The historic building that has long housed the 80 St. Marks Theater in Manhattan’s East Village has survived the threat of Prohibition-era raids or thieves running away with money stashed in underground safes. Now he faces one final recall from his lender.
Maverick Real Estate Partners, known for their tough tactics, uses a provision that circumvents a statewide moratorium on traditional foreclosures in an attempt to take on the former sweatshop and home of the Museum of the American Gangster. Homeowner Lorcan Otway says he’s refinancing the loan to pay off his $ 6.1 million mortgage.
If Maverick succeeds in the UCC foreclosure sale at a Nov. 18 auction, it would be an inglorious coda for a downtown monument that Otway’s father bought in 1964, giving him a view at street level in St. Mark’s Square as it evolved into a center of counterculture through the tumultuous 1960s and 1970s. More recently, the once run-down neighborhood has become a magnet tourism and property values ââare increasing.
New York-based Maverick, led by David Aviram, has a reputation for aggressively buying out distressed debt from homeowners – big and small – before raising interest rates up to 24%. Maverick and his sales attorney, Steven Newman at Katsky Korins, did not return requests for comment.
When Maverick bought the loan in December from Hirshmark Capital, who had established it the year before, Otway was trying to keep his business above water amid a ban on live performances during the days of pandemic and little guidance on reopening from the then government. Andrew Cuomo. Otway said in an interview that he relies on the tavern and food service as the place’s main source of income during the pandemic.
âWe don’t live an extravagant life,â said Otway. “Our main goal is to keep this theater.”
The purchase of Maverick, as Otway renegotiated terms with the original lender, came as a surprise, he said. He and his attorney, Joshua Wurtzel of Schlam Stone & Dolan, said Maverick’s UCC sale would be canceled once the refinancing is complete.
Maverick was unable to conduct a traditional trade foreclosure last year due to the moratorium. The key: a UCC foreclosure that’s legal because the lender is technically seeking to take control of the collateral interests in a property instead of the property itself. As part of the UCC sales process, Maverick must set an auction date on which third parties can bid. In many cases, lenders such as Maverick make âcredit offersâ using their own debt and take control of the property. Mannion Auctions is leading the auction.
Maverick is one of many leading lenders to attempt a UCC foreclosure in recent months. SL Green Realty recently took control of 690 Madison Avenue from Ashkenazy Acquisition through a UCC foreclosure auction.
Maverick has sought to seize a number of Manhattan properties. This summer, the company sued Steve Croman, a notorious ex-con, to seize its four adjoining apartment buildings in Kips Bay just a day after acquiring the loan. Maverick is also seeking to seize a $ 30 million condo at 432 Park Avenue, the owner of which has stopped paying the mortgage and the original lender is believed to have been held in China.
âThey are a predatory equal opportunity lender,â Wurtzel said. “They are ready to go after the big real estate investors and they will go after mom and dad.”