Half of the buyers at The Mark, the renovated and partially converted (à la The Plaza) Madison Avenue luxury hotel, want their money back. Luckily for Mark developer the Alexico Group, fending off this flurry of legal activity won't take an army of high-priced lawyers: There are only two buyers in the building. That is the most shocking revelation in the Post's report on Russian buyer Shalva Chigirinsky's lawsuit to get his $4 million deposit back on a $15.75 million three-bedroom penthouse he pledged to buy in 2008. Like The Plaza's very public spat with Andrei Vavilov, it's a case of a somewhat shady Russian tycoon trying to bail on a pricey penthouse in a revamped hotel due to allegations the apartment didn't quite come out as promised. And once again, the developer's side of the story is that this is just buyer's remorse dressed up in a fancy lawsuit. But yikes, only two buyers?
The Post writes that, of the 42 units converted to co-ops during the renovation, all but 10 were converted back to hotel rooms due to the lack of buyers. One of those 10 still on the market is the 10,000-square-foot, $60 million penthouse that was reportedly going to be combined with other units in the building by a different Russian billionaire for $150 million. Obviously that deal fell through, as did the 18 other letters of intent for the penthouse and the "no less than 25 letters of intent" for each of the other units, which where the bold claims about The Mark's sales effort back when Bernie Madoff was just a solid money-manager and Bear Stearns was battling it out with Lehman Brothers on the lacrosse field. Maybe glamorous old hotels should sometimes stay glamorous old hotels?
· A Russian oil tycoon spent $15.75M on an apartment at the Mark Hotel--now he wants his money back [NYP]
· The Mark [themarkhotel.com]
· The Mark coverage [Curbed]