Ashkenazy loses original Barneys building at 115 Seventh Ave to lender

From left to right: Doug Tiesi, CEO, Argentic, and Ben Ashkenazy, CEO, Ashkenazy Acquisitions, in front of 115 Seventh Avenue (Argentic Investment Management, LoopNet, iStock)

It’s officially over for Ben Ashkenazy at Barneys.

Lender Argentic Investment Management acquired the Chelsea building that housed the original Barneys New York department store after a $49.5 million foreclosure judgment. Argentic took over from Ashkenazy Acquisitions through an arbitration deed, PincusCo reported. The transfer was completed two weeks ago at a price of $7 million.

The lockdown had been a long time coming for retail giant Ashkenazy. A lawsuit has been filed against the shell company set up by the building’s owner in September 2020, claiming that Ashkenazy failed to repay a $46.2 million loan secured by the building after maturity of the loan in May 2020.

Barney Pressman opened the first Barneys on-site nearly a century ago, in 1923. Ownership of 115 Seventh Avenue changed hands several times over the decades before Ashkenazy purchased it from the Rubin Museum of Art. for $57 million in 2014.

The city’s 2022 designated market value of the 42,000 square foot building is $18.8 million, according to PincusCo. The original Barneys store closed amid bankruptcy proceedings for the department store.

The loss of the Chelsea commercial building is the latest in a series of problems for Ashkenazy. A foreclosure lawsuit filed earlier this month claimed Ashkenazy defaulted on a $12.3 million mortgage for the commercial portion of 1400 Fifth Avenue in Harlem. A trustee of the loan’s bondholders claimed Ashkenazy stopped making monthly mortgage payments in April 2020.

The loan on the property was issued by Barclays in September 2018 before being securitized and sold to investors. The lawsuit seeks $16.7 million in damages.

Ashkenazy also lost control of 690 Madison due to a foreclosure late last year. SL Green Realty paid transfer tax on about $74 million, just under 65% of what Ashkenazy paid for the five-story property in 2015. SL Green held a UCC foreclosure auction from an Ashkenazy entity owning the building in September 2021, where retail tenants include Hermès.

[PincusCo] —Holden Walter-Warner

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