Finance  ·  Distress

Arden Group Captures Margaritaville Resort Times Square in UCC Foreclosure Auction

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Nearly 50 years after Jimmy Buffett recorded the 1974 song “Come Monday,” art is imitating life on the late singer-songwriter’s branded resort in Midtown Manhattan. 

Lender Arden Group won a Uniform Commercial Code foreclosure auction for the Margaritaville Resort Times Square Hotel as the lone bidder Monday, three months after its owner — Sharif El-Gamal’s Soho Properties filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. 

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Arden Group used existing debt for its bid of $1,000 to acquire an equity stake in the hotel that sets it up on a path to control the 34,271-square-foot property, The Real Deal first reported Monday.

Soho Properties defaulted on the 234-key hotel at 560 Seventh Avenue in March after missing a debt service payment on the $57 million loan originated by Arden Group in July 2021. Newmark‘s Dustin Stolly, Jordan Roeshlaub, Adam Spies, Adam Etra and Brock Cannon brokered the auction, which was previously scheduled for July 10 but was postponed because of Soho’s bankruptcy filing. 

The July bankruptcy filing showed that Soho Properties was seeking to refinance roughly $309 million of total debt connected with the project, as CO previously reported. The property, which includes 34,271 square feet of retail space, was appraised at between $266 million and $350 million in May 2023, according to court documents, after the hotel faced challenging economic conditions during its June 2021 opening due to headwinds from the COVID-19 pandemic battering the hospitality industry. 

El-Gamal said in 2018 when plans were unveiled for Margaritaville Resort Times Square that the hotel would “undoubtedly be a top destination” as the brand’s first New York location. The developer told Commercial Observer in December 2021 that he believed the development would become the “anchor of Times Square” given its location at the corner of 40th Street and Seventh Avenue. 

Officials at Soho Properties and Margaritaville Resorts & Hotels did not immediately return requests for comment. Arden Group declined to comment. 

Andrew Coen can be reached at acoen@commercialobserver.com