Judge Negs Bill Ackman’s Stuyvesant Town Foreclosure Plan

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Photo: Patrick McMullan

All Bill Ackman wanted to do was solve the problem. The activist investor had big hopes for the Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village complexes. It was simple, really. All he had to do was leap in at the last minute, without warning, and buy $300 million in key debt (well, it was worth $300 million, but he payed 15 cents on the dollar, so it only cost him $45 million). Then he merely had to bypass the other lenders, who control the several billion dollars in remaining debt, and force a foreclosure. Since he'd then be in the driver's seat, he'd force a co-op conversion of the massive, 25,000-person complex, make his money, and then go elsewhere, with the problem neatly solved. Well, solved for everyone except the holders of all the rest of that debt, who had other plans. But CW Capital, a special server overseeing the $3 billion first mortgage on the property, sued to prevent Ackman's foreclosure. Today State Supreme Court Judge Richard Lowe ruled in their favor, City Councilman Dan Garodnick announced in a press release, blocking the foreclosure and effectively taking Ackman out of the driver's seat for now. And the fate of the massive complex, the site of the most expensive American real estate deal ever only four years ago, remains up in the air.