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DNA Info: Auction of 225 Rector

DNA Info: Marc Held, Partner at Held & Hines, LLP quoted about auction of 225 Rector

Troubled Battery Park City Condo Rector Square Auctioned Off

The future of Rector Square is still uncertain.

  • Rector Square in Battery Park City has 232 unsold units, which were auctioned off on Wednesday. (Webshots/villeneuvep)

By Julie Shapiro

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

BATTERY PARK CITY — Rector Square’s future remains uncertain after an auction Wednesday that was meant to decide the fate of the troubled condo conversion.

The Anglo Irish Bank, which foreclosed on the building last year, placed the sole bid at Wednesday’s auction and is now set to pay $82.7 million for the building’s 232 unsold units, Crain’s New York Business reported.

The bank will likely turn around and sell those units privately to a developer or manager, sources familiar with the bank’s position told DNAinfo. That developer would then decide whether to continue converting the Rector Square, at 225 Rector Pl., to condos or leave it as rentals.

Marc Held, a lawyer who represents the 304-unit building’s 72 condo owners, said he was disappointed that a private developer did not bid on the units Wednesday, which would have sped up the process.

“It’s not moving forward quickly enough,” Held said.

Held and building residents said they had expected Related Companies to place a bid on the units, because Related has been managing Rector Square on behalf of the Anglo Irish Bank for over a year.

It’s still possible that Related would buy the unsold units from the bank directly in the future, Held said.

Shannon Maer, 37, who bought a condo two years ago in Rector Square, said she would welcome Related’s ownership of the building because they have a good reputation.

“I’m waiting to see what will happen,” Maer said.

Related and Anglo Irish Bank did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday.

The 232 auctioned units include about 40 below-market and 50 market-rate rental apartments.

Neither group of tenants should be immediately affected by the sale, Held said. Any future owner of the building would have to honor the leases the market-rate tenants signed, and the below-market tenants are protected under an agreement that allows them to stay in their apartments through 2019, Held said.

But the condo owners, who invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in their units, want to know the long-term plan for the building, including what the common charges will be, Held said.

The residents of Rector Square have been through many ups and downs since building developer Yair Levy defaulted on his $165 million mortgage last year.

Levy left when the building was in the middle of a major renovation, so residents were stuck with exposed wiring in the lobby and broken appliances in their apartments for months.

Since then, Michael Miller, the court-appointed receiver, has overseen the completion of most of the construction, though Maer noted that the promised roof deck has not yet opened.

Several lawsuits related to the building are still pending, including Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s suit from earlier this year accusing Levy of misusing residents’ maintenance payments.

Maer echoed other residents in saying this week that she just wants the building’s future to be resolved.

“I’m getting bored of this,” she said. “It reduces my faith in the city.”

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