The planned condo conversion of Lower Manhattan’s iconic Clocktower Building may be in jeopardy. The co-developers of the project, the Elad Group and the Peebles Corporation are duking it out in court, each alleging that the other is trying to sabotage the project, The Real Deal reports.
The developers purchased the former New York Life Insurance Company Building, located at 346 Broadway, from the city back in 2013 for $160 million. Peebles owned a 35 percent stake in the project, and Elad owned the remainder.
They planned to convert the historic building into 151 condos, including a triplex penthouse in the clocktower portion of the building, with an electrified clock. A State Supreme Court judge ruled early last year that electrifying the clock was out of the question, after preservationists complained about the potential loss of the mechanical clock.
For the developers that meant the triplex penthouse was no longer an option. The State Supreme Court’s verdict came a few months after the developers had secured a $334 million construction loan on the project, and the court’s decision seems to have put a wrench into the developers’ plans.
Following the court’s verdict, Peebles wanted to exit the project, according to TRD, but the estimated value of its stake made Elad balk, and the two sides have essentially been fighting it out in court since.
Now the conversion could be snarled for two separate reasons: the developers have told their lenders that they will sell at least 35 apartments by next August; and the purchase from the city has a five-year expiration date if the development hasn’t taken off. It remains to be seen if the warring sides will be able to resolve their disputes and allow this project to move forward.