By Al Barbarino
Real estate investor El Ad US Holding, Inc. has closed on its purchase of 5 Franklin Place in Tribeca for $44.5 million, city records show.
El Ad will take over the stalled condo development site, where earlier plans to build a 20-story, 55-unit residential building have hit repeated hurdles.
The seller, Fishman Holdings, took over the site after scooping up the property at a September 2011 foreclosure auction; the company paid $38 million, city records show.
The previous owner, Sleepy Hudson, had purchased the property for $36.6 million in 2006 and began construction at the site in early 2007. Studio to four-bedroom apartments hit the market in 2008 for as much as $16 million.
But the developers defaulted on their mortgage after the economy tumbled and were unable to secure financing amid the subprime mortgage meltdown, stopping construction after building just five floors and returning deposits to eight buyers who had signed contracts.
El Ad reportedly plans to go forward with plans to resume construction at the building. President Orly Daniell did not return phone calls seeking comment.
El Ad is a member of Israel-based Tshuva Group, focused on ultra-luxury conversion projects and new developments. Their most notable New York City holding was The Plaza Hotel at Central Park South, where they completed a controversial condo conversion project.
Reuters reported last month the developer had sold off a controlling stake in the building to India’s Sahara Group for $570 million. Elad will get $400 million of that, and the hotel’s other owner, Kingdom Holdings, will get the remainder.