By Orlando Lee Rodriguez
A neighborhood eyesore in Brooklyn now has new life, after attorneys for new investors beat back an 11th-hour bankruptcy by the property’s former owners. 333 Greene Avenue, a long-stalled 12-story project just over the Bedford-Stuyvesant border from Clinton Hill, has sat vacant for years while the former owners fought each other in court.
Manhattan based investment firm Bonjour Capital snagged the dormant REO property for $16 million at a foreclosure action in January from Banco Popular. But the project’s former owners filed separately for bankruptcy, putting the sale to Bonjour on ice.
“We argued that the bankruptcy filing was in bad faith and was not authorized,” said Eric Goldberg, a partner at Olshan and the lead attorney on the the case. “We successfully concluded our negotiation that got the property conveyed in a re-organization in a bankruptcy.”
According to records filed with the New York Eastern District Court, second circuit, both former owners, Martin Daskal and Joseph Tyrnauer, filed separate bankruptcy petitions in April.
Daskal and Tyrnauer had formed Green LLC in 2001 to develop the property, obtaining a $22.6 million in financing from Banco Popular at the height of the boom in 2006, according to Law 360.
Tyrnauer tried to sell his piece of the business in 2009, but Daskal stopped it. The former partners have been locked in litigation ever since, with Daskal even making a RICO claim against Tyrnauer. The Supreme Court of Kings County dismissed that case in November, according to court records.
“They were two bickering partners, they hadn’t gotten along and they could never agree on any plan to work with the bank,” Goldberg said. “They wouldn’t have been able to keep the property in bankruptcy because they had no viable plan.”
But the new owners say they have an executable plan and the building will be completed as a rental ready for occupancy in about a year.
“333 Greene Avenue [will be] a luxury rental building with amenities, a unique rooftop entertainment and lounge deck,” said Charles Dayan, CEO of Bonjour Capital. “This will be a one-of-a-kind building and a jewel in BedStuy.”
Dayan said that the purchase of the long troubled 333 Greene asset fits into the company’s strategy of purchasing and improving value-added residential properties.
This is the second troubled Brooklyn asset that Bonjour has purchased at a foreclosure auction since July, when the firm snatched 525 Clinton Avenue, located 8 blocks away in neighboring Clinton Hill.
“We often see possibilities where others see difficulties,” said Dayan. “We look at the world around us, determine what people want and go one step further to create and maximize value.”