Sales Beat

Toll Brothers Pays $64M for Residential Development Site

It looks like luxury home builder Toll Brothers may have yet another New York City residential development project on the drawing board after scooping up a financially troubled and stalled development site – once dubbed the Oliver – from Alexico Group for $64 million, The Commercial Observer has learned.

Owner of the high-end boutique condominium building The Touraine in Lenox Hill, Toll Brothers purchased 953, 957, 959 and 961 First Avenue (or 953-961 First Avenue) in Midtown East after years of financial turmoil bogged down and eventually killed Alexico Group’s original plans to build a 161-unit luxury rental building at the site.

Toll Brothers' The Touraine in Lenox Hill

Toll Brothers’ The Touraine in Lenox Hill

In addition to The Touraine, Toll Brothers owns a Manhattan condominium at 160 East 22nd Street in Manhattan, and it has two other development projects up its sleeve – one at 400 Park Avenue South, which is under construction and slated to open in the fall of 2013, and the other is the Pierhouse at Brooklyn Bridge Park, situated along the Brooklyn waterfront and expected to open in the spring of 2014.

The plans for the new acquisition could not immediately be confirmed, as Toll Brothers did not return calls seeking comment, though the company builds luxury homes and condo developments throughout the United States, in addition to New York City and places further upstate.

The site fell within the grasp of the then embattled developer Harry Macklowe in 2011, who along with Douglas Elliman Chairman Howard Lorber planned to build a residential tower on the site, according to an article that appeared in Crain’s in March 2011.

But the Alexico Group at the time insisted that it was paying off the loan and would proceed with its own plans for the site, despite defaulting on its loan.  Alexico Group and Steven Elghanayan defaulted on the two notes, valued at $30.6 million, the article stated.

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