting in the way of raising the necessary finances to complete and pay off the supertall.