The wavy pile of bricks from SHoP Architects at the corner of Mulberry and Houston Streets has been attracting confused stares and the lenses of photographers since debuting a multi-colored light show a few weeks back. But when will the nearly-complete building finally house some Nolita newbies? In its November print edition, The Real Deal coolly, casually, matter-of-factly mentions that the project's lender, CIT Group, is attempting to foreclose on the building and force a sale. The same lender has also come calling on the loan for 654 Broadway, a stalled Noho condo conversion from the same developer, Cardinal Real Estate Investments. In all that's $29 million in overdue loans, not to mention that a third Cardinal building?the SHoP-designed m127?is being pursued by a different lender. Believe it or not, however, there is even more drama at 290 Mulberry.
Before the lender got in on the lis pendens action?the first step on the long road to foreclosure?the building's construction manager filed its own lis pendens seeking over $1.7 million in unpaid fees. No worries, the lender will foreclose and sell the property and the new owner will finish construction and, yay, nine fancy SHoPartments! Well, not so fast. As you may have heard, CIT recently filed for bankruptcy protection, and is now attempting to get back on its feet using a $1 billion credit line from investor Carl Icahn. Uh, maybe he wants that $7.5 million penthouse? We spoke to one real estate investor who approached CIT looking into 290 Mulberry and some other assets, only to find confusion and uncertainty on the other end. No apartments are listed as being in contract, so this one may be frozen for a while. But at least it's providing the neighborhood with a bit of entertainment in the meantime.
· 290 Mulberry [Official Site]
· 290 Mulberry coverage [Curbed]