Sales  ·  Land

Legion Buys Empty Development Chelsea Site for $87M

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Victor Sigoura and his development firm Legion Investment Group are the proud new owners of an empty lot in Chelsea, at a relative discount after previous plans for the site fell through.

Legion purchased the 20,000-square-foot lot at 540 West 21st Street from Casco Development for $87.4 million, according to property records. Pincus first reported the news Wednesday afternoon.

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“540 West 21st Street represents an exceptional opportunity to create a landmark project in one of New York’s most dynamic and trafficked neighborhoods,” a Legion spokesperson said in a statement. The lot is between the High Line elevated pedestrian park and 11th Avenue, close to the Chelsea Piers recreation complex.

It’s unclear who brokered the sale. Representatives for Casco did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Casco at one time had big plans for the site. The firm wanted to build a 20-story luxury apartment building at the lot, which it purchased from the Atlantic Foundation in 2014 for $50 million, according to property records. 

The project was ultimately hamstrung by debt. Casco filed to put the property into bankruptcy protection in August after secured and unsecured debt had climbed to nearly $257 million, according The Real Deal. The company initially planned to build 34 units at the site, with an expected value of nearly $540 million once completed.

Legion secured a $55.8 million acquisition loan from Deutsche Bank for the purchase. Walker & Dunlop’s Aaron Appel, Keith Kurland, Jonathan Schwartz, Adam Schwartz and Sean Bastian arranged the financing.

The property isn’t the only empty lot Legion has acquired in recent months. The firm in early March spent $68 million in four separate deals for a planned 11-story condo building at 252-258 Third Avenue in Gramercy Park after winning a court battle with a nearby cooperative for air rights there. 

Nick Trombola can be reached at ntrombola@commercialobserver.com.