According to The Real Deal, a court-appointed referee last week set an auction for the property at the Hilton New York Midtown Fifth Avenue on March 22. (As previously noted, the 135,000-square-foot building is zoned for "community facility use." Any conversion to a condoplex or residential housing would require a time-consuming zoning variance.)
Late last year, Judge Melissa Crane "agreed with a report from a court-appointed referee that Madison was owed $89.9 million for principal, interest and other charges."
Singer disputed the interest and charges, arguing that the report lacked a "breakdown by month of the Prime and LIBOR rates, making it impossible to verify the accuracy of the calculations."Crane quickly shot down that argument. "The note explains the method for calculating the relevant interest rate in its first paragraph," she said.
Singer vows to keep fighting despite the scheduled auction, citing new evidence he was "finally able to obtain," The Real Deal reported.
"We expect our rights will be fully vindicated and we will ultimately prevail and be allowed to have the building be a benefit to the community," he said.
In recent weeks, workers — under emergency orders via the DOB — have been sealing up the building's Ninth Street and 10th Street sides between Avenue B and Avenue C. The former school and community center had been easy to access in recent years, attracting a variety of urban thrillseekers and partygoers. The broken windows and poorly secured doors also exposed the building to the elements — not to mention pigeons and other wildlife.
The property that Singer purchased from the city in 1998 for $3.15 million fell into foreclosure last year. Through the years, Singer wanted to turn the building into a dorm (more here), though those plans never materialized. (At one point, the Joffrey Ballet and Cooper Union were attached to the project.)
In October 2017, then-Mayor de Blasio's statement at a Town Hall put forth the idea that the city would take steps to reacquire the building.