condo project

Chen Family’s Garment District Condo Conversion in Bankruptcy

The saga of a Garment District conversion from factory to fancy condos has a new chapter: Chapter 11, that is.  

The Chen family has put the entity that owns 335 West 35th Street into bankruptcy as it seeks funding to complete the project, records show. It also put a Soho property it used as collateral into bankruptcy.

The family bought 335 West 35th Street, a vacant, 12-story building near Penn Station, for $50 million in 2016, planning to redevelop it. The plan was for condo units, to be sold for a collective $99 million, and space for the family foundation’s TF Chen Cultural Center.

Shanghai Commercial Bank agreed in 2017 to lend the Chens $34 million, consolidating earlier loans and setting a December 2021 maturation date. The first sign of trouble surfaced in 2021, when the developer sued a loan broker it had retained for failing to close on $82 million in new financing from a South Korean firm in 2020.

Interest rates were still low at the time, but the pandemic had brought international travel and capital markets to a virtual standstill.

The construction lender, Shanghai Commercial Bank, refinanced the condo project in November 2020 for $60.6 million. But

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