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Bank forecloses on Glick's Luchow's building.

Bank forecloses on Glick's Luchow's Building

Officials representing Fidelity New York Bank and Savings said last week they were foreclosing on developer Jeffrey Glick's 14th Street building, the former Luchow's restaurant, fueling speculation that the developer's financial troubles were worsening.

The foreclosure, which involves an undisclosed amount of mortgage money, was revealed to REW Thursday morning when Fidelity officials showed up at the dilapidated building at 110 East 14th Street to install new chains and locks to keep out squatters.

Fire officials had contacted the bank about the three-story, 15,000-square-foot structure because of fears that squatters could cause a fire in the building.

The foreclosure on the property may mean the end of Glick's grander designs to create a possible assemblage including the Luchow property, a 31,000-square-foot parcel of city-owned land, the Palladium disco and a parking lot next to the club that Glick still owns. Glick's plan included hundreds of middle-and upper-income housing units and a huge amount of new retail space.

Glick also said he planned to preserve the facade of Luchow's which closed in 1982.

The site, which was rejected for landmark status in 1984, but is still being sought by some community groups, used to be a favorite eatery and watering hole for such notables as Diamond Jim Brady, Theodore Roosevelt, Florenz Ziegfeld, Enrico Caruso, H.L. Menchen, J.P. Morgan and Irving Berlin.

Daniel Hueglin, vice president of Fidelity New York, who, accompanied by his chief of security, was securing open doors on the property, said Glick had "defaulted on mortgage payments" and the bank was now completing the paperwork on foreclosure.

"We want to try to sell this property as soon as possible," Hueglin said. "Some people were talking about making this a landmark, but I don't know what is left to landmark. The inside of the building has been heavily vandalized -- the scavengers have cleaned it out. The building is falling apart,"

Hueglin said the value of the property has not yet been ascertained and could depend on whether it is part of another possible assemblage. Hueglin added, "This was at one time one of the premier German restaurant's. However, we have no desire to get involved in real estate."

Steve Solomon of Howard Rubinstein Associates Public Relations confirmed that the building was being foreclosed. He said Glick attorney Howard Shapiro informed him that, despite the foreclosure, they were "still hopeful that they could develop a site nearby."

Glick was out of the country and unavailable for comment.

This is the latest in a series of setbacks for the Glick organization. In April, a state court ruled that a planned Glick development on the East River could not proceed because of inadequate environmental studies on sewage treatment. That cost Glick millions in delays and planning.

The Glick site on 14th Street borders a city-owned lot on which Andrew Cuomo, son of Governor Mario Cuomo, and executive director of Project Help, a non-profit housing developer for homeless and low-income tenants, is seeking permission to create 100 units of low-income housing and retail space. Some community leaders speculate that the foreclosure could lead to a larger development for Cuomo and a coupling of the Luchows site for a much larger retail development.

Community Board 3 recently approved the Cuomo scheme for the site. The Planning Commission and the Division of Real Property, which disposes of city-owned land, must still sign off on the idea. The New York City Housing Authority, however, has its own plan for 163 moderate-income cooperatives.

Cuomo was not immediately available for comment.

Rob Walsh, executive director of the 14th Street Local Development Corporation, said it was possible that the two properties could be linked by retail space, making it a more "developable site."

"The bank wants to unload the property and it can be a benefit for Cuomo if he is the developer," Walsh said. "Any positive activity at this site can be a bonus for the city through a retail link, and would be a benefit to the area through increased property value and an improvement to the retail strip."

In regards to possible future landmarking of the site, Walsh said the interior was one of the biggest reasons, but upon his personal inspection, he found "the inside was gutted."

"It would be nice if it were feasible to save the facade or pick up on the design, but if landmarking means that nobody will touch it and the building will remain empty, then I have serious questions about this," Walsh said.
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Title Annotation:Fidelity New York Bank; Jeffrey Glick
Author:Maisel, Todd
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jun 12, 1991
Words:754
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